Review: AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast, Northern Ireland
It’s always a treat to stay at almost brand new hotel property. The AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast, Northern Ireland met all these requirements. The AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast is Marriott’s newest addition to Belfast and is attracting a mix of leisure and business travellers alike in its location in the Donegal Quay just steps from Central Belfast. How would our stay at the AC Hotel end up ?
This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland via TAP Portugal and British Airways Business Class.
- A Positioning Flight: Air Canada Vancouver – Toronto
- TAP Portugal Business Class: Toronto – Lisbon
- Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa, Lisbon, Portugal
- The First Steps in the Hilly Capital City of Lisbon, Portugal
- Exploring the Turrets of Castelo del São Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal
- The Seaside Town of Belem and the Jerónimos Monastery, Portugal
- The Lisbon Cathedral and Iberico Ham at Time Out Market, Lisbon, Portugal
- TAP Portugal Premium Business Lounge, Lisbon, Portugal
- TAP Portugal Business Class: Lisbon – London Heathrow
- Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge: London Heathrow Terminal Two
- The Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington, United Kingdom
- Walking Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, London, United Kingdom
- Churchill’s War Rooms & Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
- Touring the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, London, United Kingdom
- Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
- De-Cyphering the Rosetta Stone and Camden Locks, London United Kingdom
- Day Tripping to Stonehenge, Salisbury, United Kingdom
- The Moxy London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal Two
- Aer Lingus: London Heathrow – Dublin
- Aloft Dublin City, Dublin, Ireland
- Discovering Temple Bar District, Dublin, Ireland
- Calling on the Guiness Storehouse and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
- The Shertaon Athlone Hotel, Athlone, Ireland
- Drinking at Ireland’s Oldest Bar, Athlone, Ireland
- Hiking Along the Cliff’s of Moher, Ireland
- Crystal Springs Bed and Breakfast, Killarney, Ireland
- Circling The Skelling Islands and Driving the Ring of Kerry, Ireland
- Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland
- AC Hotel by Marriott, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Experiencing the Tragedy of the Titanic at the Titanic Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- In the Shadows at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
- Terminal One T1 Lounge, Dublin Airport, Ireland
- British Airways Club Europe: Dublin – London Heathrow
- Cathay Pacific Business Lounge, London Heathrow
- No1 Lounge, London Heathrow
- British Airways Club World Business Class: London – Vancouver
Review: AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast, Northern Ireland
On our driving trip, we were in Belfast, Northern Ireland for two nights. We were aiming for a property that was easily accessible by car, but also relatively close to the central business district to take in the sights of Belfast and its tourist attractions like the Titanic Museum. Fortunately, the AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast met all those needs. At the time of our stay, it was also the only Marriott branded hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Booking the Hotel:
I booked the hotel directly through the Marriott website. I located a rate of £120 GBP ($153 USD), which I thought was fairly reasonable for a hotel in the middle of tourist season summer in August. The rates typically went up to as high as £160 GBP ($196 USD). By booking direct, we would also have the usual suite of Marriott Bonvoy Elite benefits, which at the Titanium Level, included upgrade to best available room including select suites, guaranteed late 4 PM check and a welcome amenity on check in which included a complimentary breakfast.
For those looking to book with Marriott Bonvoy Points, the hotel was a Marriott Bonvoy Category 4 hotel. Rooms were available starting at 25,000 Marriot Bonvoy Points. I typically value Marriott Bonvoy Points at $0.005, meaning that you’d be further ahead redeeming if the room rate was above £97 GBP ($125 USD) While it may make sense to redeem points against this hotel, in this case, I had already redeemed 215,000 Marriott Bonvoy points earlier on this trip at the Aloft Dublin City and the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington. As a result, the balance was already lower than I would have liked so I just paid for the nights instead.
Getting to the AC Hotel Belfast:
We self drove to the the AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast courtesy of Google Maps on our GPS. Arriving by car, I noticed a Drop Off and commercial deliveries sign. I was expecting a parking sign but wasn’t able to locate one. As a result, we headed around the block again until we were able to get back around to the front of the property. It turns out that this hotel doesn’t have any parking itself and has contracted with an off site low rise parking garage called the NCP Belfast City Quays located almost directly across the street.
It’s worth saying that the hotel was fairly new during the time of our stay. The hotel has a waterfront location on the Donegall Quay at River Lagan and is almost immediately opposite the river from the Titanic Museum.
Checking Into the AC Hotel Belfast:
The first impressions on arrival are quite good as the property is almost brand new. It has sleek lines and contemporary feel to the property leading to a modern feel to the hotel.
We parked in the unattended loading zone and went inside to check in. The lobby was a nice space that offered open plan access to the restaurant and nearby lounge.
In terms of the Marriott Bonvoy Titanium breakfast benefit, we opted for the 10£ food and beverage credit. I confirmed with the front desk that the amount would be valid for breakfast. We were given the paper breakfast vouchers ( X 2 persons) and given the breakfast hours of 6 -10 AM.
We had booked a Standard Twin Room, Guest room, 2 Twin/Single Bed(s), City view which was their base level room. We were very pleased to receive a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Level Upgrade to a Superior Queen Room with Two Queen Beds with a Water View. This room category is one level below a One Bedroom Suite, so it was a pretty good upgrade given that we preferred having two separate beds.
Getting into the hotel itself, once you were past the entrance and lobby elevators. the lobby offered communal spaces along with coves for working. These spaces were frequently occupied on our visits.
With an excellent water location on the Donegal Quay, the lobby bar had great views from almost every window in the restaurant and lounge.
The Room: A Superior Queen Room – Two Queens
We led ourselves up to room #704 which was located on the top floor. I had booked a standard city view room on a cash rate and the hotel room controller had proactively upgraded us into a Superior Queen Room with 2 Queens.
Room #704 was located at the end of the hall and located behind a keyed duplex door. This could possibly allow two families (or a small group) to stay within two rooms and be able to run back and forth between the rooms similar to an a-joining room set up.
Along with the new construction of the hotel, it was a newer room. The room was set up for occupancy for four persons. As a result, there were four coffee cups, four robes and four sets of towels.
One of the best features of the room was that it was nice to have two proper sized beds, instead of the usual tiny doubles that are often in European hotel rooms.
The room had a small table and chair set up, with a table that was easily large enough for in room dining.
On the in room luggage stand, there was a tea and coffee service, with service for four persons.
Despite service for four persons, the bathroom was the usual compact version that would be hard pressed to fit four persons.
The hotel had peek a boo views over to the water side and the titanic docks. Having said that, there is a building that is scheduled to be constructed immediately adjacent as the whole area is undergoing rejuvenation. This may eventually block some of the view. The Titanic Museum was also visible from the distance from our hotel room.
Food and Beverage on the Property:
Novelli at City Quays
The hotel restaurant is called Noveilli at City Quays. However, the same restaurant also doubles as the breakfast area in the morning.
As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium gift, we were offered the usual $10 voucher per person to be used as a credit towards food and beverage on the property. I indicated at check in that we would take it for breakfast and they converted it into two breakfast vouchers at the check in.
The breakfast was reasonable but not overly substantial. Although the breakfast did not appear to offer any a la carte features, at the time of our visit, it did feature pre-cooked fried eggs and Spanish omelettes along with the usual rashers of British bacon, sausages, potato pancakes and sautéed mushrooms. It was more than satisfactory but a little cafeteria styled.
At breakfast, old fashioned newspapers were available which is always a nice touch. There were some stark headlines with the Island facing an uncertain future with the looming prospective of Bre-Exit.
Around the Property:
The property is located immediately on the waterfront of the River Lagan. This is a gentrified area of Belfast that now features a waterfront walkway with pleasant views. The walkways continue along both sides of the river and it’s possible to walk to the Titanic Museum which is easily seen from the AC Hotel Belfast itself.
During our walk, we were also able to see some views back at the AC Hotel Belfast itself. It’s waterfront location was among the only waterfront locations we’d have in our week in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The hotel is located a fifteen minute walk from City Hall in Central Belfast, which is perfectly reasonable provided the weather is co-operating and it’s not wet, cold or raining in this northern city.
The Bottom Line: The AC Hotel Belfast
The AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast was a great place for us to touch down during our stay in Belfast. The accommodation was new, reasonably priced, and the location of the hotel along the waterfront made for a pleasant environment. The hotel was walkable from most areas of downtown Belfast, making it an easy choice for Marriott loyalists.