Address: 4 Lanyon Place
Belfast BT1 2LP
Northern Ireland „
We recently stayed in the Belfast Hilton for a one night stay at the beginning of a nine day holiday to the Northern Ireland coast. Although my family is from Dublin, Belfast had remained an elusive destination, one that had been on my "to do" list for years. In the end, it was only to be a one night stay with around 36 hours or so in the city at the most, and we wanted a nice hotel to mark the beginning of our holiday, which was to mark both our wedding anniversary and my birthday within the same week.
Working in the hotel trade, I tend to use a third party site to determine pricing, but book direct and this was no exception. Five star or excellent four star was a definite requirement. I had identified the hotel from one of the "top secret" destinations and could have secured Bed and Irish Breakfast for around £84. In the end I booked on line and upgraded to a Corner City Suite room, which included B&B and access to the executive lounge on the 11th floor each evening, for £126 on a Spring BB 1 night special rate via the website. I did only book about ten days in advance, so considered this was a reasonable rate for a five star hotel in the city with upgrade.
Parking, like many city centre hotels, came at a premium, in this case an additional £18 for 24 hours, however the car-park space was easy to locate and secure a space, it being a bank holiday Friday on our arrival day, and the city was fairly quiet. The car park is attached to the hotel, and the Hilton itself is adjacent to the Waterfront Hall, which was part of the redevelopment of the area some years ago now. The area still feels very corporate though, although there were one or two restaurants in the region, nothing was open during our stay. This is perhaps the only negative aspect for the Hilton for leisure purposes, although we could walk to the City Hall and central area within 5-10 minutes.
We arrived a little later than we expected but still a good 90 minutes before the designated check in time, however we were checked in efficiently and welcomed to the city and the hotel at the Hilton Honors check in desk - although my card for that particular club expired some years ago. Our room was the corner room on the sixth floor. The room is spacious, modern and airy, and its best feature were the floor to ceiling windows on two sides of the room. The room overlooks the river and the famous H&W yellow cranes from the docks area, and was an ideal photo opportunity. Knowing how these things work, I had let the hotel know that this holiday incorporated our wedding anniversary celebrations, and we had a small platter of fruit and wine on arrival and later on we received a plate of brownies and cookies, beautifully presented, at turndown service. The room would be best described as a junior suite, as it does not have a separate bedroom. I was particularly impressed by the toiletries - six nice tubes of a contemporary looking Crabtree and Evelyn brand, and two soaps all duly swiped (not something I normally bother doing)! The room had a large corner bath although the shower was the over bath variety and not separately. We also had an excellent music system.
We didn't dine in the restaurant in the evening, although the restaurant is light and airy, with nice views over the water and it did look tempting, and was reasonably priced for a five star hotel, however it was very quiet with most leisure guests tending to opt for dining out. We did make sure we visited the 11th floor executive lounge for complimentary drinks and nibbles, which were well worth paying the upgrade for as the lounge, which was full and could typically seat around 35-40 seemed to be the place to be to make the most of the evening. Our waitress in the lounge was outstanding, extremely friendly and welcoming while at the same time making sure everyone was topped up with their favourite tipple. I did stick to wine although the OH took the opportunity to try a wee dram of the famous Bushmills Irish Whiskey - measures seem to be larger in Ireland, but this was a particularly generous measure!
We did enjoy breakfast, and I have to say this was one of the best hotel breakfasts I have had in a long time, and I don't say that lightly. It was buffet style and fairly busy, but the continental breakfast side was excellent, and there was plenty of choice on the hot plates, which were refilled regularly, and the eggs - always the sign of a decent breakfast - were excellent.
We had an early afternoon drink in the main hotel bar on the ground floor. This bar had a nice cocktail list and I opted for a Mojito which was £5.95 which is reasonable for a five star hotel, large wines were from £6.95.
Overall I found all the staff to be excellent and there were 1-2 who I would gladly have on any hotel team of mine - the concierge being the other excellent member of staff we encountered although all front of house staff were friendly. As we only had a short time, we decided we would go on the city tour bus, which the concierge arranged for us on our departure morning.