Review: Hilton Belfast

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This review of the Hilton Belfast is the fifth in a series of six posts about my December 2019/January 2020 trip to Dublin and Belfast. My last post, covering the Giant’s Causeway and my exploration of Western Belfast, is available here. Note: this trip was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus may reflect a very different world than we are facing now.
Front of Hilton Belfast

The Hilton Belfast

For several reasons, I’m only going to do a quick review of the Hilton Belfast. One of the weird things about my stay is that the hotel was about half-renovated. There wasn’t construction which I noticed, but it felt like different areas of the hotel were in different eras. Hopefully by the time you go there, the renovation will be done.

The Hilton Belfast is on the edge of the city center, in an office park area near the Lanyon Place train station, on the way into town. The immediate area isn’t particularly charming, though close to St. George’s Market, but it’s easy enough to walk anywhere in the city center, and also to the Titanic Quarter- all of which I did, covered here.

side view of Hilton Belfast

Approach to Hilton Belfast

The lobby is one of the parts of the hotel that hadn’t been renovated. It seemed like it was the original from the 1990s when the property was built, and the furniture was dated and showing some wear and tear. The lobby did also have a display showing renderings of the renovation, and, when complete, it looked like it will be an extraordinarily posh property.  The bar off one side of the lobby has been renovated already, and seemed nice.

Hilton Belfast lobby, December 2019

Torn seat, Hilton Belfast lobby

Renderings of renovation, Hilton Belfast

Newly renovated bar, Hilton Belfast

The agent at check-in was very friendly, and informed me I had been upgraded to a King Executive room as a Diamond member.  The room was fine. It was on the 11th Floor, and I don’t know if it actually had been renovated. The hallways on the 11th floor were certainly not, as I could see other floors had been renovated to match the new design scheme.  The main part of the room seemed like it had been recently refreshed, though no outlets near the bed. The room had a king-size bed, and nice views into the city. There were two bottles of water and a coffee/tea service.

King Executive Room, Hilton Belfast

King Executive Room, Hilton Belfast

View, Hilton Belfast

View, King Executive Room, 11th Fl., Hilton Belfast

The bathroom, however, had seen better days. The design was very old-school, and there was some mold on the shower head. There was a piece of plastic on the wall where there clearly had formerly been a phone.

Bathroom, Hilton Belfast King Executive Room

Bathroom, Hilton Belfast King Executive Room

Bathroom, Hilton Belfast King Executive Room

One thing that was weird about the hotel is that, unlike any Hilton I’ve ever heard of, it completely shuts down from December 24 through 26, and has limited services the week after when it reopens. It was particularly surprising given how busy the hotel and Belfast actually were when I arrived on the 29th.

2019-20 Holiday Schedule

The hours of the facilities when I stayed were fine for my purposes. The lounge was on the same floor as my room, and was not renovated. It was pretty crowded and cramped.

Executive Lounge, Hilton Belfast

Executive Lounge, Hilton Belfast

I only went for the evening cocktail hour, where there was a full bar, but very little food. They would bring out one bowl of hot food at a time, and it would be gone in minutes. The first night, the two dishes were grilled cheese bites and wings, and the second night they were egg rolls and chicken satay. There was also some bread, hummus and cheese, and tortilla chips. A new lounge is coming and that will be good.


Food table #1, Hilton Belfast Executive Lounge

Food table #2, Hilton Belfast Executive Lounge

Bar, Hilton Belfast Executive Lounge

Breakfast was served at the Sonoma restaurant – a weird name for Belfast, I think. The restaurant had been renovated, and was a really nice space. There was a fairly standard buffet, which I had full access to as a diamond member. You could also order eggs, which I did on one of my two days.

Hilton Belfast, Sonoma Restaurant

Hilton Belfast, Sonoma Restaurant

Hilton Belfast, Sonoma Restaurant, part of breakfast buffet

The gym was small but functional.

Fitness center, Hilton Belfast

The staff overall was friendly, and even helped me mail a letter by running it through their machine.  I’d stay here again.

View of hotel in distance

Hilton Belfast from Titanic Quarter

Up next: the conclusion of my trip, flying from Dublin to DC via London.






2 thoughts on “Review: Hilton Belfast

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