Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Dukes' Palace
8 Prisenhof, Brugge, Flanders, B8000, Belgium Fodor's Choice
In terms of sheer grandeur, nothing in Bruges can compete with this, the only five-star accommodation in Flanders. Set in a 15th-century former residence of the Dukes of Burgundie, it lies off the main drag of one of the city's more upmarket shopping areas. In a city where space comes at an extraordinary cost, possessing a 3,000-square-meter garden is next to sacrilegious. Remnants of the original city walls exist on the grounds, though are sadly confined to a few crumbling bits of stonework. The hotel boasts one of the oldest elevators in the world (a genuine Otis dating from 1882), thankfully no longer in use. Outside, a giant red poodle sculpture by the artist William Sweetlove feels horribly out of place; inside, the decor is classical overload. Rooms are gloriously over the top, with gold-striped walls and portraits of dukes-gone-by. The spa is equally so: a hammam, sauna, U.V. cabins, and a salt wall complete the experience. Meanwhile, the restaurant and lounge-bar are worthy indulgences, with prices that reflect the setting.
- comparatively well priced considering Bruges's premium rates
- close to shopping streets
- great spa with lots of facilities
- the priciest parking in Brugge (€25 per night)
- it's all a bit nouveau riche