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Europa Hotel - Belfast 4.0

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Buzzing Belfast city center location opposite Opera House
  • Much visited by VIP, political, and celebrity guests
  • Soundproofed rooms with emphasis on comfortable beds
  • Room amenities include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks
  • Live music in both Piano Lounge and Lobby Bar
  • On-site dining with focus on locally sourced ingredients

Cons

  • No pool or fitness facilities
  • Classic rooms on the small side
  • Not all rooms have air-conditioning
  • Decor varies significantly between rooms (some renovated, some in need of renovation)

Bottom Line

This landmark 272-room Belfast hotel has seen a lot in its four-decade history -- from plentiful VIP visits to numerous renovations and repairs -- while maintaining a buzzy air of understated grandeur. Its location couldn't be more central, right in the heart of bustling Belfast. Soundproofing ensures little street noise makes it to the rooms, which are known for a particular attention to comfortable bedding. The elegant Piano Lounge attracts locals as well as the odd celebrity, though the lack of fitness facilities on-site feels like an oversight. Overall, it's a solid central Belfast choice, though for a more chic contemporary feel try The Fitzwilliam nearby.

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Scene

Hotel with understated grandeur

Opened in 1971, the Europa Hotel was the tallest building in Belfast at the time, and over its four decades gained the dubious distinction of being the most bombed hotel in the world (28 times during the Troubles). A long list of VIPs have stayed at this Belfast institution, from celebrities to Prime Ministers, and most famously the Clintons who they named a suite after. While the facade blends modern tower block with contemporized classical, the interiors have a suitably high-end finish, with polished stone floors, wooden paneling, and understated grandeur. Mood is formal but buzzy, attracting a mixture of business travelers, weekending couples, and the more mature tourist.

Location

Set in Belfast bustling center opposite the Grand Opera House

Map of Europa Hotel - Belfast

The Europa Hotel is located right in the heart of Belfast, opposite the Grand Opera House and just around the corner from Great Victoria Street train terminal. Most of the city center attractions are within walking distance, such as the Victoria Square shopping mall and the glass dome viewing gallery, offering specular cityscape views. The hotel is three miles from George Best Belfast City Airport while Belfast International Airport is 16 miles away.

Rooms

Soundproofed rooms with emphasis on comfortable beds

The hotel has 272 rooms, all of which are decorated in a warm, homey style with traditional furnishings and Ralph Lauren fabrics. Emphasis is on comfort, with large beds having pillow-top mattresses and extra thick duvets. In-room entertainment includes flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, while Wi-Fi is also available free of charge. Bathrooms are finished in chrome and ceramic or granite tiling, and includes walk-in shower with rain-shower head. Rooms are particularly well soundproofed from the city center bustle. However, decor is inconsistent throughout; some rooms are modern and appealing while others -- with outdated patterned carpets and drapes -- could use an update.

Features

Afternoon Tea and evening cocktails with live jazz

The hotel's Causerie restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in modern, informal surrounds and prides itself on sourcing most of its produce from local suppliers. More formal elegance is found in the Piano Lounge, serving Afternoon Tea, and evening cocktails to a backdrop of live music twice a week. The Lobby Bar provides a more casual ambience and live jazz every Saturday. Conference and event facilities are also available.

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Address

Great Victoria St., Belfast BT2 7AP, United Kingdom

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