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A fine choice for a city centre hotel.
Europa Hotel (Belfast)
Member Name: Morgenhund
Europa Hotel (Belfast)
Date: 06/08/02, updated on 06/08/02 (320 review reads)
Advantages: Central, Helpful staff
Disadvantages: lifts can be congested
The Europa is Northern Ireland?s largest and possibly best hotel, although some people have disputed that the latter is no longer the case, with the Hilton now taking away most of the celebrity guests. I stayed in the Europa for ten days in July 2002 when I was managing the Austrian Cricket team at the ECC European Championship, and it provided us with an excellent base for which to prepare for the tournament. The fact it has been bombed several times during the troubles did not perturb me at all when staying here.
The Location is excellent with various bars and restaurants within walking distance, and more importantly for transportation it is very well placed, with a bus station at the back of the hotel that has shuttle services to both the International airport and the City airport. The buses routes run at least twice an hour with single tickets costing £5 and £2.00 respectively (discounted return prices are also available) whereas a cab will cost £22 or £7 approx. each way, so the bus represents quite a saving. The Europa bus centre is also walking distance from Belfast Central Railway station. The hotel is very centrally located with a host of bars and restaurants in the vicinity. During the ten days I was there I ventured to a curry house, a Malaysian restaurant (Istana), a Chinese restaurant (The Wok), a couple of Italian restaurants and also to various drinking establishments, with Robinsons, The Crown and The Beaten Docket all being within spitting distance of the hotel.
In house catering:
There is a somewhat pricey restaurant and a pub/wine bar on the ground floor with normal opening hours in the Europa and also a hotel bar on the first floor. The hotel bar is not too badly priced with a good pint of Guinness available and used to be our meeting point each evening before heading out. There is also 24 hour room service which the rather pleasant young lady next door to me seemed to be enjoying thrice daily (ooh..
. helllooo!). I only had breakfast in the hotel with a great Irish Fry up or Continental Breakfast buffet service causing an expanded waistline, although the tea and coffee were very weak (but then again I am used to Viennese strength coffee!).
Despite the fact that my room-mate and I had brought a cricket bag, a case and a laptop bag each there was plenty of space in the room. The doors are standard key-card operated affairs, and the beds very comfortable ? very welcome if you are playing cricket all day and every day. The rooms have televisions, with pay TV options, telephones (although these are of course very expensive), trouser presses, tea/coffee making facilities, with executive rooms being roomier still, as well as a large wardrobe in every room. There are a selection of singles, twins, doubles and suites (named for example the President Clinton Suite) with the rack prices (official prices) being pretty steep, although trying sites like Hogg Robinson, lastminute.com and so on will help you find some quite affordable rates. We had a special promotional rate which was far lower than any promotional rate, which made it an excellent choice of venue.
All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, with loo, washbasin, and bath with power shower. Various soaps and shampoos (all Neutrogena) are supplied, which were of top quality.
The maids and staff were all exceptionally polite, helpful and obliging, and were able to recommend places to eat, drink and so forth, with room service available all around the clock.
The second floor is home to a host of conference rooms, which we made use of during the tournament for various meetings etc. They are all equipped with beamers, screens, flip charts and refreshments and are available in varying sizes. In Austria to be a four star hotel you need either a gym or a swimming pool or sauna, although the Europa has none of these facilities.
There are gyms and pools available within easy walking distance of the hotel, although probably if the hotel had its own pool etc. it would be a five star place.
The only problem which we found was the fact that for a twelve storey hotel it surprised us that there were no stairs (other than the emergency exits of course!) and only two lifts. This meant with ten cricket teams leaving around the same time you could often spend a while waiting for the lifts. I cheekily used the service lifts - the hotel then opened them up for us anyway to ease congestion... Otherwise the hotel was an excellent place to stay and I wouldn?t hesitate to stay there again, especially considering how much better the service was than at the Euston Plaza where I had stayed in London.
Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim
Tel: +44 (0)2890 327000
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