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“Well located and quiet, but beware you've the right room!”

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Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges
Ranked #13 of 97 Hotels in Bruges
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 March 2009

My girlfriend and I visited here for a short two day break, for our first trip to Brugge. The hotel was what we expected of a 5 star, but there were disappointments! As the trip was short - two nights- we had to make the best of our stay. Therefore, the morning following our arrival - we arrived tired at 8 pm the previous night - it dawned on us that perhaps we had been booked into an inferior room, and not the 'deluxe' we expected. We complained after breakfast, and sure enough, they said indeed, we were in a wrong room and that they would put us into a suite instead. Immediately to make amends ! This, we would add wasn't a deluxe suite, still the inferior style, albeit they called it Superior. ( There was nothing lower than a Superior, a bit pretentious we thought.)
The swimming pool was rather small - 6 strokes and you hit the other end! - and the breakfast was a complete rip off at 28 euros each, and nothing out the ordinary.
Thats the complaints. On the whole, it was adequate and we were treated reasonably well. We would still have liked to have had the room style we booked, but we still have the nagging feeling we were double booked, and if we hadn't raised our concerns, we just wonder whether they would have ever told us! Not sure we really trusted them especially having read one particular review from a very disgruntled gentleman.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Fossie54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,824 - 1,830 of 2,831 reviews

Reviewed 17 February 2009

We just came back from Bruges having stopped at the Duke's Palace - we only booked 3 nights and were actually sad to leave such was our level of comfort and enjoyment.

As in an earlier review we also had a call a week before to tell us our booking had to be rearranged and that this was linked to renovation works not being completed in time. We were told by our travel agent that the hotel had a large group in on one of our three nights and could not rearrange them in light of certain rooms still being incomplete. We were hugely dissapointed but were offered some gestures including, amongst other things, taxi transfers and museum tickets and a good alternative hotel.

I did speak with the reservations manager who was very professional and took time to explain the reasons why this had happened - in a nutshell, the hotel had closed for a month to conduct renovations and certain parts had not been completed on schedule. I felt she gave me a true picture of what had happened and suitably addressed my dissapointment with a further offer of upgrade on a return visit.

As luck would have it two days later we were advised of a cancellation which enabled us to stop at the hotel after all - what a happy ending as it was fabulous!

We were upgraded, in light of the messing around, to a deluxe suite (we had the honey moon suite which was heritage listed).

Upon arrival the hotel was stunning, our bags were taken from us and delivered to our room and we were sat down with Maartin, a very calm and professional gentleman who took us thoroughly through our check in and hotel orientation. He booked us seats in a restaurant and provided guide books, pointing out places of interest before walking us through to our room. On route he showed us the mixture of old and new and the stunning decor and art in the building including a look at the Chapel and historic lift and tower.

Our room was outstanding. Huge beams and tasteful modern furnishings and a great bathroom and flat screen TV with views over the garden. Whilst ours was a suite we did sneak a peek at other rooms which were equally well furnished although considerably smaller.

Breakfast was fantastic and well worth getting within your rate if possible. It was almost tranquil with calming music playing and a huge choice of continental items and hot breakfast (almost full english) available - ask for something and you will probably get it!

The staff were terrific - finally somewhere where customers come first and you are treated really well! I would challenge anyone to find a rude or impatient member of staff here both in the bar/restaurant and the front desk.

The bar has a 'jazz bar' feel but is contemporary in style. It is a little expensive but sit at the bar on a quieter day and you will no doubt end up chatting with the staff and sampling the beers and cocktails.

The hotel is situated very centrally but on an off-street which gives it prime privacy and quiet. Bruges is very attractive with hundreds of cafes and bistro style food outlets. Eating out and drinking is expensive, especially close to the square and the service was incredibly slow. We could only put this down to not enough staff but maybe we are used to cheaper, lower quality food served quickly? Either way it would have helped us to have planned for this rather than become impatient - my tip is to make sure you get a quick drinks order in as you are seated.

Get a 15 EURO museum pass for 3 days - this is cheaper and allows access to the 5 main museums. Make sure you go to Tyne Cot Cemetary - very moving and visit Ypres and the Menin Gate.

If you have not been before then I recommend hiring a car before you travel to collect at the airport. It took 2 trains to get to Bruges at a return cost of between 40-50 euros and about 1.5 hours. You then need a return taxi when at the station which is a further 20 Euros. When we got to the hotel we ended up hiring a car anyway, parking at the hotel and using the excellent sat-nav to navigate and we drove back to the airport in about an hour - much more comfortable and the bonus of being able to get out and about.

Sorry its a long one - just thoroughly enjoyed the trip and will be want to tell people about it!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Thorny1066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2009

Perfect room, perfect service, excellent and fine french food for new year (I think a soon 1 "macaron" Michelin).
Very good spa and his swiming pool.
The service is perfect staff is very discreet, helpful and very friendly.

  • Stayed: December 2008
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Thank kinodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2008

I have stayed at the Kempinski Hotel in December with my girlfriend and it was a great experience.
We felt welcome from the very instant that we entered the hotel by the porter who offered us immediate help with our luggage. The reception staff was so friendly and very helpful. A receptionist escorted us to the room and showed us all the facilities of the hotel. The rooms are so spacious and very romantic. The matress and bedlinnen were of the best quality, I have never slept this good and comfortable before!

I have booked the culinary delights package and had a 3 course dinner in the restaurant. The service and food are so great that we returned to the restaurant the day after.
The spa is also very nice and relaxing, we have really enjoyed our swim in the pool and a sauna afterwards!
I am definetely going back and want to recommend this hotel to everybody.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dimitri06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2008

We came to Europe in the winter because we needed to use a first class plane ticket within a year. And we randomly selected a few famous places to visit in 3 1/2 weeks in mid-winter. Brigges was one of them -- and we picked the Duke's palace judging from reviews on several web sites.

This is a 5 star hotel -- this means personalized attention at every turn. From the personalized check in, tour of the property, and in the bar and restaurant. We managed to get a rate well below that promoted on Tripadvisor by just contacting the hotel via their web site.

Maartin at the front desk is a wealth of knowledge and he is so helpful on every aspect of your visit. The fellows in the bar are also very helpful and they know a great deal about Belgian beer. In the restaurant, the service is first rate and attentive. The breakfast is excellent (try the 'health drink').

The room rate is pricey -- but probably worth it if you would like to experience personalized attention, good food, good drinks, and all this about 3 short blocks from the Markt.

Bob / Tom

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled on business
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Thank QQ1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2008

I’ve traveled to many different places in the world and I’ve stayed in a variety of accommodations, anything from Bed & Breakfasts in remote towns to luxurious hotels in cosmopolitan cities and I can truly say I’ve never been as disappointed as I am with Kempinski Duke's Place and here is why…

Visiting Brugge was always on our list and this year when we planned our trip to Europe (France, Belgium and Germany) we planned to stay in Brugge for 3 days. After our friend’s recommendation we booked this hotel 3 months in advance, we bought our plane and train tickets and booked other hotels in different cities and were ready to go on our trip. However just a week before our departure date we received an email from the hotel manager informing us that the hotel was experiencing electrical/heating and water difficulties and as a result the could not accommodate any of their guests and instead they offered to put us in a hotel in another city in Brussels since all the hotels were entirely booked in Brugge. This was horrible news to receive since we had bought several train tickets, confirmed flights and other hotel bookings, therefore cancellation by Kimpenski a week in advance meant we could not find any other hotel in Brugge and had to change all our plans and reroute our trip. Since the hotel was only willing to help us find a hotel in Brussels (about an hour and half away from Brugge) we took the matters in our hands and made several changes to our flight and train tickets and basically lost money on few prepaid train tickets and two nights of hotel. We finally managed to change dates and booked another (wonderful) hotel in Brugge and Kimpseki invited us to a complementary dinner since we had initially booked the gastronomic package. Once we arrived in Brugge we went to the hotel for dinner, expecting a shut down hotel with lights off and I was curious how the restaurant was going to operate without electricity and water, regardless we arrived at the hotel only to find it all lit up with Christmas lights, cars pulling in and out and a lobby full of guests. Curious enough I went straight to the reservation desks and asked if there were any rooms available and I was shocked to learn that they were hosting a large group and all their rooms were fully booked, and when I asked whether the hotel was experiencing electrical difficulties the two staff members at the reservation desk confirmed that they were not aware of such thing, so I immediately asked to speak to the manager who basically explained that the other manager misinformed us about not having electricity and water...the true story is that after we booked our room...a group of 84 people required rooms, so in order to accommodate them the hotel lied to us and 3 other couples in order to accommodate the big group.

Again there was nothing the hotel could do that evening to change how I felt. As mentioned earlier my husband and I travel frequently and we have never ever encountered such unprofessionalism especially from a hotel that claims to be 5 star.

Upon our return when I sent the hotel receipt of the hotels that only had to be cancelled due to their cancellation, I was told that they would only be able to compensate us on any lost flights.

Before booking any hotel I read reviews of fellow travelers on Tripadvisor and I highly respect each one of them, therefore from one traveler to another…if you are thinking of choosing this hotel because it promises luxury and comfort, my suggestion to you is don’t bother booking this hotel unless you are travelling with a group of 80 and up. Brugge is a marvelous city full of other small boutiques and truly 5 star hotels (see my other reviews) that will treat each single guest with respect unlike Kimpenski. As for me, Kimpenski will never ever get my business again!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank birdette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2008

we have been lucky enough to stay in in a lot of nice hotels in the last few years and so we have become quite fussy on where we stay but this was definitely our favourite.

From the moment the taxi pulled up outside the hotel it really did have a wow factor. The staff were friendly but not overbearing which you sometimes get in a 5 star hotel and the hotel was quiet and in a great location.

We didnt have breakfast but would recommend not bothering as the main street is thirty meters away and there are wonderful caffes everywhere and obviously a lot better value.

We will be going back next year hopefully for Christmas markets,

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank TJCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges

Address: Prinsenhof 8, Bruges 8000, Belgium (Formerly Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace)
Region: Belgium > Flanders > West Flanders Province > Bruges
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bruges
#3 Business Hotel in Bruges
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bruges
#11 Family Hotel in Bruges
#14 Romantic Hotel in Bruges
Price Range: £133 - £385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges 5*
Number of rooms: 110
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

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