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“Excellent hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Dukes' Palace

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Hotel Dukes' Palace
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Prinsenhof 8, Bruges 8000, Belgium (Formerly Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 101 hotels in Bruges
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

We stayed here for two nights in a superior room. The room was in the new part of the building on the 5th floor. The room was very clean, modern but classic and had great views of The Bell Tower. The hotel itself was in a great central but quiet location. Our first night was the night they had crowned a new Belgium King and the market square had a large live concert. Despite of this loud music outside we heard nothing inside our room which we were very pleased with. It was 30 degrees plus during our stay and our room had the perfect temperature thanks to efficient air con.

The breakfast was impressive with a wide choice - the scrambled eggs and pancakes being our favourite. Excellent continental offering with local cheeses - which were delicious.

The hotel staff were very polite and spoke good English. We are a couple in our early twenties and hotels of this standard in the past have treated us with caution however this was not the case here. We were made to feel very welcome and at home.

If I had to pick a few negatives -
- Better in room refreshment facilities such as complimentary tea or coffee and cold water. 3.50 euro for a small bottle of water was rather over priced (even by 5 star standards)
- Our tv had poor reception and would not pick up the sport channels (other half desperately wanted to watch the end of the Tour de France)
- Could not actually connect to the free wifi on my iPhone - great for avoiding emails but sometimes you just need to connect and this was annoying especially when you are paying enough for the room as it is
- Needs a better in room guide such as partnership restaurants, places they recommend to visit, hints, services they can offer or book on your behalf such as saw Segway tours of Bruges which would have been nice to know on arrival not on the last day

However we loved the hotel...If we visit Bruges again then we would with out a doubt stay at this hotel.

Thank you for a lovely stay in the very romantic Bruges!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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795 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
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United Kindong
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

I actually stayed at the Grand Hotel Cassellburgh but they advised us that they had recently also purchased the Hotel Dukes Palace (apparently the only 5 star hotel in Bruges)

We visited several times to have drinks and snacks in the garden/grounds area, a beautiful place and very tranquil where it felt miles away from the town rather than a couple of hundred yards

The soft drink prices were surprisingly reasonable for an establishment of that calibre e.g. around 3 euros which was cheaper than many restaurants and coffee shops etc

The staff were lovely too with a warm welcome always received

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skipton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

This is a gem of a hotel in the heart of Bruges, tucked away down a side street, it doesn't need to be the centre of attention, it's presentation speaks for itself. Beautiful rooms, lovely grounds and exceptional service, the food was great too! White chocolate and champagne go very well together! I would recommend this hotel, it was everything it could be and more.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franschhoek
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

This is a great property in a stunning situation. However the two storey suite was not up to scratch with the bedroom being up a small and narrow circular stairway which was difficult to negotiate and always in danger of hitting your head on the way down.
The staff are very helpful and the breakfast excellent and worth a trip.

Room Tip: Don't go for the split level suite. Insust on a room in the main block
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

What makes a 5-star Hotel?

Facilities? Appearance? Location? Service and Attitude?

In all these areas this offspring of the Kempinski family is a very mixed bag indeed.

The location could not be better - right in the medieval heart of Bruges, within a stone's throw of the market place but tucked away in a quiet side street, so no outside noise. The building itself is impressive, and the interior decor stylish and elegant, totally avoiding any kitsch or vulgarity. Facilities are mostly very good - there is a small-ish gym with a few treadmills and rovers, a spa area, and a small but beautiful pool area. The small sauna is great, although no waterbucket is provided so take bottled water if you'd like steam.

The Hamam, frankly, was too grotty for us to go in. There's a fair amount of mould growing and you can see and smell it.

This is a shame in a house that is otherwise so beautiful, so stylish, and proudly shows off public areas that are spotless and a pleasure to be in. The hotel is non-smoking.

Rooms are spacious, well equipped, and some (like ours) are wheelchair accessible. It would have been nice to have a bit if information on the house's history and background in the room folder.

What is it with luxury hotels and WLAN? Wireless internet access should, these days, be included in the price of a upmarket hotel room. Here, you have to chose between "fast internet" (for which you have to pay extra) and "regular" internet, which is free but makes you sign back in every few minutes, so you soon stop bothering with it.

The reception was well staffed, very friendly, professional and efficient. Service at the breakfast buffet was perfect - friendly and attentive without being overbearing. Breakfast in general is a very pleasant affair, tables far enough apart to give you privacy and quiet, and large windows make the room feel airy and light.

It is the Housekeeping that lets the side down and is the reason for the comparatively low rating.

On arrival we found that there were several large blood stains in the middle of the mattress, visible through the sheet. In a hotel of this caliber there is really, absolutely, positively No Excuse for this. It is impossible that the housekeeper did not see it when making the beds, so he/she must have thought this is acceptable. It is not, it is disgusting. Oh and by the way I do know the difference between red wine and dried blood.

We pointed the problem out to reception staff (with hindsight, we should have shown it to a manager) - they said they're sorry. When we returned to our room the offending mattress protector was removed but not replaced - and the housekeeper did not bother to tuck the bedsheets back in and re-do the bed.

Bloodstained beds would be unacceptable in a backpackers, and is certainly unacceptable in a house proudly displaying 5 stars. Apart from the verbal "i'm sorry" from reception we did not receive any apology. A simple card from management expressing regret would have gone a long way.

The next day our room was not made up until late in the afternoon, despite displaying the appropriate door sign and despite several houskeeping staff standing around on the corridors and chatting.

This is such a shame - a beautiful, historic house with amazing staff in a great location, being let down by housekeepers who simply don't care.

Luxury hotels are team work - only if every staff member cares about what the guests think will they have a luxury experience.

If housekeeping is sorted we would love to return.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

So, it's 12:43 am...and I'm awake. I'm inclined to put this down to the fact that the music from this Saturday's wedding at the Duke's Palace hotel is still blurting through the hotel. The base is particularly interesting. Our room is on the fourth floor yet still we can't seem to escape the extremely cheesy disco beats. I mean, give me some Indie rock, or maybe some Classical and I might not be so upset...

So, on ringing reception to politely ask when the music is likely to stop, I'm informed that it will continue until 2 am. When I point out that I'm paying rather a lot to be kept awake until that time, I'm nervously informed that my room number has been noted and that I can expect the General Manager to speak to me in the morning. Hmm. I hardly think that's going to assist me in getting some sleep and in ending my holiday on a relaxing note. On the plus side my nervous receptionist vowed to ask 'them' to turn the music down, and to his credit, 20 minutes later, it is a little quieter...although now members of the Wedding Party have started singing along on the lawn below our window. Brilliant.

So, to be fair to the hotel, you can expect grandeur, clean rooms, stylish bathrooms and a nice luggage porter. Good location too - close to the main square but nicely removed from all that hussel and bussel...and, well, noise (ironically). The spa area is very small and the swimming pool can hardly be termed an exercise pool - I'm 5ft 6 and can clear a length with around 3-4 strokes. But for all that a hotel is essentially where you sleep, right? and the more you pay the more comfortable you expect that night's sleep to be. So, my advice would be to check if a wedding is happening on the dates you want to stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Arriving in this hotel, makes you feel like a prince and princess. A warm welcome, polite, friendly, helpfull and stylish. We received polite information for during our stay in the hotel and a city map with all the attractions and places to be. Our car is parked for us under the hotel in the private parkingspace.
The room was a luxury suite on the 4th floor with view over the garden. Perfect quietness!
In the room was a coffeemachine, a dozen of bathroom products, a sewing kit, bath robes and slippers. The WIFI is charged at 5Euro per day which is a little minus taking in concideration that the prices of the rooms are rather high.
The spa facilities are clean and lots of extra products are foreseen same as clean towels.
Breakfast is heavenly good. Everything is included even a glass of cava or poached eggs with salmon.
I certainly recommand this hotel to everyone who is able to afford this. This is absolutely a 5 star hotel!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Dukes' Palace

Address: Prinsenhof 8, Bruges 8000, Belgium (Formerly Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace)
Phone Number:
Location: Belgium > Flanders > West Flanders Province > Bruges
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bruges
#5 Business Hotel in Bruges
#10 Luxury Hotel in Bruges
#15 Family Hotel in Bruges
#17 Romantic Hotel in Bruges
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Dukes' Palace 5*
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

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