A bad egg amongst the Kemplinski brand, in desperate need of a management overhaul.
Let me be very clear: I am perfectly happy to pay good money for a quality product. Having stayed at some of the top UK hotels I know what to expect.
However, the Kemplinski Hotel in Bruges charges a high price for a very poor experience.
In fact the one experience no one wants at a hotel: lack of good sleep.
It is a badly run hotel and if you stay here it is very likely to spoil your holiday. The hotel is clearly taking advantage of the ‘more mature’ American and British tourists who are blowing their life savings on their dream European trip. It is over-charging guests for basic services that should be included as standard and does not provide good value for money.
It is also advertising and selling rooms with the inaccurate description of ‘air conditioned’ when in fact the air conditioning is well below standard.
I will now tell you precisely why you shouldn’t book this hotel.
1. WiFi Internet Charges - in 2011, I do not expect to pay for WiFi in a hotel of this quality and room price (€200+). On arrival, I was not aware of the fact that the WiFi is charged at €25 per day and attempted to log on. Met with a request for payment I phoned reception to explain that I wasn’t able to access the wireless network, at this point thinking that I was not doing it correctly. The receptionist told me that this was not a problem, simply use your surname and room number. After a second attempt, I eventually went down to reception and could not believe my ears when the receptionist told me that it would cost €25 per day! Unbelievable. I was actually speechless. Another receptionist called Christian then intervened to tell me that if I became a loyalty club member then he would take the internet charges off the room bill. Although this was helpful I still find it entirely unacceptable that a hotel of this supposed standard and moreover, high room price, should then charge guests to use the internet. Unfortunately, Christian, the young male receptionist, also had an air of supremacy and arrogance about him, as he smugly told me that ‘hotels in Brussels charge for WiFI, you know’. This attitude towards my entirely polite question left a sour taste for the remainder of the evening. I actually tried to avoid seeing this member of staff again as he certainly gave off a negative vibe towards guests.
2. Air Conditioning Failure - it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that due to the geography of the Low Countries there is a very considerable mosquito problem. This requires windows to be shut at night to prevent being literally eaten alive. Having shut the window in the early evening (7pm approx.) and set the air conditioning to its full cooling setting, we then awoke at 1am because of very high temperatures in the room. The air conditioning clearly doesn’t work well, if at all. The corridor outside the room was cool, as was the air outside. I therefore telephoned reception to inform them of the problem but declined any engineer coming into the room as we were trying our best to sleep (prior to a long journey the next day). The receptionist said that he would inform the staff in the morning. In order to sleep we therefore had to leave the window open that meant that both of us were bitten very badly throughout the night. We did not sleep well at all.
In the morning, when checking out, Christian was asked to take over when we appeared at the desk. We were given very dismissive treatment, he said that (a) his engineer’s print out showed that we requested 22 degrees and the room was 23 degrees and (b) it was our fault for opening the window. These comments made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The corridor and outside ambient temperatures were cool, so why would the AC retain the room at a higher temperature? Secondly, I opened the window after several hours, as it was the only solution to the problem. Christian simply would not accept that there is a problem with the AC.
However, since arriving home, it has quickly become apparent that I am not the first person to suffer from this problem and in fact, numerous guests prior to me have commented on this problem with the hotel. Armed with this information and indisputable evidence, I will now be pursuing a refund claim.
Christian did reluctanty give us a €30 reduction in the car parking fee as a gesture.
3. Car Parking – the hotel charges an extortionate fee for car parking, €30 per 24 hours. This is disgraceful and does not compare well with neighbouring hotels which are charging €15 for very similar parking arrangements.
4. Noise – apart from the poor air conditioning, we were also kept awake throughout the night by the sound of heavy footsteps on the floor above. Also, at some point in the early morning, a water pipe began to make a loud noise of running water.
I will now be spending my own time pursuing a refund since I was unable to resolve this matter on the premises and had no option but to pay and leave. I felt that the staff forced me into paying for this inadequate stay by using a delaying strategy. I had to leave otherwise I would have missed my Eurotunnel booking.
A very poor and disappointing experience. Stay well clear until they’ve sorted this mess out.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Dukes' Palace, former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy, is the perfect location in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges. The 110 rooms, of which 18 suites and 5 family rooms, are all unique and combine contemporary comfort with authentic elegance of the 15th century. The 3000 m² garden, the terrace, the bar and beautiful lounges are the ideal place to enjoy. You can relax in The Spa with sauna, hammam and gym. The hotel also features a spacious garage. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kempinski Hotel Dukes Palace
- Kempinski Hotel Bruges