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“An Amazing and Unique Property”

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Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges
Ranked #14 of 97 Hotels in Bruges
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2012

We stayed at the Duke’s Palace for 2 nights just after Christmas and very much enjoyed our stay.

The hotel is in an amazing building that, in short, looks like a castle. It is very well located to the sights in Bruges but the location itself is very quiet.

We splurged and tried the Isabella of Portugal Suite and it was definitely an experience. First of all, the room is more or less off by itself – the first time they showed us the route to get to it I wasn’t sure I would find my way back (but I did). Because it was off by itself, the room was very quiet which I loved. The room itself was amazing with the high vaulted ceilings and wood beams. One thing to bear in mind if you are considering this room is that it is very very cool looking, but really is not necessarily all that user friendly. For example the room is very large, but there aren’t any super comfortable places to sit (no couch just several chairs and the bed). Again, we really enjoyed it, but had we been there for more than a couple of nights, I think a more comfortable room would have been preferred. The other issue we had with the room was that with the very high vaulted ceilings it was impossible to get the sleeping area warm (exactly the opposite of the problem we had in another hotel on our trip). I am absolutely glad we tried the room, but just bear in mind that they are some drawbacks to the cool historical room.

Aside from the design quirks, the room was very nice, with a huge bed, various chairs, a desk, a small sort of dining table, and coffee/tea making facilities which we always appreciate. The bathroom was perfectly nice with dual sinks and separate shower and tub.
We explored the hotel quite a bit and found it fascinating. Because it used to be a palace, there are all sort of different staircases, areas and hallways. The overall map of the hotel must be a maze. On the way to our room you passed the spiral staircase that is in the round tower; there is also a beautiful chapel that is used for events. If you stay here, definitely just wander around and you will see what I mean.

We enjoyed the breakfast in the hotel restaurant which was very nice. We also took advantage of the bar area for drinks on several occasions as well as tea one afternoon. The view over the internal gardens is very nice.

The staff was very helpful with reservations and were happy to show us the chapel when we asked (and to answer all my questions about the very unique property). The concierge was helpful before we arrived in arranging various car transfers.

We definitely recommend the Duke’s Palace and will stay again if we return to Bruges.

Room Tip: The Isabella of Portugal Suite was quite an experience!
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank SarahInSoCal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,714 - 1,720 of 2,877 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2012

Stayed at the Kempinski in Bruges for one night in late December. Definitely exceeded expectations as far as room size and quality when compared to most European accomodations. The room was large and very well kept, well decorated and comfortable. It was a true, full sized king bed which was a pleasant surprise. The hotel itself is beautiful. Reception was warm, promptly took our car and bags - the only thing I would note is that we arrived early, around 2 pm and the room was not ready however this seemed more like a 'practice' to wait until 3 pm check-in time versus seeing if a room was available us even though we requested early check in. No big deal as a short walk around beautiful Bruges and we were back at the hotel and ready to go to our room. We stayed in what we were told was the "original" part of the hotel. Spent a good amount of time in the bar and even ended up eating there after our restaurant of choice in Bruge didn't work out - everything was great! We didn't use any of the hotels services as we were only there for one nite but as far as a hotel providing nice accomadations with all the creature comforts you may know and love, this place fits the bill. I will definitely stay here again if I ever make it back to Bruge.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MJM1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Very nice and excellent Hotel in Bruges. Very good service, good food, friendly staff.
We had a excellent stay in this Hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank ehwvdakker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

Check in was the only disappointment. No porter to take the bags - I actually don't mind too much but out of principle, it's a disappointment!
The room was well appointed with quality fittings overlooking the gardens with the strange red fibreglass giant red poodle!
Beds are very, very comfy and large.
(Tea and Coffee making kit would be a good addition).
With fear and trepidation, my wife ventured into the shower in the morning - we'd read the previous reviews and noted the issues! Result was......... No issue, perfect temperature control! Room 311 obviously doesn't suffer from the same reported issues!
Didn't eat in the restaurant but used the bar several times. Great atmosphere with attentive friendly service - William is a top guy!
Hotel is ideally located within short walk of all main places.
In summary, great hotel, genuine 5 Star quality and we would return!

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank timchambola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2011

Having just returned from the Kempinski, travelling with others so two rooms needed, we found the much reported shower fluctating temperatures to be very evident. If you feel the shower temperature change, then step back quick, because it will go either very hot or very cold in a few seconds. It will then stabalise again, but not for long. It really does go hot enough to scald.

Overall this hotel lacks in a few things that really should be there. Namely a few more staff and stronger maangement. On our arrival mid week, 2pm there was no doorman on duty, no porter. The receptionist collected our bags and showed us to our room. We had a junior suite and superior room. There really was not a major size difference in the rooms, but the suite had a coffee machine, a pot plant and a small box of chocolate bars.

We ordered room service for lunch and this was excellant. Properly served on trolley table.
Room Service dinner was also very good and anything from the main restaurant menu can be provided as room service. This is always a plus point for us. Although we had connecting rooms, we were never once offered the option of having the door opened. We could have requested it, but the offering of such things should really be standard.

Breakfast we had in the dining room, but the service was lacking a little care and once you have been offered the cooked breakfast, no further interaction with staff is likely. I would prefer it if I'm asked if I would like some more tea or coffee, without searching out staff, but once we had been served, that was it. The eggs florentine were average, there is a large selection of breads, rolls, fruit, ham, cheese etc, so there really is more than enough to help yourself to, but staff were thin on the ground.

Overall it was a pleasant stay, but staffing levels appear low and the water to the showers really does need sorting out. As with all European hotels, you need to pay for internet access but a €5 a day for a standard connection, this was cheaper than most. We had the car valet parked without issue. We would use this hotel again, but our expectations would be lowered.

Room Tip: To have tea and coffee machine in room, book a junior suite at the very least.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank MrsOgg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2011

As you approach the hotel which is situated in the centre of town, you know it will be good. The place is a real picture. It must have been amazing as a private resident.

Great rooms, friendly staff who like all in Belgium happily speak English and are very friendly and very efficient.

Lot's of great little touches throughout the hotel. Staying in December, it couldn't look more like Christmas. Great night's sleep, the pillows are like sleeping on clouds.

Only slight problem was the hotel bar closed early even for residents. Wouldn't serve us a night cap at midnight. Sort of expect better from 5 star.

Great place will return.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank RichWandsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2011

We were expecting MUCH more from the Kempinski Dukes' Palace. Our experience with other Kempinski properties have always been stellar. We spoke to Mr. Alexis van den Reeck THREE times prior to our arrival. We told him we were celebrating a special occasion, and wanted our trip to memorable. Upon arrival, no one was available to take our luggage from the limo into the hotel. Christian and Illya (sp?) were just sitting at the desk doing nothing. When they sent someone out, I had to help her with the luggage cart. They told us to take the elevator to our deluxe junior suite on the second floor. No upgrade, pushing the luggage cart, showing ourselves to our room--what a warm welcome--NOT !!!!

The shower was impossible to regulate--it went from very hot to very cold 5 times. Mr. Van den Reeck told us (the next day) that the hotel is very aware of the situation--but it will cost 20,000 Euros for a new bolier, and the management is not ready to do it ???? It was only at that point did they offer to upgrade us. This was a "little too late" for us to contemplate moving--especially since the shower situation was identical throughout the hotel. Apparently, during our entire stay, the manager Phillipe De Meyer was incognito and not to be found.

The breakfast at other Kempinski properties (i.e. The Adlon, and The Corvinius) have always been a highlight--here it was just mediocre--another disappointment ! After coming from the Amigo in Brussels--where everyone was warm and friendly--and going on to the De L'Europe in Amsterdam where we experienced the same warmth--(look at my other reviews)--this was the LOW point of our trip. On our next trip to Bruges, we will stay at a Relais and Chateau where will get our usual warm welcome and much more charm.

Room Tip: Don't go--problems regulating the hot and cold water
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank worldtravellerbill
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 Bruges

Address: Prinsenhof 8, Bruges 8000, Belgium (Formerly Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace)
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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bruges
#3 Business Hotel in Bruges
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bruges
#11 Family Hotel in Bruges
#14 Romantic Hotel in Bruges
Price Range: $172 - $498 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges 5*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Dukes' Palace, former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy, is the perfect location in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges. The 110 rooms, of which 18 suites and 5 family rooms, are all unique and combine contemporary comfort with authentic elegance of the 15th century. The 3000 m² garden, the terrace, the bar and beautiful lounges are the ideal place to enjoy. You can relax in The Spa with sauna, hammam and gym. The hotel also features a spacious garage. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kempinski Hotel Dukes Palace
Kempinski Hotel Bruges

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