A boutique hotel within walking distance of Belfast’s highlights
Born and raised in the West Belfast working class, I grew up understanding that Malone Road was “where the rich lived.”
Now, after staying in the 4-star boutique hotel, The Malone, a remodeled Victorian townhouse, I have to admit that I enjoyed the elegance of the neighborhood.
Outside, leafy streets, predominantly residential, and large brown brick houses that emanate a soothing sense of tranquility. Inside, a marble floor, a spacious low-ceilinged lobby with plenty of leather armchairs and soft seats, and a grand piano.
As for the “rich”, the houses may be owned by quite affluent people, but on the street where the hotel is located many are subdivided into apartments.
I also didn’t see any obvious evidence of elitism. Instead, an elderly woman walking, her dog running next to her, some small children walking to school, and people on bicycles heading for work or college.
As for the hotel itself, my partner and I stayed in one of its executive rooms at the end of the third floor hallway. Overlooking the tree-lined street and branches of lime trees stretching their limbs towards us, we sat relaxing in the armchairs of a wrapped window.
Our room was classically designed with some sleek elements, such as decorative “bubble glass” night light holders. It had a large flat screen TV placed on a wall and a desk and a chair in a corner of the room. A closed mahogany closet and a large separate closet provided more than enough space for our belongings. The brightly lit black and white tiled bathroom includes a separate bath and shower. The toiletries, in innovative packaging created by Bunzl Rafferty Hospitality in Armagh, are marked with the name of the Irish-American designer Paul Costelloe and are made in Italy. Its tag says, “Cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free.”The residence building, an extension of the hotel across the street, consists of nine rooms, including three apartments. The rooms are all double occupancy, including family rooms with kitchen.
Formerly the Malone Lodge Hotel & Apartments and once a World War II hospital, the refurbished hotel opened in June this year, following a redesign that cost around £ 250,000. It has been owned for the last 30 years by the Macklin family, whose interests include nursing homes and construction. Next year, an extension of the hotel will be added, with 24 more rooms, with a total of 95, and an expanded restaurant.
Be sure to visit the hotel’s attractive pub, The Greyhound, in a casual setting inspired by New York’s Dead Rabbit. Check out Audrey Hepburn, whose face adorns the entrance. The motto is’Well done local food‘and our presumptuous gastro-food support experiences. We enjoyed buffalo winged starters with Cashel blue cheese and iced pork belly bites with whiskey with apple and cabbage and celery salad and our main courses included a falafel burger with a red onion brioche, tomato and local Ballymaloe condiment and a succulent salmon pie. coley and smoked haddock covered with champion. Dessert was a Belfast delicacy called “Fifteen Homemade.”
Some nights, The Greyhound offers steak specials and live music on Fridays. I loved finding it has its own beer brewed by The Yardman Brewery. Guests can also dine al fresco on the covered terrace overlooking the street.
Congratulations to Executive Chef Andrew McConnell on the quality of the cuisine and to staff members Gemma Molloy and Sé McKee for their efficient and friendly service. Please note that another dining option for guests is the restaurant, Gallery.
Speaking of staff, a special mention should also be made of “Angel of Mercy,” Stacy Hagen, Seattle’s hotel reception supervisor. Without his urgent help to get us to the bus station, we would have missed the only daily service to Donegal, our next destination.
The Malone has free parking and offers corporate and personal events with a meeting room for up to 200 people and another room for up to 90 people. A more intimate room seats ten.
And last but not least, The Malone’s location in Queen’s University’s historic district south of Belfast means visiting the city’s highlights such as the Ulster Museum, the Botanic Gardens, the Lyric Theater, the Queen’s University itself and the Crescent Arts Center, home of the “Belfast Book Festival”. they are within walking distance.