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Review: the Hilton Belfast hotel, newly refurbished

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This is our review of the Hilton Belfast hotel, which has recently been refurbished.

The last stop on my mini tour of Liverpool and Belfast was the Hilton Belfast hotel. The Hilton was one of the first international hotels to open in the city back in 1998 as part of the redevelopment along the River Lagan.

It has recently undergone a £10 million refurbishment of all the rooms and public spaces. It marginally increased its room count to 202 by moving the Executive Lounge to the ground floor.

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Head for Points paid for its room, but at a slightly reduced media rate.

Where is the Hilton Belfast hotel?

You’ll find the Hilton Belfast just East of the city centre, on a little peninsula of the River Lagan. It is next door to the Waterfront Hall and just across the street from St Georges Market. Lanyon Place, one of the train stations, is also very close.

Whilst it is on the fringes of the city centre, Belfast is tiny and very walkable – it won’t take you very long to get into town.

Inside the Hilton Belfast hotel

To its credit, the hotel has done an excellent job in the refurbishment and it looks very smart. Immediately as you walk in you are greeted by a number of reception and concierge desks, with seating on the right surrounded by a feature staircase to the first floor where you’ll find a range of meeting rooms.

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Suites at Hilton Belfast

I was checked in very quickly. The hotel was fairly busy with corporate guests so I was lucky to be upgraded to what I believe is one of the top corner suites in the hotel, on the 13th floor.

This was, of course, complete overkill for a one night stay (I probably spent about 14 hours in the hotel in total!) but I hope it gives you a good impression of how the refurbishment has gone.

This is a one bedroom suite. The first room is an open plan living / dining room:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

On the left is a large bathroom with bathtub with double washbasins:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

This is the larger of the two bathrooms, with the other featuring only a shower and one washbasin.

Here is the rest of the room:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

The minibar is hidden away in the TV stand, which is a bit of an odd choice for it given there are plenty of console tables elsewhere. The mini fridge was empty and there was only a kettle available – no coffee machine, as far as I could tell, which is odd for a top suite.

In the next room is the bedroom. This can be fully private or open thanks to two doors that disappear into the walls:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

The bed is big and there were numerous outlets on both sides:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Next to the bed is an armchair and coffee table whilst in the left hand corner you’ll also find a large corner desk with views across the river:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

To the right of the bed you’ll find the small bathroom. It’s fairly cramped – just enough for one person:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Toiletries are the standard Hilton Crabtree & Evelyn, but the packaging has been rebranded and now looks much smarter:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Oddly, some face soaps were still in the old brand – clearly the hotel is still making its way through old stocks.

Opposite the bathrooms is a large wall of wardrobes:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

The rooms had clearly had a full makeover, although the air conditioning units were prehistoric and in need of user-friendly replacement:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

The rooms also had a dis-ordinate number of light switches which all seemed to do similar jobs. It took me about five minutes to get all the lights off before I went to bed!

Hilton Belfast Executive Lounge & breakfast

I arrived just in time to enjoy the final hour of happy hour in the Hilton Executive Lounge.

As previously noted, this has changed during the refurbishment. It used to be on the 12th floor and has now moved onto the ground floor in the middle of the lobby. Whilst I’m told it is now physically bigger, it has unfortunately lost any natural light and the views it previously commanded.

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

It is still nicely done, however:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Whilst the food is self-service, drinks are poured by one of the staff members. Fortunately, she was excellent and came around multiple times before last orders.

The food itself was basic. The only hot items were quiches and chicken skewers:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

A small charcuterie was also available, plus cheese, bread and various other accompaniments:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Breakfast in the Riverside Restaurant

Whilst a small breakfast is available in the lounge, a more substantial offering is available at the Riverside Restaurant. This is a lovely, light filled space with views across the river and a small outdoor patio which must be great in better weather.

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

The breakfast comes in a buffet format and is fully self-serve. Once you check in at reception you can literally sit anywhere (and fetch your own tea / coffee in the process).

The buffet is in a side room. Hot items include everything you’d want for a full English breakfast, with scrambled eggs, baked beans, (cheap-looking) sausages, bacon and more. The tomatoes were a little underdone I thought.

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

There’s also a number of pastries:

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

Plus cereals, yoghurts and a small selection of other items.

Review Hilton Belfast hotel

To be perfectly honest, it isn’t the most impressive breakfast ever, but what was particularly silly was the mismatching cutlery at each table. It just comes across as cheap.


If you think Hilton hotels are boring and business-focused with no character, it is worth taking another look. We are, slowly, seeing Hilton start to refresh its properties with modern and stylish design, and the Hilton Belfast is just the latest to get it.

Overall, I would stay at the Hilton Belfast hotel again. Whilst there is still some room for improvement, it boasts stylish rooms (although I’m not sure why the AC controls were missed during the refurb) and some lovely views across the river.

Room rates start at around £120 per night, although they can occasionally dip lower. Redemptions start at 28,000 points. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

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Comments (53)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Barry Boggins says:

    i spent 4 months living in the Hilton in Belfast, alas during Covid, and it was pretty darn good prior to the upgrade.

    Bit confused about the exec lounge moving to the ground floor though as it was already there, to the right of check in.

    The one thing that let the place down during my stay was the food and drink options in the exec lounge, which at one point they shut down due to covid anyway.

    Its really well located for a casual stroll into town too.

    • PeteM says:

      See the first comment…

    • joe Jordan says:

      The exec lounge was definitely on the ground floor after the first covid reopening, and both drinks and food was served to the table, you got a rather meagre food offering as I recall.

  • Richie says:

    Is Stormont easy to get to from the city centre.

    • Ali B says:

      10 minutes in a taxi outside rush hour, or you can get the Glider bus all the way up the Upper Newtownards Road

  • Nick says:

    This hotel was my covid highlight! Had a lovely long weekend there, the breakfast was cooked to order every day except Sunday and it was absolutely fantastic. I remember needing support from the reception team with something and they couldn’t have been more helpful.

    But someone really needs to teach Rhys about the history of 20th century NI… calling it an English breakfast might well start a riot. Not cool.

  • His Holyness says:

    Love all the empty space taken up by carefully displayed yoghurts 😂

  • E4 Traveller says:

    When I stayed at the Hilton Glasgow recently I thought the same thing about the sausages. No excuse for that. Even Premier Inn does a fine banger.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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