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Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges, Belgium
A Special Breakfast at The Duke's Palace Hotel, Bruges
A memorable stay at the Duke's Palace five years ago made me want to come back. An unmatched experience in Bruges, this beautiful, preserved city is a heaven I'll come back to on a yearly basis. What was a Kempinski back then is today the Duke's Palace.
Down in the lobby is where our story starts. It's 7pm, we're enjoying a drink at the bar, soothing music, warm lights and relaxing sofas in this castle where history travels through the air. Burgundy curtains, a wooden floor, lanterns and classy sofas in a stunning room hosting a bar. Outside is another saloon warmed up by the chimney.
From the outside, a beautiful building, a castle and the finest hotel here in Bruges. Inside is the reception facing the door and don't forget to look up where a chandelier hangs from the ceiling of this five story building. Old wooden stairs, carpets, decorative art and light entering from the hundreds of windows, it was quite amazing.
Upstairs, we discovered a large room with a view of the inner court. On my last visit the room was indeed smaller but offered a view of Bruges's cathedral; I wished I had the same pleasure this time. Maybe you want to ask for a room that's higher up. A huge, relaxing double bed and a large bathroom, a bathtub, a shower and a sink, a space large enough to relax in. The room hosts a working desk, two sofas and a mini bar along with an espresso machine, an ironing board and everything else you might need.
Unfortunately the Duke's has degraded in quality since leaving the Kempinski brand behind. Still a good place to stay, which I'll come back to, but small details can and will make all the difference.
- The room lighting is very dim not to say dark.
- The bathroom has no vanity kit. Bizarre for a Five Star.
- The pillows are a disgrace. Super hard and a guarantee for neck pain.
- The door doesn't have a "do not disturb sign".
- The bed sheets were not changed and there is no sign you can leave on the bed to ask for them to be replaced.
- The room didn't have complementary water bottles.
- Tea bags but no kettle.
- A music unit and iPhone charger is usually a must in 2015.
Good to know:
- The hotel is a few meters from the town center, a perfect choice for tourism.
- There's underground parking priced at €25 a day.
- I found the vanity kit in the room's closet and the do not disturb sign on the des, hidden inside the hotel leaflet.
I enjoy this hotel and its professional and welcoming staff. Everyone in here is smiley and ready to answer any request. Unfortunately for us, the hotel was under renovation so we couldn't have dinner or experience the real feel of breakfast in the dining room. I can't forget one of the finest breakfasts I've ever had back at the Kempinski.
All was good, but I it felt like a hotel transformed from luxury to boutique style.