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“Mediocre, lacking in character and only ok if you get a refurbed room!”
Review of Academie Hotel

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Academie Hotel
Ranked #20 of 97 Hotels in Bruges
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 January 2010

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.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jojo2582
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,523 - 1,529 of 2,267 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2010

Very modern hotel in a lovely cobbled street close to the centre of this charming city. The hotel is very modern but the room was spacious and comfortable with a very nice en-suite. There is no character but it is a pleasant place to stay for a couple of nights. The hotel also has a small underground car park which is very useful if you are driving there. (15€ per night). Other people have mentioned the gadgety light system and it is a little bizarre!!!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Staffsmartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2010

Just got back from mini cruise to bruges staying one night in the Academie ( great deal paid £35 pp b&b ) while we were there. We had a great room that you reached across a walkway with koi carp either side in a quiet area of the hotel on the ground floor.
The hotel is in a very good central area and the breakfast is very good you can fill up for most of the day . Nice but small public areas. Will stay again next year.

Make sure you take some tea/coffee with you as they don't give you enough and charge 2Euros for a pack with tea/coffee and milk. for the room.There is a supermarket litteraly round the corner where you can get 10 small milk cartons cafe style for 45c.. Dont let this put you off, as long as you are prepared its okay.
On the whole a great hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2009
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Thank brandysnap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2009

We stayed for one night in Nov 2009, room 203.

The smell surrounding this hotel and outside on the street too, is pretty bad. Even our bedroom (room 203) had a bad smell to it.

I hadn't read up about this hotel before going, normally I do. I was surprised to see so many British pensioners there, and all over Bruges too. I take it that coach trips are popular in Bruges. I don't tend to like going to places where I can only hear foreign (i.e not local) voices in the streets and in the hotel. I prefer a mixture of nationalities. I felt like I was staying in a hotel in the middle of the UK.

The hotel was OK. The bedroom (room 203) was large and the beds were comfortable. The bathroom was OK, but we too had problems with the lights in the bathroom. The furniture was a bit shabby.

Honestly, I think we only spent about 7 hours in this hotel. We didn't have time to see much of it. I didn't even realise until reading the other reviews on here, that we had air con in the room. Also, I wasn't aware that there were more modern rooms in another part of this hotel.

The cobbled street outside our bedroom window was charming, just what we expected.

Breakfast was a bit haphazard and only average. You only get one plate, they seemed to be running out of food, the way that the buffet is set out can only be described as "strange". I would suggest that they take out the round buffet table completely, and move the hot buffet tables nearer to where the jams / honey / etc are. The round buffet table takes up too much room and confuses people!.

However, I did find a nice surprise at breakfast: Spreadable Speculoos!!!. Wow!. I love the stuff and had never seen it in a spreadable version before!.

The bar area is modern, and a bit Moulin Rouge!. I loved the TV with the image of the burning fire on it. The lounge areas are fine, great for sitting and relaxing.

Would I recommend?. I think so, as long as the person who is going knows what to expect.

Would I go back?. No, probably not. Based on the mismatched feeling that this hotel gives out, the bad sewage smell, the shabby furniture in the bedroom, and the very average breakfast. I am sure that there are many more hotels in Bruges to explore, if I ever go back.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Daniella B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2009

Booked for a couple of nights as part of a Eurostar Christmas Market package. The room was very clean and functional with comfortable beds, so from that perspective was good. However the hotel had absolutely no charm or soul. The reception area was very ordinary and unfortunately, everytime we walked through, smelt of drains/sewage!! The plus for this hotel is its position in the old part of town and on the "scenic walk" so very attractive all around. Because of it's lack of charm we didn't bother with the breakfast (€9 I think) but instead opted for the tea room opposite which was busy and buzzy. Excellent breakfast in nice surroundings. By the way, if you are tempted just for the Christmas market, you would probably be better off going to the German ones (we were told) as the one in Bruges is nothing to get excited about and rather small. However, the town is delightful and more than made up for the market.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Esurian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2009

The first thing that hit us was the drains smell in the reception and public rooms; very unpleasant!

I had read reviews on here and asked the tour company to ask the hotel for modern rooms at the back. What did we get? Yes you have guessed, two old, shabby rooms at the front. There was a white fridge next to the dressing table, shabby furniture and decor and a painted glass bathroom door which , during the night, let the light shine through onto the beds for 15 minutes. Also the smell from downstairs extended into the bathroom. In the morning, the cobbled street outside was very noisy.

I asked for a move but they claimed there were no modern rooms left. It seems that they had ignored our request for a modern room at the back.

The breakfast was only adequate; no fresh fruit and an unappetizing cooked breakfast in heated containers.

Location was good. However this is not a four star hotel. The rooms we got were old, shabby and depressing. The smell from the canals/drains was pervasive downstairs and so we did not use the public rooms at all.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank AppianNorthYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2009

Other reviewers have mentioned the pensioner coach parties who come here, and my wife and I were part of one for 4 nights in November! In that context it did us fine. I loved the location and it is very close to a quiet and pretty area by the canals with several good restaurants. The centre of the town is only 5-10 minutes walk away.
Grouses would be the room smelling of smoke despite the no smoking sign, and the rather worn and tatty carpets in the room and corridor. However the room was of reasonable size, the staff pleasant and the breakfast rather better than other reviews had led us to expect. Yes, the orange and coffee come in plastic cups and you only get one plate for all parts of the meal, but the food was tasty enough and there was a reasonable range. Service was good when we were there. The internet is very slow, but hey, it is free! The bar looked like a bordello with bright red fittings, but there were other tables to sit at in the common area outside. With a bit of money and care this could be a boutique hotel, but it has found its niche and serves that clientele well. I would not recommend if you are looking for a romantic special occasion, but as a reasonable base to see Bruges, it is perfectly acceptable

  • Stayed: November 2009
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2  Thank ChrisRugby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Academie Hotel

Address: Wijngaardstraat 7-9, Bruges 8000, Belgium
Region: Belgium > Flanders > West Flanders Province > Bruges
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Bruges
#12 Luxury Hotel in Bruges
#24 Romantic Hotel in Bruges
#27 Family Hotel in Bruges
Price Range: £68 - £155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Academie Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 90
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Academie Bruges
Academie Hotel Bruges

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