After a long drive in the world's most horrific rental car (I won't be recommending Avis Dublin Airport, although i stand by my belief that Avis are an excellent company to hire from- especially after they fixed the issue in record time and with amazing service), I arrived at the Fitzwilliam. I had selected it because finding a hotel in Belfast that has parking is much like finding a decent bakery on Sydney's northern beaches- difficult!
From the word go, the Fitzwilliam was a delight. The hire car from Hades was collected at the drop-off point by the concierge, who unloaded our luggage and whisked the car away to a secure parking lot (where, a day later, Avis would be kind and exchange it for something better)- Check in with the friendly staff was a breeze and the room, on Floor 7 (executive room) was clean, modern and well laid out. Waiting for me in the room was a note of welcome and several small treats- a macaroon was amongst them, always a winner with me. The shower was fantastic- I find too many hotels these days are like showing under a hose- but the Fitzwilliam actually had water pressure- a relief after a long drive. The fluffy white towels were a bonus, too!
I had booked dinner and breakfast as part of the package and was impressed- the food was delicious, the staff attentive. Nothing was too difficult and service was quick and pleasant. The baked chicken was amazing, but the Christmas Pudding was to die for. Whoever they have in the kitchen there knows how do to a good meal.
The concierge desk was able to give directions without hesitation and several brochures for local attractions were found discreetly near the roaring fireplace in the reception area.
Upon departing, my bags were collected and loaded into the (new!) car with ease. The Fitzwilliam was just what I wanted from a city hotel. Fantastic location (Laundromat down the street, great shops within a ten minute walk (think Avoca. Fantastic) and the hop on/hop off bus stopping just a few doors down at the Europa (once the most bombed hotel in Europe, during the height of the Troubles)- I'm back there on January 2nd for another stay, so stay tuned for an update on this review!