I decided to go to Belfast while my husband was away on business (just happened to be during the 12th holiday, 12-15 July). Put out a blast on FB to see if any of my friends wanted to go as well. I had already booked in at Vagabonds Hostel for three nights. My friend who wanted to go with me wasn't sure about staying at a hostel. So she booked at Pearl Court Guesthouse. It was only a 9 min walk from the hostel, but I decided to change my plans to stay with her in a twin bed room with en-suite there for three nights at £198. The webpage rooms looked great. And I don't usually stay at B&Bs or guesthouses, so I thought why not....
The walk from the Bus Centre was not bad, about 1 mile. Really easy to find. We knew that check-in wasn't until later on, but were told we could drop our luggage off. We were surprised to find our key all ready for us in the lockbox outside. We were in room 11. There is no lift, and it was a long 50+ steps to our room. As we walked it got hotter and hotter as we continued to walk the many flight of stairs, wondering when we were going to find the room. It was the very top floor. With heavy luggage it was not enjoyable at all.
Opened up the door and the room is small and the first thing we thought was, "it's not cleaned from previous tenants or it is still in use by them. Also thought is this the same hotel as shown on the webpage?" The beds were still unmade and the trash was not taken out yet from the previous people. The mugs still had tea in it and empty Spar bags thrown around the room. We figured they left the key in the lockbox for us because they were not coming back to the guesthouse before our stated arrival time. But to have us walk into an unclean room was just disgusting. They should have had the cleaners clean it first. They knew when we were planning on coming to drop off our luggage, because my friend had told them when booking. My friend walked downstairs and found a cleaner working. She told them that our room was not clean yet. And the lady was a little short with her, saying it wasn't check-in time yet. Which my friend responded that we knew it wasn't check-in yet, but that we were given a key and we were dropping our luggage off and just wanted her to know that was why there was luggage in the room and that we were the new guests.
We left to go to the Titanic Museum after only being in the room for 5 minutes...When we returned later, the room was "clean". We were tired because we walked to the Titanic Quarter and back (not that bad of a walk at almost 2.5 miles each way), and had been up since 4am. After we got back to the room we looked a little more closely to the room. I told my girlfriend that I had stayed at hostels in private rooms that looks more appealing than this room. There was a wardrobe to put things in, 2 night stands and a desk. There were two TVs in the room. 1 flat screened plugged in, and one that was on a platform in the top corner of the room (not plugged or seemed to be in working order, very old style) hanging over one of the twin beds. Only three plugs in the whole room. 1 behind the desk that had both the kettle and the tv plugged into it. And 2 up on the wall under the tv on the wall platform. It was too high to really be of use, because when you plugged your phone into it, the phone dangled over the bed because there was no where to place it on. My friend rigged pillows in a vertical row while she charged her phone. I had to unplug the kettle or tv to plug my phone in by the desk. The design was not good.
We got our laptops out to do some work. And the WiFi was not working for either of us. There was a router on one of the landings, so my friend went and reset it. It still wasn't working. So no internet for the first night. The bathroom was DISGUSTING! Mold and dirty. The toilet paper holder was barely hanging on the wall. The light above the sink didn't work, and we noticed it didn't even have a bulb in it. We decided to go and get some dinner and come back later since we couldn't get any work done and maybe the WiFi would work when we returned. We couldn't find any workers. That night the WiFi still was done.
In the morning we went to breakfast at around 8:20am. There were two other tables occupied in the dining area. The dining area was decorated nice and seemed updated recently. Breakfast was average, they did make you eggs how you would like. But it was a buffet off some fruits, cereals and bread. Not very substantial. I am glad that they offered the eggs. (the second morning we got down late around 9:20 and there wasn't really anything left. They did cook us eggs and when asked they refilled the orange juice. On the 3rd morning we left before breakfast was available).
When we were leaving for the day we couldn't find any workers to ask about the WiFi or tell about the light above the sink (we forgot to ask at breakfast). We didn't get back until around 8pm and caught a worker as they were leaving. We asked about the WiFi, and she said that when they get a fax it shuts off the WiFi until they can reset it IN THE OFFICE. So if no one is there, then the guests are out of luck until another worker comes to the guesthouse. Then don't advertise as having WiFi if it is intermittent and unreliable. We also let them know that the light above the sink didn't have a bulb in it. She said she would put in the work order for the room and that it would probably not get fixed tonight. We said that was ok and walked the many stairs back up to our room. Shortly later we heard a knock on the door. The lady was there with a bulb. She put the bulb in the light, but it still didn't work and then left (she was friendly and wanted to help, so that was nice). Again about 5 minutes later another knock on the door... it was the lady again (breathing heavy from the stairs), she said that the handyman told her to try another trick. She tried it and it still didn't work. We told her that it could be fixed after our stay, that it wasn't a big deal as we didn't need the shaver or anything.
The WiFi did work for the rest of our stay, so that was good. We also stuck our heads in other rooms as we walked down the stairs in the morning. The other rooms looked 100x better than our room. You wouldn't even think they belonged in the same hotel. Maybe they haven't gotten to updating our room. We are ok with the dated room, however the bathroom was disgusting. Mold and dirty all over. Looks like it haden't been cleaned in years. That was unsat. We would never stay here again and would not recommend it to anyone else. That being said it is located only 2 minutes from the Botanic Garden and Ulster Museum, so that lets you know the location. It's not a bad location at all, but as we walked everywhere for 3 days it made for a tiring day. Especially the climb up to the room. Oh I almost forgot, the bed was comfortable so that was good.
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