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“Great weekend break - shame about hot water”

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The Dukes Head Hotel
Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in King's Lynn
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We booked a weekend break at the Legacy Duke's Head through Secret Escapes and were not disappointed in our choice, we really enjoyed exploring King's Lynn and its surrounds, and our room (#5) was immaculately clean, beautifully decorated and very comfortable.

Our package included breakfast both mornings, and dinner in Turner's Restaurant on one night. At dinner, the ingredients were obviously high-quality and the portions were generous. I would say that our main courses were a bit mixed in terms of success, but the puddings were excellent. We thought the breakfast buffet was very good in terms of quality and choice.

A couple of small things were not ideal. Our Secret Escapes package was sold as including "a chilled bottle of champagne on arrival", and sure enough, the receptionist asked us right away if we'd like our champagne in our room or with dinner. But when we asked our dinner waiter for it, we discovered that what you actually get is prosecco. We queried this and he said "yes, this is prosecco champagne." I like prosecco perfectly well - but if that's what the offer is, say so, don't be misleading.

The other issue was the water pump. On our first night, we were woken by loud rattling/banging noise, seemingly from under the hotel, which occured every couple of minutes. We called reception at about 1.30am and were told it was the water pump and that it 'might stop of its own accord'. It didn't. The next night, we didn't hear the noise, but in the morning there was no hot water at all. When we checked out, we mentioned this and the receptionist told us it was due to the water pump, and had affected all rooms, but would be fixed later that day - which was hardly relevant to departing guests who'd had cold showers. She didn't offer any apology whatsoever, which meant we left feeling annoyed - a simple "I'm sorry" would have been nice. It was a shame as all the other staff we'd met over the weekend were very friendly and helpful indeed.

Lastly, I have seen other reviews mention how bad the parking situation is - we didn't agree. When we arrived on Friday night, it was getting late and the carpark was full, so we had to pay to park in the square, but this cost only £1 until the following morning, so it was no great inconvenience. The next day and night we had no trouble getting a space in the hotel parking lot.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank danbam
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 2 December 2013

Dear danbam

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel on Trip Advisor. I was pleased to read that you had made use of our Secret Escapes offer, and a few issues aside, had an enjoyable stay.

The offer does indeed include Champagne, and I can only apologise that you were served Prosecco with your dinner, I have spoken to the Food and Beverage Manager to ensure that this does not happen again.

As for the water situation, we did have a malfunction with our water booster pump, which I am pleased to announce has since been repaired, however I sincerely apologise to you for the inconvenience this caused.

I do hope that you will come and visit us again in the future where I am sure you will have a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Kindest regards.

David Williams
General Manager

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802 - 808 of 1,078 reviews

Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

Very clean room and nice and warm thought the staff were very nice and helpful. Located in the centre of town with limited parking I didn't have a meal but breakfast was very good. I will be staying again.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank FrancisUddingston
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 2 December 2013

Dear FrancisUddingston

Thank you for posting a review on Trip Advisor, I was delighted to read that you found our rooms to be nice and clean and that the staff were nice and helpful.

I will be sure to pass on your comments to my team as it is they who really make a difference to our guests.

Thank you again.

Kindest regards

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 12 November 2013

We were intrigued by the address and impressed by the facade. The entrance, lounge and dining rooms seemed charming but we were in the newer extension where the rooms were pleasant enough. Outside temperatures were above 30 C so we attempted to adjust the climate control only to find it was for information only. A fan was readily obtained though. Next we battled with the shower taps which proved to be a challenge. Cleaners told us on inquiry that 'they were all broken like that!' After 3 days we asked when the linen might be changed only to discover that the Hotel was 'environmentally friendly' and it would happen the next day. There had been no indication whatsoever of this policy. The breakfast selection was good and staff helpful. The hotel was located virtually at the end of the 'High Street" and near pubs, restaurants and historic sites such as the Corn Exchange and town hall.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Aussie_tripper064
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 2 December 2013

Dear Aussie_tripper064

Thank you for posting a review on Trip Advisor. Our rooms unfortunately do not have air conditioning, and having experienced one of the hottest summers of late, I agree that it was exceptionally hot, but I was pleased to read that we quickly supplied you with a fan to make your stay a little better.

All shower controls have now been changed as there was a fault which the manufacturer has since addressed. As for linen, I am sorry that your sheets were not changed, this has since been addressed with my Head Housekeeper.

I hope that you will come and stay with us again the next time you visit Kings Lynn.

Kindest regards

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 November 2013

This hotel has been smartly done up since I last stayed and the rooms are lovely, clean and comfy if somewhat underli. But, oh dear, it does let itself down with the breakfast which was much more suited to a motorway lodge than a beautiful old building in the centre of historic Kings Lynn. Talk about unappetising... And as we were the last to come down to breakfast, we could see just how much waste there was in the trays of hot food. I actually took the trouble to count the sausages etc (I know, a bit OCD of me, but waste is a bugbear of mine) and there was enough left over for about 20 hungry people who fancied a lot of extra grease with their bacon and egg. When I asked what would happen to the leftovers, I was told the staff might have a bit, but otherwise it was all going to be thrown out. Terrible waste! A hotel with pretensions to class should serve freshly cook breakfasts, and food of better quality. I risked the sausages and wished I hadn't.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
3  Thank MIssDillie
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 louisemiriam

Thank you for posting a review on Trip Advisor. I was pleased to read that you found the hotel and its rooms to be lovely, smart and very clean and I thank you for these comments.

I was, however, sorry to read your comments regarding breakfast and that an assumption was made regarding waste. Breakfast is freshly cooked every morning using only the best ingredients available to us of which some are locally sourced, and as for quantity, we do need to cater for all of the residents which we have in house so as not to run out and the food is replenished at regular intervals during the service so that it is always fresh and plentiful.

We offer, as you know, a buffet style breakfast here at the Dukes Head where guests can eat as much or as little as they like and generally this is very well received.

On this particular day, we had a group of RAF Airmen staying with us who, unfortunately, needed to leave without having breakfast, and this is why we were left with more 'left overs' than usual, and as you say the staff were given the opportunity of eating this.

I hope that you will come and stay with us again soon.

Best regards

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 4 November 2013

On arrival we were worried,other guests were muttering about lack of hot water. However we experienced no such problems. This place grew on us. It was warm and friendly and very relaxing. The staff were a delight and the evening meal we had in the restaurant was excellent.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Albarino123
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 Albarino123

Thank you so much for posting a lovely review of our hotel on Trip Advisor, I was delighted to read that you had enjoyed your stay and that you found the hotel friendly and relaxing with good food.

I sincerely hope to welcome you back in the near future where I am sure you will have an equally enjoyable time.

Kindest regards

David Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 3 November 2013

Completely agree with TwinknCrumb review.
We stayed Thurs - Sat (wedding on Sat, now glad we left; even though we did want to stay). Also booked via Travelzoo DB&B, plus second night B &B.
Thursday cream tea in the Lounge lovely and peaceful, and set menu in the restaurant that evening delicious, although service slipped when the restaurant became busy and we had to wait for 30 mins for dessert, although the staff were very apologetic. Must say restaurant didn't seem that busy though.
Breakfast Friday morning oh dear:
Staff grumpy, didn't seem to want to be there, everything was too much trouble,
Hot counter had several items missing, and I had to ask for them,
All the pastries had gone and weren't refreshed,
Coffee difficult to come by, and no offer or refills
Other guests also upset and grumbling.
Very, very disappointed after a great day before.
Mentioned to reception staff after breakfast.
Breakfast the second morning no better, couldn't have faced another one so glad they didn't have room Saturday night!
It is a shame a lovely hotel, with excellent staff is let down by the last thing guests see before they leave...

Room Tip: We stayed in 21 perfect!
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Wadadli96
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 Wadadli96

Thank you for posting a review of your stay with us on Trip Advisor, I was pleased to read that you found the food to be delicious and that you had taken advantage of our Travel Zoo offer.

I was, however, sorry to read that you felt the service in the restaurant was slow and that you also felt that the breakfast staff seemed grumpy and for these issues I would like to sincerely apologise to you.

Please be assured that your comments have been taken very seriously on board and will be dealt with by my Food and Beverage Manager, because as you say last impressions do count and sometimes paint a poorer picture.

I am sure that should you return you would experience the hotel in a completely different light.

Kindest regards

David Williams
General Manager

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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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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: 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
#7 Family Hotel in King's Lynn
Price Range: £53 - £112 (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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