We stayed during the first weekend in December and had travelled to Bruges for the Christmas market. After a delayed flight and rail journey (Bruges is not that easy to get to if your plans don't run to time and the Belgian rail system is nothing short of chaotic) we then waited 40 mins in the pouring rain to get a taxi. My first piece of advice is to book a taxi to pick you up from the station through the hotel to avoid the wait, cost is 7-10 euros.
Thankfully when we arrived at the hotel the staff couldn't have been more welcoming. The room was great with every amenity except tea/coffee which was my only disappointment and the bathroom was fabulous. We had a meal in the bar and a delicious mug of their own homemade gluhwien. After that the dreadful journey evaporated from our minds and we settled in.
The hotel is centrally located just off one of the main shopping streets and is walking distance to all the main attractions. It has a great bar and restaurant and the food is comparable pricewise to other restaurants in the city, all of which were incredibly busy so we went back to the hotel for a more relaxed meal. On our second evening our package included a 3 course dinner and this turned out to be a set menu. I asked to change the main course as I don't like pheasant and this was accommodated with ease and we were served venison instead. I wouldn't have chosen that either but it was very nice.
We also had a private walking tour included in our package and this was fantastic. It lasted 90 minutes which was perfect and took us slightly off the beaten track. If we hadn't done this we would have missed a lot of the wonderful architecture and history of the city. If you don't have this included, ask the hotel reception team to arrange one for you, it will make a big difference to your stay.
Also get recommendations from the lovely receptionists for restaurants, chocolate shops and places to go. They can help you pick out the highlights of Bruges if you don't have a lot of time to explore on your own.
I would certainly return to Bruges but I would consider driving as parking costs at the hotel outweigh the laborious journey from London for sure. There is so much lovely shopping that you can then easily fill the boot of your car without having to carefully cram everything into a suitcase and lug it on and off trains. The Christmas market did not add much to our visit, I thought it only added people with the main city shops being much more interesting. Next time I return, I will be going in January when the crowds have gone and I look forward to enjoying another luxurious stay at the Kempinski Dukes Palace. Thanks for a fabulous stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the former 15th-century Prinsenhof Palace and fromer home to the Dukes' of Burgundy, Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace is perfectly situated in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage city Bruges. The palace was built in 1430 by Duke Philip the Good for his marriage to Isabella van Portugal. The hotel has 93 rooms including 22 suites of which 6 are heritage listed. All rooms offer elegant furnishing with modern conveniences including individually controlled air-conditioning, plasma TV and high-speed Wireless Internet Access. Restaurant 'Manuscript' is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a refined Belgian cuisine. Bar Atelier is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail, chilled draft beer or a wide selection of international wines. The glass windows give you a beautiful view of the 3000 sqm garden. During the summer months, the terrace is the place to be in Bruges! The Spa features an indoor swimming pool sauna, steam bath and fitness center. Additionally, a wide range of facial treatments and massages is offered.The hotel is located in the heart of Bruges, just a few minutes from the bustling Market Square, Groeninge Museum and busy shopping streets. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kempinski Hotel Dukes Palace
- Kempinski Hotel Bruges