Friday, 8 February 2013 3:36 PM
John Hunt discovers another Travelbite.co.uk hot spot – the Kempinski Hotel Dukes’ Palace in Bruges.
Bruges itself is so picturesque that the entire town centre is a registered UNESCO world heritage site. So does this five-star hotel itself match up to the allure of its location? I have to say that it does. I checked in with curiosity and checked out with a bittersweet mix of emotions: simultaneously impressed, and sad to be leaving.
The hotel is situated in the very centre of town and about 15 minutes’ walk from the main train station, or a €4.5 cab ride if you’re laden with luggage. I checked in and was taken to my room which was across the cobbled and lawned courtyard which sits at the centre of the attractive, historic property.
The level of decoration was superb in the enormous bedroom, lounge and bathroom with walk-in ‘rain’ shower. Flemish portraits stared down from the walls in the lounge area which also had a work desk and very fast WiFi internet throughout.
The hotel has a spa and fitness centre, both open between the (guest friendly) hours of 7am and 10pm. The former has a pool, sauna and steam room. The latter has a range of CV equipment, treadmills, weights and the like. Both were absolutely spotless and the sauna and steam room most agreeable. The pool is small, not suitable for laps, more for relaxation after a day of pounding Bruges’ cobbled streets.
I didn’t have the opportunity to dine at the hotel but I did manage lunch at the ‘Manuscript’ restaurant, where they offer a two course ‘business lunch’ for the bargain price of £15.50. The menu changes weekly and I had a Florentine soup with a poached quail egg followed by Chicken Supreme with olive polenta. These were both excellent – good enough, indeed, to distract me from the dubious pleasure of dining alone – and that’s also a very keen price for food of this quality. Situated adjacent to reception, the hotel’s bar is airy, civilised and the purveyor of a large beer for the euro equivalent of about £8. I’ve paid more for less.
Breakfast was equally impressive – a huge buffet affair with countless choices which could be augmented by made-to-order dishes from the kitchen if required. In my case, this was necessary in the shape of a cheese omlette.
Room, food, beverage, service, situation and surroundings – all of these were impeccable and this is reflected in the price of the accommodation, which starts at the equivalent of just over £200 for a double room with breakfast.
By John Hunt
For more information visit www.kempinski.com/en/bruges/dukes-palace
John flew from Edinburgh to Brussels with bmi regional for a return fare of £112. The airline flies to a handful of European destinations from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and a number of regional airports across the UK.
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