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First five-star for Bruges.
Saturday, 10th May 2008
Source : By Barry Napier
Bruges (Belgium) has just opened its first five-star luxury hotel -The Kempinski Hotel Duke's Palace had its debut on 1st May, following many months restoration work.

The Hotel is literally a converted prince's palace in the old town, making it an ideal spot for tourists.  It is just walking distance from the historic parts of Bruges, the old market square and shopping areas.

The Palace was built for Duke Philip 3rd (also known as Philip the Good) in 1429 to celebrate his marriage to Isabelle of Portugal, in 1430. Though much smaller than the original Palace, the Hotel retains many original features, including a ballroom, chapel with stained glass, and frescoes. This costly revamp included repairs to architecture and restoration of original 15th century paintings and ornaments, all found in the rooms and suites.

There are 93 rooms and suites, including 22 very large, themed rooms. Though historically renovated, rooms also have the usual modern accompaniments – flat screen TVs, internet, etc. Some rooms are brim-full with historical items.

There is also an indoor swimming pool, spa, treatment rooms, fitness facility and large gardens. The Hotel says it will host art exhibitions by known artists on a regular basis. The restaurant chef, Koenraad Steenkiste, worked for many years with three-Michelin starred chefs.

barry.napier@ntlworld.com
Hotel and Travel Journalist Contact: kempinski-bruges.com

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