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“nice hotel, excellent food, let down by disorganised service.”

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The Dukes Head Hotel
Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in King's Lynn
Reviewed 2 November 2013

We booked a Travelzoo deal to come to the hotel for a Saturday night stay. The deal itself was excellent value. On arrival, reception staff were really helpful and friendly. We went to the lounge for our included cream tea. The lounge quickly became very overcrowded with guests for a wedding. Chairs were moved around the lounge by staff, which then caused them to have to step over the chairs with trays of hot drinks. It was clear that staff were really truing their best, but there was too much to do and to many people in a small space. We overheard comments from other nearby guests to the effect of “I feel like I have come to Fawlty Towers”. Despite the above, the cream tea was delicious! I note the manager’s comments below re the Griffin room being an option for afternoon tea, but this information was never offered up by staff and probably would have made things nicer for everyone.

We had reserved for dinner at the hotel as part of the package. The menu choices were good and the quality of the food excellent. The staff were clearly over worked and there appeared to be no one coordinating things which left the full dining room with a service that was inconsistent and disorganised. This was not because individual staff members were not trying their best! They were clearly embarrassed at the level of service they were able to provide. One element of our main course was forgotten. We noticed the same for other customers. We did point this out, (but no staff came near us until we had all but finished this course, otherwise we would have said something sooner. We were kindly given some complimentary petit fours, but would have preferred to actually have the vegetable with the main dish.

We waited 20-30 minutes between our starters being cleared and our main course arriving. The table next to us got their main courses immediately, but this appeared to be because of a mix up over the timing of their starters. It was sad to see the staff so clearly under pressure as they were really trying their best but overrun with demand.

The same applied to breakfast the next morning. Breakfast selection and quality was good, but with food elements and crockery constantly running out. Because elements of the cooked breakfast were so intermittent in arriving, this meant that customers were constantly having to get up and down from their tables and there was far more footfall in the small room than there would have been otherwise. There were plenty of staff around, but again no-one had an overview of what any of the customers needed. This meant people having to get up ask for cutlery etc. Staff would then get distracted from what they had been doing to appease a different guest’s complaint. There were lots of people muttering and complaining around the room, which does not make for a relaxed breakfast service for staff or customers.

Overall, we had a very nice stay and Kings Lynn is really interesting. Parking was no issue for us at the hotel and is an added bonus. Just a few improvements on service could make this hotel so much better than it currently is. I am sure the staff would be much happier if they were able to deliver the leave of service they clearly wanted to. No complain about the staff themselves at all! Well done for your efforts in difficult circumstances!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TwinknChumb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Dear TwinknChumb

Thank you for posting your review on Trip Advisor, and please accept my sincerest apologies that you too were disturbed by the wedding party in our lounge.

Since receiving your review, and that of others, I have now decided not to have wedding events in the lounge or other public areas in the future, so as not to disturb other guests staying at the hotel.

I was also sorry to read your comments regarding dinner service and the service at breakfast, and you can rest assured that these issues will be addressed by my Food and Beverage Manager who during this time was on annual leave.

I was delighted, however, to read your very positive comments about the food and the hotel in general and that you felt the Travel Zoo deal was great value.

I sincerely hope that this was a one off day and should you return to visit us again I am confident you will have a completely different experience.

My very best wishes.

David Williams
General Manager

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836 - 842 of 1,106 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2013

Good location on Tuesday Market square. We managed to find the hotel easily enough, and had no problems parking in the hotel car park. The girl on reception during check in on the afternoon of 28th Ocotober, was helpful and friendly.
I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the hotel. Our room was spotless. Nicely decorated rooom, with very comfortable beds. I had a great nights sleep.
We ate at Turner's restaurant on the evening of our overnight stay, this is well worth a visit....delicious food, 3 coursesfor £25.
Overall, we had a lovely stay in the Dukes Head Hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TinaLamby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear TinaLamby

Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write such a lovely review of our hotel on Trip Advisor, I was delighted to read that you had thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us,

I sincerely hope that you will come and visit us again soon where I am sure you will have an equally enjoyable time.

My very best wishes.

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

Booked this for or wedding anniversary. :Lovely hotel, delicious food. But
-when booking was assured there was car parking. There is, but very limited. We ended up in the public car park "feeding the meter" Don't even ask about the madam on reception when we asked for help about alternative parking
- there was a wedding on that day. Very nice for them. But EVERY table in the lounge that afternoon had a "reserved" sign for the wedding guests. The hotel doesn't give a damn about residents who might want afternoon tea, Thank you to the lovely barman who took pity and "acquired" 2 chairs and a side table
- no mirror in bedroom (only bathroom) and no full length mirror. If you want to use hair straighteners - plug, no mirror.. Obviously designed by a man!.
And because of walking difficulties I requested a room without too many stairs. Floor 3, down a flight of stairs, round a corner, down a corridor..sorry madam can't change, fully booked.,,even though I booked 2 months ago.
- Avoid room 30, it has the kitchen extractor fan outside and makes sleep impossible
But the staff (apart from the girl on reception, but she was probably fed up defending the appalling car parking) were excellent
The food was heavenly!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank mojo42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear mojo42

Firstly many congratulations on your wedding anniversary and secondly thank you for posting a review on Trip Advisor.

I was sorry to read that you had experienced a few issues during your stay, some of which I have addressed already, but mainly that there was a wedding party using the lounge which made it difficult for you to order afternoon tea in that area, we did, however, have ample space in our Gryffens restaurant at the front of the hotel where we serve many afternoon teas each day up to 6pm.

Your comments regarding my staff and the food is very much appreciated, and your comments regarding reception has been addressed.

I believe that this was an unusual day here at the hotel and should you be able to return to stay with us again you will experience the hotel in a completely different light.

Best regards

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 October 2013

The hotel fronts on to the Tuesday Market Square in Kings Lynn, a large imposing old building with a Victorian frontage in an excellent loction. But most of the rooms are in a modern extension behind the old building and they were very poor. The decor was neutral and harmless (touch of Premier Inn)but in a double room there was only one chair and the lighting was so poor that it was impossible to read except lying on the bed with your head at precisely the right angle to catch the light. Very disappointing. Aforementioned Premier Inn could offer lessons in room comfort. Also the shower was tepid; they had problems with the boiler - not their fault and the staf were trying to sort it out, but they odn't offer any compensation

Room Tip: Ask for one in the old building at the front
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hilary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear Hilary S

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay on Trip Advisor.

I was sorry to read that you felt the décor of the rooms was not to your taste and that there was insufficient lighting, I am certain that had you have requested more lighting at the time we would have been more than happy to have supplied you with a standard or table lamp for your use thus increasing your comfort.

The boiler issue on Saturday morning was resolved by 10am, and again we would have been more than happy to have offered you a later checkout if you had requested this as we did for other guests.

Perhaps when you next visit, you request a room at the front as you suggest and I am sure there will be no issues with hot water.

Kindest regards

David Williams
General manager

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Reviewed 24 October 2013

I was travelling for work and allocated this hotel due to location. It has been recently refurbished and the decor is good throughout. Staff are incredibly helpful and conscientious.

Food was good in the restaurant if a little old fashioned in menu choice. Breakfast was an excellent selection.

The main thing that let this hotel down was the size of the rooms. By using large beds they have compromised the space available. Overall though a good reliable stay

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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Thank MachiavellianSheep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear MachiavellianSheep

Thank you for posting a review of our hotel on Trip Advisor, I was delighted to read that you felt the hotel was of a good quality with great staff and food to match.

As you say some rooms are smaller than others, the cosy doubles especially, but they are priced lower than our Standard, Classic or Feature rooms which have more floor space and generally have a view over the market square. Perhaps when you next stay you request one of these room types.

Thank you once again for your invaluable feedback and I hope to see you back with us soon.

Kindest regards

David Williams
General Manager .

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

Had a lovely two night stay with Secret Escapes, arrived and were greeted by the friendly receptionist, who had provisionally booked our table for dinner that evening and offered to serve the champagne with our meal, which was perfect. The meal was superb, the staff attentive and caring, and only downside was the restaurant was stifling. However the weather was unseasonably mild, and the heating was unfortunately on!
We turned off the radiator in our room, and opened the window, and the room was comfortable, smart and well furnished. We had everything we needed, including a good nights sleep.
Breakfast was good, again the staff were efficient and attentive, and well managed. Our order of poached eggs arrived promptly and were perfectly cooked.
Kings Lynn itself was a delight, with lots of history to explore. We did the Walks and Tower Gardens, the Minster, Old Town and Goal, Majestic Cinema, Corn Exchange Theatre, Custom House, Marriott's Warehouse, and ate in the hotel and Market Bistro (see separate review). When we checked out on Sunday morning, we were told we could continue to use the hotel car park for the rest of the day, if we wanted to stay in town, which we did. This level of service makes the difference between whether or not you return, and we surely will. Thank you Dukes Head

Room Tip: We were in room 11, if you don't mind two flights of stairs, then this is worth the climb as ove...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank TessDunmow_Essex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

Dear TessDunmow_Essex

Thank you for posting such a lovely review of our hotel on Trip Advisor, I was delighted to read that you had enjoyed your stay with us which you booked through Secret Escapes.

As you mention, there is so much to see and do here in Kings Lynn and the Dukes head is a great place to stay when exploring.

Please keep an eye open for future deals.

My very best wishes

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

The hotel was chosen as part of a work package, and it is the centre of Kings Lynn in the market square and a couple of minutes from the river estuary,first impression from the front is very oldie wowldy and all through down stairs is very in keeping with it's history and later found it has been recently renovated and done very well. Checking in was straight forward with lovley staff.
The room was in the rear side of the hotel which is not part of the original hotel but none the less very good size and clean and great beds very comfy.Breakfast in the morning was excellent and was no problem when I asked for a de-caff coffee, again the staff were very helpfull.
Had a meal in the restaurant on the last night and it was amazing every thing was top class.
For some reason the heating through out was full blast so it got a bit warm in the restaurant so had to pop outside to cool down after we had finished eating, in the room I managed to turn it off. The bar area was very comfy with deep leather setees and chairs, and the beer was a tad expensive,and on the first night none of the beer pumps worked so had to have bottled.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Thank TravellingTrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, General Manager at The Dukes Head Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

Dear TravellingTrog

I was delighted to read your review on Trip Advisor, and was very pleased to see that you had enjoyed your stay and the food in particular.

Perhaps when you return to Kings Lynn you will stay with us again.

My very best wishes.

David Williams
General manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Dukes Head Hotel

Address: The Duke's Head 5-6 Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 1JS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > King's Lynn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in King's Lynn
Price Range: £50 - £113 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Dukes Head Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of King's Lynn old town and overlooking the historic market place, the Duke's Head is perfect for discovering what Norfolk has to offer to the business and leisure traveller. Since Georgian times, this impressive classical building has welcomed visitors including Princess Victoria and Sir Robert Walpole (generally considered to be the first Prime Minister of Great Britain) in considerable comfort and style.Its location overlooking the ancient market place in the centre of King's Lynn would have denoted its importance in a town peppered with fine historic buildings. The Duke's Head is located walking distance away from King's Lynn station, nightlife, restaurants, bars and leisure club. Kings Lynn is serviced by regular trains to London and serves as an ideal location for discovering Norfolk. North Norfolk is an ideal tourist destination. Whether you enjoy the lively atmosphere and entertainment offered by traditional seaside resorts, the tranquility of the small fishing villages, which spring to life at high tide, you can't help but be impressed by the beautiful coastline and the fascinating history of its towns. The Hotel has recently benefited from a 3 million pound refurbishment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elizabeth Dukes Head Hotel
Dukes Head Kings Lynn
The Dukes Head Hotel UK/Norfolk

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