Putting on the Fitz

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A night in a luxurious city centre hotel might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

However the grand Fitzwilliam Hotel - situated on Belfast’s bustling Great Victoria Street - has the feel of a boutique hotel on New York’s Upper West side.

Without the views of Central Park, naturally.

However it immediately strikes one with its serene elegance. The hotel’s heartbeat is its welcoming lobby, the plush sofa chairs and centre-piece fireplace, a spacious and stunning atrium of glass and steel.

As rush hour traffic rushes past it’s the perfect haven to unwind. Note to self: we’re in a city hotel, remember.

It’s located next door to The Opera House and the Crown Bar and Robinsons are just a step away.

You can see why the well heeled and famous might want to drop in here.

From Mary Peters to Michael Flatley, it’s VIP heaven.

Once you step inside the magnificent Fitzwilliam it’s easy to slip into a blissful state of relaxation.

From the carefully chosen fabrics and elegant furnishings to the Egyptian linen and duck down duvets, everything in the guest rooms has been tailored for comfort.

And that goes for all the rooms, penthouse, deluxe or studio suite, with their super-sized beds, sleek furnishings and floor to wall windows which afford great views over Belfast. The bathrooms have wet-room shower and bath facilities.

Spacious and stylish the rooms are also packed full of modern amenities such as air-conditioning, CD player with MP3/iPod connection and LCD TV. The hotel also offers guests the use of 24 hour room service and a well-equipped gym.

The good news for diners is that the restaurant is excellent. All ingredients are locally sourced, which of course, one would expect these days.

You can tuck into dishes such as Wood Pigeon with Lentils, Bacon and Carrot Puree and Braised Belly of Pork with Celeriac Puree, Caramelised Apples and Armagh Cider Sauce. There’s also an impressive revamped wine menu to plunder and the breakfasts are well worth getting up for.

Our host Robin was terrific, knowlegeable, friendly and discerning. Hands on and personable - which is just what you want from a hotel such as The Fitz. Flawless service, friendly and smiling.

Perfect as a base to explore Belfast one can begin a night out in the cocktail bar or enjoy a pre-theatre dinner.

This stunning hotel remains a calm oasis away from the hustle and bustle.