Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Here some background information about why certain things are like they are in Hostellerie Mont Kemmel (HMK). We also give some tips: things you can or can't do. All things together illustrate very well the philosophy of Kristine & Philippe (host and hostess): we like to do a lot for our guests... but, uh, there are of course limits.

The guest can always contact the reception of Hostellerie Mont Kemmel **** with his additional questions, requests, remarks, etc...
The guest can always contact the reception of Hostellerie Mont Kemmel **** with his additional questions, requests, remarks, etc...
  • What do you mean, HMK doesn't just have "Customers"?
    • Yeah, Hostellerie Mont Kemmel doesn't just have "customers." The term "customer" is often associated with purely commercial purposes. There the objective is to make as much profit as possible. HMK, on the other hand, receives guests. These are about 10,000 a year. However, we also have non-commercial goals (as we had in other projects we have done in our lives). Our first, and most important, goal is to give our guests as much "happy time" as possible, to be hospitable. In our opinion, the concept of "guest" reflects much more the equality that exists between the guest and the host/hostess. When you visit someone as a guest, you automatically follow a number of rules: rules of general decency and rules imposed by the house. Of course, all this is also part of an economic context: the host Philippe and hostess Kristine are not meant to "subsidise" the whole thing. In order to keep everything reasonable, the guests pay a participation in the costs. And just because people know the system of paying for a roomdrink, etc., we use that system. However, it could be completely different...
  • Rent-a-Slave? No, it's not...
    • It is not because one pays a certain participation fee (often called "price") that one can "just" ask for anything. We like to do as much as reasonably can be expected of us. But of course there are limits. Which ones would be any guest have to be able to answer for themselves with common sense. Some examples of what you should NOT do with us (but have already encountered): send an e-mail and ask half an hour later why you have not yet received an answer, call in the middle of the night to make a reservation, call in the middle of the night to ask if the hostess can bring sanitary towels, make a booking at the gate of the domain, come in and say that it is not possible that we are not aware of their booking (the booking has not even been given a few minutes!), objects in the room The slaves will clean it up while there are ashtrays everywhere, steal batteries from the roomremote controls because they don't have any (chambermaids will take care of new ones), roomtake away all the products and then call the reception outraged to say they didn't get any (or too few), ... . We've even had someone who even at check out asked us to give him some more products for his home ... (while during his stay he had already asked for twice as many). So let's be clear: we like to do a lot for our guests (this is real "hospitality"), but we're not naive, there are limits. But o-wee, if we dare to say, in a polite and friendly way of course, that the guest has exceeded a limit, then you can certainly expect a revenge review on the internet. If we "assertive" are (and thus clearly delineate boundaries), then certain guests express this as "aggressive“. Of course, we don't take things like that. We too have right of reply and use it to the full. It's not because sth. pays that one is right anyway, that our employees should do anything, that one may be rude, etc. . Probably exaggeratedly suggested, do you think? Then come and join our staff for a while. 😉
      • To conclude this item, as someone once said: if you want to be treated like a King, behave like one. Or, as the French put it so beautifully: "Noblesse oblige".
  • Why HMK could be a little more expensive...
    • Well, the first question we should ask is whether it really is the case that HMK would be slightly more expensive. Compared to other four-star hotels, we score very well on this. What some guests ignore is that we really have a unique location: in the middle of a protected nature reserve, protected landscape, protected archaeological site, etc. . All this means that we can only have a limited number of rooms: you can't add more. As a result, all fixed costs (building maintenance, domain, etc.) have to be recouped with this limited number(er) of rooms. That's why a stay in a large hotel in the middle of the city will always be cheaper. Note how much you already have to pay on the Belgian coast for a hotel roomwith "sea view", however there is more than 60 km available and built on. Our view, at least as beautiful, is much more unique and we only have 13 rooms with this unique view (the other 10 are on the forest side). Should be even more expensive, taking all the points of comparison into account. The demand is (much) bigger than the supply (especially in the weekends).
    • Also something to take into account: in our "room price" is already included: 2 breakfasts, parking, internet, mini-bar with still and sparkling water, coffee and tea facilities, use of luxury package with bathrobes and slippers. When you take all this into account, we are often a lot cheaper than many other hotels. At many other places you only have to stand at the reception and you are already paying for various surcharges. Not with us: plain and simple without supplements! Only taxes, bar and restaurant costs are added to the bill.
  • No air conditioning onroom? It's 4-star... isn't it?
    • A lot of people have no idea what a 4-star hotel actually entails. They have heard somewhere that it is "ALWAYS much better" than in a 2 or 3 star hotel. Of course, that's sheer nonsense. The rules you have to comply with as a hotel to be classified to a certain level are very strict and are also regularly checked by official and professional hotel inspectors (not by certain would-be inspectors / guests who think they know the truth). Let it be clear once and for all that a four-star hotel does NOT mean that you will have a big roomone anyway, that there is air conditioning, etc. . There are 5-star hotels with smaller rooms than ours, just as there are 3-star hotels with larger rooms. Before criticizing a specific hotel, please check if you are right. We know our style, some of our guests - unfortunatly enough - however... not.
    • The fact that we, with a very limited number of other hotels in Flanders, have the international eco-label "De Groene Sleutel" (The Green Key) also plays a role here. For this we comply with dozens of extra rules. The use of air conditioning is discouraged as much as possible. That is why we have only installed air conditioning in our seminar centre.
  • Why don't we put toilet brushes in the roomprovided...
    • From non-informed guests we are told that it is not possible that we do not provide a toilet brush in the rooms. Well, if you think about it for a moment, you can answer this question yourself! Have you ever thought about which brush you would use to clean the toilet bowl ? Yes, in many cases with the remains of the predecessor. Sorry that we have to say it so bluntly. 😉 Or do you really think that every day in a hotel all toilet brushes are hygienically disinfected or replaced ? Speaking of naivety. Immediately after the takeover at the end of 2012 we already decided to remove the toilet brushes. We have noticed that nowadays several large hotel chains have taken the same path. So, again: it is for hygiene reasons / risk of contamination that we have removed all WC brushes. By the way, the chambermaids come by every day to clean everything thoroughly and hygienically. And, just to be clear: if you absolutely wish, you can always come and ask for one at the reception (for unforeseen cases).
  • I was only five minutes late...
    • Good service can only be guaranteed if rules are followed. If one is a guest somewhere, one should follow the house rules as laid down by the hosts. This is basic courtesy. When a guest says that they were 5 minutes late to the restaurant, it means that they are actually 1.5 hours late. After all: lunch is normally eaten at 12h, in the evening around 19h. We already provide a wide margin of 1.5 hours. This means that at the very latest at 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon and at 8:30 p.m. in the evening you can sit at the table. But no, still some guests think they are better than the rest and think that we should also allow people to arrive at 13h 45, then have an aperitif for half an hour, sometimes three quarters of an hour, and then go to the table around 14h 30 to 14h 45. This is totally unacceptable: one guest is already at the end of the meal and for the others it has yet to begin. A little respect for the kitchen and dining room team. Also respect for the hosts: after all, they have to pay for all these extra man-hours. Or in other words, that meal is actually completely subsidized by them. So that cannot be the intention.
  • There were still a lot of places available, but still I couldn't get a table...
    • A good service can only be guaranteed if one is well prepared and adheres to the rules. We ask that guests indicate in advance whether they wish to have lunch or dinner with us. When we say "in advance", this certainly does not mean 10 minutes before the start of lunch/dinner. We ALWAYS have tables available, the shoe never wriggles (we can put up to 300 people in our rooms!), but we always wish to work with fresh products, with a correct number of staff in the room and kitchen, and so on.
    • And in the meantime, we already know the tricks of the foor: simply claiming that one has made a reservation even though this is not the case. What then stands out is that one has usually booked "through a colleague who will confirm it to you". In most cases, it would then always be about a colleague who is just (coincidentally 😉 ) not there... Total lie of course. Come on, is that the best one can come up with? A little respect for the house where YOU are a guest. 
  • Hygiene: 5/10 ? 
    • Our rooms and infrastructure are basically very clean. To prove this: the average score based on several thousand reviews over more than 6 years is 8.9 to 9/10. So very good.
    • Yet there are people who scream murder and fire and, exceptionally, sometimes only give a 2.5 or 5/10. Why are they giving a 2.5 or 5/10? Just a few examples: on the balcony they have seen one or more cobwebs (which can hardly be otherwise in a nature reserve: taken away in the morning and the next day they can hang there again, what do we say: sometimes in just a few hours!), just as with fallen leaves from trees. Once the hostess was called to come straight away with a vacuum cleaner because a lady had seen "beasts" in one of our best rooms, which is not possible in a 4-star hotel! The reality was that some pim-pam (OLH celestial animals) had entered through the window that we roomhad opened especially for ventilation. And so we can continue. It can happen that a bird drops something, a squirrel or bird messes up your balcony chair, etc. . You're in the middle of nature here, aren't you?
    • Tip: instead of writing a bad review afterwards, just call the reception desk: such cases/uncomforts will be dealt with immediately and with pleasure. Saying nothing and then complaining afterwards on the internet is "not done". A little respect, please.
  • A "sober" breakfast with 40 products ?
    • We call our breakfast "Generous." We prefer a quality breakfastnot a spectacular looking breakfast with many, but often inferior products. A breakfast with a total of about 40 products can hardly be called "spartan" (which some people did once). Get Real, please! Some prefer thick white beans that have been soaking for hours in tomato soup, greasy sausages, etc. , things that moreover do not even have to do with our region. When you get a breakfast where bubbles are served à volonté, smoked salmon presented + so much else, we think this is more than correct. We know how it is that we have more and more returning guests, guests who sometimes come just for the breakfast 😉.
    • And yes: do you know why there is no omelette at breakfast? No, not because we want to save ... no, because we prepare them à la carte for you. Or do you prefer powdered scrambled eggs that sometimes simmer for hours on the buffet ? It's even stated on the breakfast buffet: all kinds of egg preparations are available. Another example of something that the guest sometimes dares to take a negative view of in a review, but which in reality is totally different. Just the other day I read in a review: there's no way that in a 4-star hotel you have to ask for something yourself. How haughty can you be that you don't want to ask anything more? If our staff has to poll for all the things you could ask for at breakfast, we'd still be standing there in the afternoon. One simple question and you are served. And still not satisfied?
    • And what about next incident: lady orders a tea. Since all the quality tea bags are on the buffet, the breakfast lady only has to bring a nice jug of hot water. On the internet, however, the breakfast lady is portrayed as if she were a clumsy teacher who doesn't know what she was doing: "I order tea and get... hot water". Seriously? Where's the respect? And if you wouldn't have seen for yourself that the tea butts are on the buffet, why don't you say/ ask the breakfast lady instead of treating her disrespectfully on the internet ? 
  • What do you mean, a little roomone?
    • A minority of guests in ECO rooms sometimes indicate that it is "smallroom". Yeah, then why did you book them? All websites clearly indicate the number of square meters of a certain room type. The smallest ECO rooms are particularly appreciated by a specific audience: e.g. the audience of the seminar-goers (come mainly for the meetings/workshops, budget is important, ...), people who come mainly for the gourmet restaurant, ... etc. ... all guests who have priorities other than the size of their room.
    • Make a choice that matches your expectations: we have very small as well as very large rooms (up to 55 m²). If you can't find a suitable room (because all other room types are already booked, for example), please do not book anything, rather than booking a non-fitting room and then complaining about it on the Internet. Our hotel offers various room types, informs you about them and lets you make an informed decision. The hotel is not responsible for your decision: we cannot know your specific needs. Please don't turn things around.
  • Bookings through third parties
    • For the sake of clarity: we are at all times in charge of / in our own hotel. No third party ( booking.com, expedia, hotel specials, whatever...) determines the way in which we should receive guests.
    • By the way, anyone who has a little respect for a hotel will try book directly through the hotel's website himself. Know that it is still the hotel itself that knows its facilities best, know to what extent we can respond to some special requests, etc. . What's more, the cheapest packages can always only be booked directly via the hotel's website. Of course, these third parties never tell us this. They are only interested in earning a commission (can quickly reach 15 to 18%). They can hardly ever do anything for their "customer" without contacting... yes, we can. And it is WE who see what we can do for our "guest". Notice again the difference between "customer" and "guest".
    • What certainly can't be done is: go to a third party website and call Us to ask how to make a booking. This is witnessing a total lack of respect for your host. 
  • What do you mean, I can't cancel because of "illness"?
    • A hotel is not an insurance agency. When one books a trip (usually abroad) it is normal to take travel cancellation insurance, assistance insurance, etc. ... but apparently not for domestic travel ? Even with a domestic vacation you may have to interrupt it due to accident, illness, death. Know that in such cases a hotel should not cancel anything for free. Once booked, you have to pay. It is disrespectful to charge the hotel for a fact that happened in your private life, especially when you were informed in advance that you should take a cancellation insurance (insurance that is sometimes provided by default with certain credit cards but certain guests are completely unaware). To "export" the consequences of your accident to others, in this case a hotel (or rather your hosts), is not done.
    • By now we know the tricks of the foor too. Example: "we cannot come due to an unexpected hospitalization". When they are told that cancellations are not free of charge, it suddenly turns out that they will all be able to come by that evening. Nothing more was heard about hospitalization: everyone was seated at the table! And yes, a bit exaggerated perhaps, but in some families "mamon" has already died several times... It's okay to laugh sometimes, isn't it? And, uh, the Monday morning run to a friendly doctor who tries to explain that you were "sick" certainly does not help. This means that for a small fee (the so-called "break fee") one could always cancel a reservation free of charge. We are understanding, friendly, etc., but certainly not naive.
  • Give feedback or insult someone?
    • We particularly like to get (serious and reasoned) feedback. An organization that thinks it is only doing good things is not doing good things anyway. Based on concrete and politely worded feedback, we have already been able to adjust several things. And that is good! We thank our guests for this. This is how we make Hostellerie Mont Kemmel even more attractive. But there is still a huge difference between saying that something is not good, needs improvement and starting to paint the host/hostess/employees as ignorant, lazy, stupid, ... .
    • We too have gone to school more than long enough, have had Jan, Pete & Pol, BVs as well as members of royal families visit HMK and thus know our world and stile all too well. We ourselves have been in many places in the world (China, Zambia, Peru, Iceland, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Greenland, USA, Hong Kong... and many other places, in campsites as well as 5-star hotels or palaces) and know only too well what is usual, what is good or not so good, etc. . However, we miss the haughty behavior of certain (admittedly very limited group of) guests like the plague. This behavior bothers most of the other guests (who, quite rightly, complain to us about it afterwards). One comes to us as a GUEST, not as a hotel inspector who comes to give a number of "beds out of 5" (as in the sometimes unrepresentative TV program "With four in bed").

      In summary: Get real & respectful, please. So are we with our guests 😉

If you fundamentally disagree with these principles, we invite you not to make a reservation or to cancel the made reservation. It will save you, the other guests and us a lot of headaches. Good appointments make good friends, don't they ?

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