I arrive in Belfast and check into the Fitzwilliam Hotel. Just enough time to shower and freshen up before the Pre-show Cocktail party in the award winning hotel Bar. Nice way to kick off the festivities!
I am in Belfast for the 2013 Belfast Fashion Week. Taking place in and around the city it is a landmark event in its ninth year.
For the purposes of my visit I have decided to stay at the Fitzwilliam Hotel as it is pretty central for all the events I am planning to attend.
The Fitzwilliam is a twenty minute drive from the Airport, and is located in the heart of Belfast city centre, surrounded by a bunch of trendy restaurants, bars and shops.
It opened in 2009 following a £20million investment. Since then it has earned a clutch of awards including the Most Stylish Bar & Restaurant in the Magner’s Style Awards (Jan 2010), LCN Style Bar of the Year (2013) and is the only hotel in Ireland to be included in the 2010 Conde Nast Traveller ‘Hot List’ of 66 hotels worldwide (April 2010).
London based Project Orange are responsible for the design of the hotel. Christopher Ash from the team describes the “baronial modern” style of the hotel as a reflection of the style of the renowned Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin. The themes and look combines that of a grand, stately baronial mansion house mixed with cutting edge modern decor.
Check in is speedy and the staff are efficient and friendly. There is a spectacular view from the room of the city and the surrounding hills. The huge comfy bed, has crisp white Egyptian linen, and a big snugly duvet. The bathroom has a fantastic power shower, and is equipped with anti mist mirrors. Complimentary high speed broadband is also available in the room. I had an hour to kill before the first event, so after I freshened up I hit the streets of Belfast. The Fitz is handy for some fabulous trendy restaurants and shops, everything is within walking distance and there’s little chance you will get lost.
First evening at the hotel and it’s time to head to the Award winning bar to kick-start Fashion week. Pre-show cocktails are in full flow when we join the fashion forward crowd. It’s clear to see why the bar is recipient to the Most Stylish Bar Award, it has pulled a fabulously fashionable crowd, some of who are holding up the bar, others are lounging in the intimate booths which line the walls.
We are having such a good time at the bar, that we are over half hour late for our first event. Loathe to leave we bundle ourselves into a taxi and head to the show. After a great night I head back to the hotel, for a heavenly night of sleep. Despite the central location, I manage to get a peaceful night of rest.
Waking up at leisure I head to the hotel’s main restaurant to have breakfast. The décor reflects the design element of the hotel and includes dining booths divided by rotating oak mobiles. The restaurant was also named the ‘Best Hotel Restaurant in Antrim’ in the Restaurant Association of Ireland’s Irish Restaurant Awards 2010. It has standard hotel fare with the continental buffet laid out for self service. Hot food can be ordered from the menu, as can speciality hot drinks. After a heavy night of fashion, I decide to have the Eggs Benedict with a latte. Great choice it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
I head back to the room and pack, as this is my last day at the Fitzwilliam. I have had a very pleasant stay and look forward to coming back. The proximity to the airport and the central location of this stylish hotel makes it a winner in my book.
For further information on the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast please visit www.fitzwilliamhotelbelfast.com