Last month we were invited to stay at the Radisson Blu Belfast, a 4* hotel in the heart of the Belfast city. Since moving to Northern Ireland six years ago we’ve barely explored Belfast, despite living only an hour away on the bus. We’ve been planning a family trip to the city for a while, and the Radisson Blu hotel was the perfect family friendly hotel to call home for the night. As we’ve never stayed in a hotel as a family before, the kids were equally excited and nervous about the new experience. Regular readers of my blog may remember that I wrote a 30 before 30 bucket list last year, and staying in a fancy hotel was one of the things on my list, so I couldn’t wait!
We travelled to Belfast by bus, arriving in to the city ten minutes before check in time. It took us about ten minutes to walk from the main bus station to the hotel. When arriving at the hotel on foot, you approach the hotel from the back. There is an entrance to the hotel on this side, although we didn’t notice it and walked around the building to the front entrance. When walking to and from the city centre it is more convenient to use the back entrance.
We arrived at the hotel at 3pm for check in, and found it very welcoming from the moment we arrived. The entrance foyer was spacious, with a large seating area and big leather sofas.
We were greeted by a friendly member of staff, who got us our room key, and informed us about dinner and breakfast times. She went out of her way to talk to the children, and ask us what we had planned for our night in Belfast. Before heading to our room, the kids were each given a Radisson Blu explorers pack, containing activities, crayons and a packet of sweets, which I thought was a nice touch.
Our room was situated on the 7th floor, the top floor of the hotel. The glass lift overlooked the large water feature at the back of the hotel, which Neil described as ‘an awesome view’.
We stayed in a family room, which featured a king sized bed, a pull out bed for the kids, a desk, a storage area with a safe, and a TV with access to premium movies. The rooms all come with free wifi, which was great for us as it meant the kids could watch youtube while we were relaxing (the kids loved this!).
There was a large bathroom with a bath and shower, a well lit mirrored area and even had under floor heating, which is the ultimate luxury to me! We were also provided with complimentary robes, towels and toiletries. The room was clean and spacious, and felt warm and inviting.
The kids were so excited to explore the room, and spent ten minutes running around checking everything out. They were very pleased to find a kettle, along with tea bags for daddy, who can’t go a night without a cup of tea. There was also a Nespresso machine with a few different coffee pods for all of the coffee lovers (like me!) out there.
The hotel offers some great views of Belfast in both directions. Our room had a view out over the city centre, with the famous Samson & Goliath cranes in the distance.
After dumping our bags, we wanted to make the most of the afternoon and explore the city a bit. The Radisson Blu Belfast is in the perfect location to do that. Situated in the Gasworks district of the city, on the banks of the river Lagan, the hotel is in a good spot to access what Belfast has to offer.
It is about a five to ten minute walk to the heart of the city centre, meaning the hotel is in a more quiet area, which is perfect for families looking for a relaxing stay.
At the rear of the hotel there is a Belfast Bikes rental terminal, which allows you to travel around the city by bike. This would be great if you were visiting with a family of older children. You can find out more about the Belfast Bikes here.
Dinner – After a busy day shopping and exploring, we were starting to feel pretty hungry. Dinner was served between 6 and 10pm, which was great because we didn’t have to hurry back. The hotel has a restaurant, and a cafe/ bar attached, which serve food and drink all day.
We booked a table for 8pm in the restaurant. We made our way through the bar, and in to the restaurant, and were seated straight away. The bar was quite busy, full of families and groups of friends enjoying their evening. The restaurant was much quieter, which was better for us as our son Neil has ASD and doesn’t enjoy being in busy areas.
We were given our menus, along with special activity packs for the kids to keep them entertained while we waited for our food. The food on the restaurant menu looked amazing, but unfortunately we weren’t really in the mood for a large meal. After speaking to a member of staff, they were happy to let us order from the bar menu, but allowed us to stay in the restaurant where it wasn’t as busy.
My husband and I both ordered Pizza with skinny fries, Caitlin ordered mini burgers and Neil ordered a mini pizza. While we waited for our food, the kids enjoyed playing with their puzzles and colouring in.
The atmosphere of the bar and restaurant was nice. The bar behind us was lively, but not too loud, and there was a good buzz about the place. The food arrived in about 30 minutes, and we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
The food was delicious, and served in rather generous helpings. It really pained me to have to leave food on my plate because it tasted so good, but I couldn’t finish it all! We were impressed with the large selection of food available, and felt the quality of the food was fantastic.
Breakfast – We headed down for breakfast at around 9am after having a bit of a lie in. Breakfast is served in a buffet style. There was a large selection, with hot food, cereal, pastries, yoghurts and more on offer, along with a range of fruit juices, smoothies, water and tea & coffee.
My husband had a bacon and sausage bap with a big pot of tea, and the children both had cereal with a chocolate muffin. I opted for a strawberry yoghurt and a chocolate muffin, with some fresh apple juice which was very refreshing. The breakfast was delicious, my husband has said he wants to stay at the hotel again just to eat the breakfast again!
After a long day out and about in the city, we found the Radisson Blu Belfast to be the perfect place to rest our legs. After our dinner, we all headed back to the room to relax and watch a movie. The family rooms come with the premium movies included, meaning we could curl up and watch Inside Out together in bed. The beds were comfortable, and we all woke up feeling refreshed in the morning.
It’s the little things, like the inclusion of the movies, and the activity packs, which really make this hotel worthy of it’s 4* rating. Honestly, we were worried about feeling out of place while we were visiting, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. While the hotel feels luxurious, it is also very welcoming, and very accommodating of families.
We enjoyed our stay so much we are planning on heading back for a night in the summer when the weather is a bit nicer.
If you are planning on staying in Belfast, either with the kids or on your won, I would urge you to consider the Radisson Blu Belfast. You can view the hotel and book a room here.
Disclaimer: We were invited to stay at the Radisson Blu Belfast on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, however all opinions are my own.
Linking up with Tried & Tested