Newest Review: ... once renouned for being the most bombed hotel in Europe during the troubles but thankfully those days are in the past! Now it is very popu... more
Plush PLUSH ! But a Bargain can be had.
Europa Hotel (Belfast)
Member Name: sidneygee
Europa Hotel (Belfast)
Date: 07/02/01, updated on 09/02/01 (112 review reads)
Advantages: Exceptional Service, Bargain stays to be had.
Disadvantages: Expensive if you cannot get a bargain stay, restaurant expensive.
Until recently The Europa was considered (rightly) as the top hotel in Belfast. Now it may have lost out somewhat to the newly opened Hilton, and may even receive competition from the new THF Premier hotel close by. However, Hotels are familiar with 'competition' and this means that a 'price war' may develop (see below).
If my dooyoo opinion on Belfast has given you an inclination to visit this fine city, then my opinions on the hotels that I have stayed at might give you some idea where to stay (or where not to stay, as the case might be).
As a Consultant, based in Edinburgh, but with most clients outside of this city, a significant proportion of my time is spent travelling and staying at hotels. I have been serving a client in the centre of the centre of Belfast since early 1997 and I now visit there regularly, on a 4 to 8 week cycle, each visit taking from 3 to 5 days.
The centre of Belfast is dominated by the City Hall (a photograph of which appears on the dooyoo category site) and, as soon as I leave the building in Donegall Square, where my client is based, I have this very familiar view right in front of me. Fortunately the centre of Belfast is now well-served by hotels and in my time I have stayed at three of them, each within 5 minutes walk of where I work. I have written an ‘omnibus edition’ covering all 3 hotels, but since dooyoo has now opened categories for each, I have reviewed this opinion and extracted the detail for each establishment, which I have then augmented.
The Europa Hotel Great Victoria Street (02890 327000)
On many occasions, I may only stay a single night ever in a particular city, so that I will only experience a single stay in a particular hotel, and I generally would not consider it fair to either recommend (or to 'damn') a hotel on the basis of one stay. I am making an exception for The Europa’ because it was so good the once that I stoppe
d there, and others that I know who have also stopped there have the same opinion. I also intend to stop there again (see below).
This is a top quality hotel and, prior to the new Hilton Hotel opening its doors, was the choice of US presidents and Hollywood stars. It is relatively expensive, if you book directly (£120 a night bed & Breakfast), but plush, plush PLUSH. However, at the height of the ‘troubles’, I understand that it was blown up twice and there were a number of bomb alerts. With the frontage largely glazed (as can be seen from the DooYoo photograph), you would not want to be in the vicinity if tension in the Province were running too high.
The main restaurant is on the first floor and is of excellent if expensive standard. There is also a 'brasserie' on the ground floor which offers reasonable value (and a large jolly waiter called 'Michael'). I only stopped here for 2 nights on my first visit in 1997, when the client was picking up the 'tab' directly and obviously wanted to make a good impression of wanting to 'look after' me (as the hospitable Irish always want to do). It is now so long ago that I cannot recall the full details of the stay - although I doo remember us trying a number of Malt whiskies and various brands of Irish 'liquor' on the two evenings that I was there, and the whole experience left a ‘glow’ afterwards !!!
However, Stena Lines do a Holiday Brochure (available from all travel agents, but you can book direct - 08705 747474) for Ireland that includes Belfast and this proves to be a good source of travel bargains, which now includes stays at the Europa.
Obviously, the competition for hotels in Belfast is ‘hotting up’, and this will be why excellent discounts are now available. For example, the current (2001) brochure price of a midweek 2 night short break for one person with a British Airways return flight from Edinbur
gh to Belfast City Airport staying at ‘The Europa’ is from £304 to £342 bed and breakfast. This really is a ‘bargain’, when compared with Jury’s Inn and the Travelodge (at full price) and I will certainly be staying at ‘The Europa’ again during either my next visit in March or that in May.
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