The area round the Oosthoekplein is a super-rich part of Het Zoute, itself probably the most exclusive resort in Belgium. If you're from the UK, think Buckinghamshire meets Bond Street. The Hotel P du Z looks expansive and inviting. Now read on...
SITUATION AND ARCHITECTURE
The P du Z is about a 15 minute bus ride from Knokke and buses run hourly but note that the last bus even in summer is at 9.00 pm. That said, a cab shouldn’t cost too much. The hotel building is actually quite attractive. I reckon it's getting on for 100 years old. It is the largest hotel in this part of Het Zoute by a country mile and is located centrally, opposite the baker and the front looks out at the setting sun. However, you need to know that this is not a kiss-me-quick resort. The Oosthoekplein is big on money and superficial refinement. There are a couple of (inevitably expensive) restaurants nearby but I can recommend Vlinderhof, which was absolutely first rate and only fractured the bank, without actually breaking it. In the day time, you also have the Siska Waffels place (go there!) opposite. Other attractions nearby are the Vlindertuin (butterfly park) and Het Zwin, a nature reserve in the dunes, with an aviary. So, there’s plenty to do nearby.
While you don't need to be a Middle Eastern potentate to stay here, it certainly helps. It boasts four stars and charges accordingly but you simply don't get value for what you pay. One area where you do, ironically, is in the dining room, where a four course dinner is almost given away (and is excellent quality, too).
Check in was a shambles. The vehicular access is from the rear of the building and if there's more than one other guest at the reception desk, you're in for a wait. Reception staff (Mine Host, when we booked in) aren't up to standard, either. The members of staff are, as is so often the case, excellent but there simply aren't enough of them. Canny Flemish parsimony, I think. The bar is not routinely staffed and you have to wait for someone to come from reception or the dining room. There is no dedicated cafe, either.
THE ROOM - DECOR &c
Our room seemed OK but no more than OK. There was no tea and coffee making facilities, one of the windows (it was dual aspect, which was nice) didn't open. The 'phone didn't work properly (and this was not due to my ignorance of Dutch), the guest information was about ten years or so out of date, the bathroom was bizarre. The extractor didn't work and the glass door did not come all the way down to the floor. Nice. The telly had BBC and ITV for those I-can't-be-bothered-to-work-out-what-they're-saying-in-Dutch moments.
FOOD 'n' DRINK
Service in the bar was almost non-existent though I level no criticism against the staff. Management are you listening? That's a shame, as the bar was very pleasant. There is a totally eclectic mix of bric-a-brac decorating the bar, which is furnished very comfortably - not with the usual identikit furniture, either. Despite their reputed meanness (as a Scot, I entirely understand), the Flemish do like their food and drink and terms such as 'small portion' or ‘wee dram' mean nothing to them. So portions in the dining room (I call it that, as you can't dine their casually as a non-resident) were more than adequate (and there were four courses for dinner) and asking for a post-prandial brandy produced a bucket of VSOP (as a Scot, I entirely approve).
I'm not sure I'll be going back there, which is a shame. I'd very much like to like the place more than I do but there are simply too many shortcomings. If there's a hotel equivalent of Gordon Ramsay to pout a bomb under the management, perhaps the P du Z can be his first victim.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, Booking.com and Ebookers so you can book your Hotel Pavillon du Zoute reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.