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“Avoid the first floor if you don't like noise”
Review of Malmaison

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Malmaison
Ranked #25 of 45 Hotels in Belfast
Reviewed November 7, 2012

This wasn’t my first stay at Malmaison Belfast, but unfortunately it was probably my last. I’m not usually a grumbler; my standards are quite low, but this was the most disappointing hotel experience I’ve ever had – especially as we paid full rate due to late booking and it was therefore pretty much the most expensive hotel stay of my life. We checked in around 2:30pm just to drop our bags in the room as we were heading off somewhere for 3. On exiting the room, we found that the door was not locking when it closed. Phoned to reception and they sent a person up to fix it about 5 minutes later. As we were in a rush, we left him to it. We came back, had a few drinks in the bar, had dinner in the restaurant and at around 7:20pm went upstairs to freshen up quickly before a show at 8pm, but our key would not let us in. Fair enough, we thought, he has reprogrammed the lock and we’ll have to pick up a new key. Back to reception and got a fresh key – but it didn’t work either. Back down to reception twice more to reprogram the key before the receptionist finally came up and let us in with a master key (we were in a bit of a rush at this stage). We left the key with them and were promised it would be fixed for our return. On return picked up new key from reception – guess what? The key didn’t work! Back down to reception to get fresh key – it didn’t work either. Eventually got let in by the receptionist again. I won’t bore you with the details, but we had to repeat this performance with different staff several more times, it was incredibly annoying and was never resolved during our stay. With hindsight, I really wish we’d asked for a different room (quite frankly it should have been offered to us) but I honestly didn’t think it would have been such a huge problem to program a key.

The meal in the brasserie was nice, but very expensive. In fairness the set menus were very reasonable (£19.95 for 3 courses) but the choice was limited and we didn’t fancy any of the mains. My husband opted for a steak. Now, the steak on its own cost £27 (it wasn’t even a fillet steak; that was £29). And I mean on its own. There was a watercress garnish, that was it. Sauce had to be purchased at £1.50 extra and if you wanted chips, veg or salad with your steak it was £3.25 per portion. I think even in this age of austerity salad or chips could be included in the price, non? On a positive note the waiting staff in the restaurant were very helpful and the meal was very tasty (I had spinach and mushroom crepe - lovely, but again £14 for a pancake?). Nonetheless this was our choice so it's not really a complaint, more of an observation.

Some other points of note – the room is filled with lots of enticing snacks and drinks, unfortunately all of which have a (not insubstantial) charge. There isn’t even a free bottle of water in the room (each bottle is £2.75 in the minibar). The room was stiflingly hot, even with the radiator off, and we couldn’t open the window as there was a second pane (presumably for sound proofing from street noise) covering the outside sash windows and it didn’t open wide enough to allow access to the sash. I only became aware of the fan in the wardrobe the next morning but I doubt it would have helped all that much. I would have very much appreciated a bottle of water when lying awake parched at 3am– the tap water was very unpleasant. Not so much of an issue, since the room was so hot I didn’t actually need the duvet, but the duvet didn’t even reach to the edge of the mattress. However (positive point!) the bed was very comfortable although my pillow smelled of aftershave which wasn’t so pleasant.

But by far the biggest issue, eclipsing all the other gripes outlined above, was the noise from the bar. Our room was on the first floor, directly above the bar. There appears to be no soundproofing whatsoever between ground and first floor. We went to bed about 12:30. The music was very loud and went on past 2am. After that we could still hear people having loud conversations at the bar til after 3am. I think we were maybe able to fall asleep about 4am, but were awake again by a loud door slam of a neighbouring room at 6:50. We have a 1 year old and were spending our first night away together to get a “full night’s sleep and lie in” while she stayed with her granny. Ha! The joke was on us.

Although the staff were well aware of our key woes, we did not complain overnight about the noise. Maybe should have, but I was utterly paralysed by tiredness, as was my husband and spent the night hoping it would end soon, or I’d “nod off” and didn’t want to jeopardise the slim chance by getting up to make phonecalls. As I said we are not usually grumblers. Would the hotel have turned the music off in a busy bar because one room complained? Probably not. (The night manager said he would have when we saw him in the morning, but it’s easy to say afterwards). The receptionist (who had been involved in the key debacle the previous afternoon) was very sympathetic and offered to refund us the price of breakfast - £30 (again, £15 each for breakfast, what?!). We accepted, but expressed our disappointment again and left. The receptionist said that she would leave a message for the daytime duty manager to call us when she arrived, which she duly did a couple of hours later and we were refunded a further £50, which made a 50% reduction on the room price. We accepted and left it at that. £80 is still expensive for a night of no sleep and having to be escorted to your room. But credit where credit is due, they did their best to mitigate it after the event.

To conclude: there absolutely needs to be a policy in place of not allocating the rooms above the bar on weekends. There also should be free water in the rooms - that simply not acceptable for a £160 a night (B&B) room in a 4 star hotel. The staff were unquestionably very friendly and "nice", but our problems failed to be resolved at the time. If someone had taken the initiative early on after the first couple of times the key failed and moved us to a different (un-noisy) room, this would probably have been a 4 or 5 star review.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms on the first floor above the bar
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank smaths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 7, 2012

Beautiful meal with a difference. I had baked cod in a fish sauce that had prawns and mussels. The fish was plentiful and full of flavour. My better half had roast beef which I sampled and we both agreed it was the best roast we had ever tasted. The starters and deserts were excellent and the servicewas very good. Next time in Belfast I will be giving it another go.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Gerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Great place to stay ...upon arrival the front desk gals were so friendly and helpful. we arrived early so our room was just being made up, so we waited in the bar and had a bite to eat. The food was great and our bartender Averil, (fellow canadian) was awesome!.

We only stayed one night as we were off to portrush the next day, but its a great hotel. only thing that i didnt really like was the breakfast found it extremely expensive for what you recieved 12.95 pounds, add 2 pounds for a hot breakfast. Thats alot of money to pay for breakfast. Servers seems disorientated. took about 15 minutes to get a coffee. But other than that it was great!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank VINTAGESKIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Lovely hotel within walking distance to a lot of Belfast's most popular destinations. Stayed for one night and were made feel very welcome by all staff. Had a lovely meal in the restaurant (also pleased to find out it accepts Highlife Diners Card!). Also has a late checkout (12 noon) so plenty of time to avail of the power shower and go for a walk before leaving. Will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We took advantage of the Sunday stopover deal, stay for £25 when you spend £75 in the bar or restaurant. We have a bischon frise and were delighted when we discovered it a dog friendly hotel. Check in was professional and friendly, even taking the time to welcome the dog. When we got to our room they had provided a little bed and bowl for him, a lovely touch. The room and bathroom were really spacious, beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean, the bed was massive and there is a well stocked mini bar with wine, beer, soft drinks, snacks. Pre-dinner cocktails were lovely and dinner was excellent, I couldn't fault the service either. Will be booking again very soon.

Room Tip: Opt for a superior room, for a little bit extra it's well worth it.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sonja O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Completely happy.
Beautiful room! Immaculate in terms of cleanliness.
If I could have fitted the wardrobe in my luggage I would have been away home with it! (joke). Beautiful decor, warm lighting. Felt really luxurious!
Bathroom was great! The toiletries were lovely. Great powerful large head shower.
Staff very very welcoming and chatty.
Genuinely can't fault anything!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Zen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Stayed for 1 night, rooms spacious and modern, staff friendly... mini bar in room is great all though abit pricy... restraunt is amazing but again expensive,,, 2x steak and chips 2x dessert and 1 bottle of wine... £120.... nice bar area... breakfast is great,good choice of cooked & continental... good location in belfast... wouldnt park in the multi story again £18 overnight.... overall great stay and would return :)

choccies and card in room was a nice touch on arrival :)

Room Tip: Book a deluxe room - :)
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Thank kate_2x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Malmaison

Address: 34-38 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GH, 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:
#18 Luxury Hotel in Belfast
#20 Family Hotel in Belfast
#22 Romantic Hotel in Belfast
Price Range: $137 - $297 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Malmaison 4*
Number of rooms: 64
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Hotel Belfast

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