We arrived at this hotel having spent the three previous night at the 5* Radisson in Brussels which was absolutely fantastic. We knew it wouldn't be as good as that but seeing as this hotel is allegedly a "4* Hotel' we'd hoped it wouldn't have been too much of a step down. Big mistake. We checked in swiftly and the lady on the reception was pleasant and gave us a brief map of Bruges. I Instantly thought maybe things we're looking up for the hotel, despite the fact that the smell of sewers pervaded the reception area. The hotel is very bizarrely decorated and very cold in the corridors. We noted that there were two parts to the hotel. One in the main building and the other over a court yard. The reports on here that are positive are from the lucky customers who got the refurbished rooms over the courtyard. We however had been given one of the old ones in the main building. Once arriving upstairs in the lift, the corridors were pitch black, quickly discovering that all of the lights were on sensors. I appreciate the point of this but it just made the hotel seem unwelcoming and cold. When the lights did pop on, you began to realise why they had the sensors in the first place. The carpet was grubby and well worn and the corridors were circa 1950. Once we got to our room, we found more of the same. It was old fashioned, terrible decor and had old carpets. There was no way in the world this was a 4 star, i'd struggle to give it a mid 3. I've stayed in far superior Travel Lodges and Premier Inns. With hindsight, I should have gone and complained that night but the fact that it was clean and I was exhausted stopped me, although my partner threatened to do so every day we were there. The notes left in the rooms for their guests were equally unwelcoming. There was note instructing that if you wanted more tea and coffee then you could buy a kit for 2 euros from reception! IS this really the behaviour of a 4 star establishment? There was also a warning note by the door that instructed that if you were no checked out by 11 am on your day of departure that you would be billed for a full nights stay!! Finally it also asked for you to 'observe silence both on the corridors and in your rooms after 10pm'. I felt like like I was at a boarding school after reading this, I was on holiday for God's sake!
On a positive note the breakfast was good enough, and the rooms were clean, even if the decor was bad.
The final straw however was when we noted that there were no 'do not disturb' signs for the doors. We soon realised why. It appeared that those cleaners were coming whether you liked it or not at any time of day regardless of whether you were in bed or not. On two occasions we had left the key in the door at night, as a sign to the maids that we were in bed, so not to come in. On both occasions the maid managed to let herself into the room after a brief struggle with the lock(hence she knew our key was there and we were in) and burst in on us. We thought this was really pretty bad.
I would not recommend this hotel to a friend nor would I return. They need to make people aware when booking that there's a 50/50 chance you get a refurb room. It just doesn't seem fair. They need to make some adjustments to price accordingly too. This hotel needs to either start acting like a 4 star hotel and provide a better more welcoming service with ALL rooms at a good standard. Or accept that it's a budget mid 3 star hotel and stop leaving people feeling so short changed.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Academie Bruges
- Academie Hotel Bruges