Although the staff were extremely efficient and attentive the hotel seemed to be rather understaffed. One 'superwoman' on front of house was manning the desk, taking food orders from the restaurant, serving AND clearing. This was not a one off either, it was the same for both breakfast and dinner on both days. Although she clearly made a huge effort to make it seem seamless she just can't be everywhere and the reception was frequently unmanned.
There are some very nice features in the building - a huge wall of moving glass in the reception leading to a cobbled courtyard, the old staircase is hidden behind a secret, sliding wall, very high, beamed ceilings on the 1st floor and ornate plaster works on the ground floor. It was certainly interesting and different. The decor is Scandinavian in style, dark greys with white, clean and minimalist.
There was a strong smell of cigarette smoke on the 1st Floor, whether there are smoking rooms or it was wafting up from the courtyard we weren't sure, but was quite unpleasant.
The room (Room 9) was clean and well decorated, with wonderful high ceilings, lots of storage space, a bath & shower but our 'double' was 2 singles made up individually & pushed together and the beds must have been ancient - there was a huge dip in mine and my husband's. The BBC channels didn't work (the only English channels except Discovery) and they were slightly reluctant to hand out more than one Internet Pass per room as it makes 'the system slow'. The heating/cooling system must have been centrally set to heat only and was certainly archaic - despite being Nov we like our room cooler, it was v hot and we didn't want to open the window as the road outside was pretty noisy and busy, but the air conditioner only blasted out hot air...
Dinner, wine and service and breakfast were all fantastic. Top notch. The king scallops were particularly delicious, as was the fresh juice in the morning and the pastries. Having said that, for the Brits going - pear crumble is not what you're imagining and the king crab is very peculiar, as though it has been preserved somehow - it isn't what you're used to anyway!
We'd stay here again though and I'm certain that the small niggley issues could easily be straightened out.
N.B. FOR THOSE WITH CHILDREN: there is a pond at the back of the hotel in the garden that is disguised by pond weed, so its the same colour as the grass and it isn't marked or cordoned off. Something to be aware of if you have inquisitive for children!
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- Also Known As:
- Messeyne Hotel Kortrijk