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“Friendly, fun and up with the best” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

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The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1-3 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BQ, Northern Ireland (Golden Mile)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 44 Hotels in Belfast
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Friendly, fun and up with the best”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed here the week before Christmas as part of a trip to NI to see friends and family. We really enjoyed our stay. The room was exceptionally comfortable, beautifully designed and furnished, spacious and scrupulously clean. It was very contemporary in style (which we like) without being at all soulless. We loved hearing the clock-tower nearby striking the hour - it made us feel part of the city - but it may grate with some. The view from the window wasn't at all pretty - but we had opted for one of the cheaper rooms round the side; the front aspect would be much more attractive; still, it's a city centre hotel so what do you expect.
The Hotel is superbly located; the City is tiny really, so everything worth seeing is easily strollable.
What makes the hotel however is the staff; we say this about Belfast every time, but the staff here are just the best in the World. Friendly, kind, professional, and with a really wicked sense of humour that takes the edge out of any problem you might be having. The service here isn't 'slick'. Belfast isn't slick - but that's rather the point. Everything here gets done just fine, cheerfully and with soul. Maybe it'll be slower than it would be in London or Barcelona, but what of it? You'll have a conversation with a real human being and an interaction that feels like they truly care. The extra couple of minutes or lack of super-smooth slickness aren't missed.
The two concierges (an older chap called Billy I believe) and a younger assistant were both absolutely superb. They managed to find us restaurant bookings on one of the busiest nights of the year - went the extra mile by phoning us on our mobiles to let us know our options - and seemed to have recommendations and ideas at their fingertips. We never felt we were being 'sold' a favourite recommendation (as you so often do), but rather that they really wanted us to have a good time. Really world class. Both are real characters and just great 'craic' to talk to about the city.
The hotel bar is a good place to hang out late on - we ended up chatting to complete strangers late at night after the clubs closed!
Belfast isn't the prettiest city in the World and the shopping options are limited (although some really world class art galleries on the Lisburn Road and boutiques there too), but boy does this town know how to have a good time. Bars, clubs and restaurants to suit every taste and budget and a weekend crowd that seems to be able to have raucous fun on a weekend without unpleasantness. We adore our trips to Belfast !
I wouldn't however say that this hotel feels like it is on the same level as, say, The Merchant or the Culloden. But it's head and shoulders above other similarly priced options like The Europa or Radisson - 5 star is a broad band with a lot of variation; it feels 5* in terms of it's furnishings and helpful service, but maybe it's just a bit too modern or new to really have that 'special' feel.
So overall, if you're in town for a fun weekend, want something relaxed, friendly and unpretentious with a contemporary feel - you couldn't do better. For a honeymoon or a really special occasion I'd take the more characterful options. We loved the Fitzwilliam and really rate it's value for money and location.

Room Tip: Choose a room at the front if you want a decent street view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

What can I say about my week at the Fitzwilliam! Just don't know where to start with the catalogue of errors. But a positive point, the front of house team were extremely helpful on arrival and this is last positive we can say about the Fitzwilliam Hotel.

On arrival (23 December) we requested a table at 8pm for dinner on the 24th only to be told that the kitchen closes at 8pm and our reservation would have to be 7pm. Not a problem. Will get back to this shortly.

On leaving the reception to go our suite on the 8th floor we were shocked at the shabbiness of the lift. Stains on the carpet and the handrail looked as if a scrapper had been taken to it.

The suite! We have stayed in better designed double rooms. Dark, dank and the smokey black curtains did not help. Settee pushed up against the bed, open plan throughout, no privacy in the bathroom, toilet had a sliding frosted door which rattled every time it was moved. Broken glass on the tea tray in the room, the facecloth had quite a few holes in it and worst of all was the dried blood on one of the bathrobes (which were so old and hard they should have been thrown out a long time ago). Stains on the settee, headphone socket not working on the TV, towel rail in the toilet - not in the shower room. Ironing board broken. All this points shown to Katie, Duty Manager.

Back to dinner on the 24th. Ordered wine which we were told had to be sent up from the bar. We had finished our starter and the main course had arrived before the wine was served. Was a little surprised that our bottle of wine was put into another customer's wine cooler which was placed out of our reach. Food left a lot to be desired. Sauced poured over the steak when it should have been served separately. Remember we were told to be there for 7pm? They still had customers arriving at 9pm. When we queried this we were informed there was a mix up with the bookings of three different parties!

On Christmas Eve, while waiting for friends, we had drinks served to us in the lobby. Approximately 10mins after the drinks arrived we were asked to vacate the table as they wanted to reserve it for people, who were not residents, but had booked afternoon tea. This has happened to another couple sitting at the table next to us. Needless to say they were informed that we would not be moving.

Sitting in the bar one evening we were asked to settle the account for our drinks as they were removing the till (this was at 10pm). As residents we were told that we could have more drinks which would be charged to our room, but we would have to sit in the lobby.

Then when the bill arrived we were being charged 3 nights car parking - strange as our car was parked at Heathrow and we did not hire one whilst in Belfast. When this was queried, the hotel informed us that another guest had the same name as us and an error had been made. Understatement of 2012, the error was actually on our part - we booked into a 2nd rate hotel, believing the hype of it being a top hotel. Have always stayed at the Europa, and cannot wait to return as I will never book into the Fitzwilliam again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CianLanders, General Manager at The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Tec99
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent stay with us, please accept my apologies for the poor experience. We value your feedback and have used it to share with all the relevant departments. I am disappointed that the Guest Rooms which are our unique selling point did not live up to your expectations. The details which you have reported are invaluable and help us to provide a better service to our customers. I would be delighted to speak in person with you regarding your grievances and can be contacted any time that is convenient for you. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Yours Sincerely
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We went to this hotel for a New Years meal with a group of friends (10). First impressions were pretty good when arriving at the hotel the lobby was lovely with the open fire and there seemed to be a good buzz about the hotel.

We were shown to a big table which was lovely and the waitress took are drinks order, they didnt really offer to take a drinks order and when the beer drinkers wanted a paticular beer which was only available from the downstairs bar they didnt seem keen on going downstairs to get it.

A few of us ordered steaks and asked for them to be cooked medium rare but whenever they came to the table they were practically rare.

When we asked for the bill it also appeared that we were charged for an extra bottle of wine which we didnt have but we got that sorted out.

We decided to go down the bar after the meal for drinks,the bar is lovely with all of the dark decor. We got a table quite easy and had a look at the extensive cocktail menu. A bar man came along who i assume is the bar manager and took our order which was a bottle of wine and two cocktails. One of my friends said to him 'sorry im having a hard time choosing a cocktail' and the bar man rudely said 'well I cant keep coming back all night so you'll need to decide now what you want now'.

The drinks were delivered to table along with the bill and again we were over charged and had to go back to the bar get it corrected.

After our drinks we decided that we were going somewhere else because we weren't going to be spoken to in a rudely.

I wont be back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CianLanders, General Manager at The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear TaraW
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent stay at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, please accepts my apologies for the excessive delay in service. Rest assured that speed and quality of service are very important to the customer and we did not live up to our usual high standards on this occasion. There is no excuse for rude service especially when our reputation for friendly staff is famous, something we wish to ensure continues. Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to welcoming you back to the Fitzwilliam in the near future.
Yours Sincerely
Cian Landers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hove, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Nothing to fault on the actual hotel itself, quite the opposite - excellent location, contemporary and stylish decor, very comfortable room, all very 5*, perfect!

The service however was not up to scratch. Note that this is not in any way due a lack of friendliness or effort on the part of the staff. It just wasn't a slick 5* operation, much more like an average provincial hotel. The longest check in I have EVER had in any hotel, receptionists answering calls while in the middle of serving you, being told the cocktails were off in the bar (why!??). Nothing some strong management couldn't sort out, and not enough to prevent me returning.

Room Tip: High floors will be quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Downpatrick, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We regularly stay at the Fitzwilliam each December as a family. It is one of our favourite hotels for a stopover in Belfast. This stay was similar to most others, the check-in was smooth and efficient, our special requests had been met but what stood out was the vast improvement in service at breakfast. If you are a light sleeper, try for a room on one of the higher floors as the restaurant is noisy, with chairs being scraped along the floors, etc.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Ireland
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We arrived at the hotel and we were immediately impressed with the large, open and contemporary lobby area. A couple of people were waiting at reception, so we stood behind, however the Concierge came straight over and asked if he could help! We were immediately shown to our reserved area by the beautiful modern fire. The waiter was very courteous and could not have been more helpful. We were served unlimited amounts of tea as we enjoyed a large selection of dainty sandwiches, quiches, macaroons, pastries, scones, cream, etc.! One of my friends had asked for sandwiches without butter at the time of booking, however they came with butter, but when she asked about this, we were brought out another plate of delicious sandwiches. The chicken, mixed leaves and dressing sandwiches and scones are delicious!! What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon with friends!! Would highly recommend!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newry, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

First of all can I just say that the staff were great. Very helpful and a pleasure to deal with. The only thing that got me is that parts of the hotel seem run down or maybe worn down would be better to use. Dirty carpets throughout the hotel and dirty booklets with stains on them in the room that I was afraid to touch. I did not expect these things in a five star hotel, i have never stayed in one before and I just expected better standards all round. Maybe I am be being fussy, but all other things I cannot fault, especially the staff.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

Address: 1-3 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BQ, Northern Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Belfast > Golden Mile
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Belfast
#7 Business Hotel in Belfast
#9 Romantic Hotel in Belfast
#10 Family Hotel in Belfast
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast 4*
Number of rooms: 130
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast
Belfast Fitzwilliam Hotel

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