Travel Blogs from Belfast
Hmmm. . .Belfast. . .where to begin. Grammy (Connie) and I had a nice, short flight to Belfast International on Tuesday April 19. We were out the door of my flat by 4:30 am and to Edinburgh airport in plenty of time. After a long bus ride from the airport to Europa Station in Belfast and an almost free taxi to Helga Lodge, we dropped our bags in …
... was some good fun. After that, thought, I had to rush back to the hostel to watch the Fightin' Irish take on the Trojans to complete our undefeated season and win a spot in Miami for the BCS National Championship. I can't believe we're going to the championship!!! Nobody on the volleyball team understood my excitement about American football, especially the French guys who heard the American pronunciation of Notre ...
... I saw a lot of loading and unloading cranes that were used for cargo shipments. Belfast is a huge port. I even got too see where the Titanic was built. It was amazing. You could see slight hills in the distance. I really liked the port. I knew I would visit it again during my stay. I headed back to my hotel and got dinner there.
I called a day and decided to watch BBC for the rest of the ...
... empty the dry dock in 100 minutes at the rate of an olympic pool
every 30 seconds). It was an absolutely fantastic day!
Fun fact - the Titanic was 32 feet too long to fit into the dry dock. The engineers
created a hinge system for the sea gate which meant that when the gate opened
to admit the water, it floated up and was re-set on a different set of hinges
37 feet further ...
After a late night organising tomorrows transport we got down to breakfast at 7:45 and met up with The Browns for the final time. We said our goodbyes as we left at 8:30 as we had decided to walk over to China town as it boasts the largest arch outside of Shanghai plus it was just around the corner from the Liverpool Cathedral. Our aim was to get back in time to catch the 10:05 bus to Liverpool John Lennon ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews CitiLodge Belfast
We went to Belfast for Tennets Vitail and since Helga House was close by it seemed the prefect place. it was very quaint but clean and comfortible. the slice of ham at Breakfast was a bit weird but everything else was ok. i would go back, i felt relaxed and in good suroundings. not to bad at all, plenty of hot water and the sheets and towels where nice and fresh.
Stayed at the Helga Lodge, (unfortunately) room tiny, decor awful, ensuite shower room so small you could not dry yourself without doing yourself an injury. Every thing including breakfast cheap and basic, do yourself a favour do not stay here. £25 per person per night is way, way to expensive.
Avoid Helga Lodge
I stayed in Helga Lodge for 2 nights with a group of friends. I think we all had the same complaints about it. My room was freezing cold when I got there, luckily there was a small heater in the room. The common areas were unheated which in february made them freezing. The decor in the room was really dated with clashing patterns and colours. The ensuite resembled a wardrobe with a toilet and shower. There was no hot water on the firts morning, and no shampoo or shower gel. The towels smelled of cigarette smoke which was quite unpleasant. Some of our group who were supposed to have ensuites had just a shower cubicle in their room which if you were sharing with friends would be rather awkward. The breakfast was awful - like the other reviews I was amazed to find ham instead of bacon. Luckily the toast was edible. I would not recommend staying there to anyone. £50 seems like a complete rip-off when you see this place.
Under no circumstances stay in the Helga Lodge. The place is awful, run down and unpleasant. Our room was cold, damp and PINK (walls, carpet, ceiling, sheets, sink, toilet, soap, curtains, all pink) Inside of shower was covered with lino which was black and rotten at the bottom and not a place to expose your bare skin!
Breakfast was awful (slices of wafer thin ham instead of bacon - what's that about??)
Believe me, I can tell you more, but that should be sufficient to deter you.
Dissatisfied with Helga Lodge
My boyfriend and I spent a night in Helga Lodge over the weekend. Firstly, the directions to the B & B were useless so we rang the B&B to get some help at 4pm on the evening that we were to arrive. Unfortunately, the recepionist was rude and unhelpful. We spent almost two hours trying to find it and when we arrived at 6pm we were informed by the same rude receptionist that we were late and that he had given our room to another person. This was despite the fact that our tardiness was partly due to his useless directions. After being extremely rude to us he decided that he would give us a family room and abbruptly poointed out that breakfast was between the hours of 7.30 and 9 "PRECISELY". The room was damp, drafty and cold. There was no toilet paper or basic wash products like soap in the room. There was a heater in the room but when it did eventually heat up it ony succeeded in making the room stuffy and uncomfortable.
Unfortunately for us we got up early for the breakfast. It was terrible we got no cereal and the "Full" breakfast was extremely disappointing. For example the "bacon" consisted of a wafer thin slice of cold ham. Not your typical Full Irish. I could go on but suffice it to say that we wont be staying there again.
We went up for the Xfactor auditions and found the staff great, the room was like something out of the 60's all pink and all..but we loved it. There was a tv, sink, loads of storage space, and we found the tray very danty. It was clean and affordable at £30 a nite for a double room and on a Saturday nite also it was cheap and cheerful. The breakfast was small but nice.
We booked into this hotel because one of the houses used to be my family home, so it was to be a nostalgia experience. From this point of view it was successful since the present conditions are very much like the cold, grime and general discomfort of a 1950s/1960s Belfast childhood. Do not even think of going to this awful hotel, it is absolutely the worst I have ever stayed at. The cost of £50 for a very cold (electric bar heater on the wall) , horribly decorated and grimy twin room was not cheap, particularly since we were not brave enough to attempt the breakfast. The common areas were awful too. The receptionist was very pleasant, but that was not enough. This place badly needs a re-fit .
We made a reservation by telephone on 23 July 2005 for a double room for 6 August 2005. We at the time told the hotel management that we would be arriving late in the evening of Aug. 6 as we were taking the late afternoon ferry from Stranraer in Scotland. We were assured that this was not a problem but, just to be sure that all would be fine, we sent an email from Scotland in the morning of the 6th to inform the hotel management that we would be arriving at around 10 PM.
At our arrival at the hotel (at 10 PM) we were informed that there was no room for us. When we mentioned the July phone call and that morning's email, we were told extremely rudely that we were late and that there was no room left for us. The Manager told us that there was no record of us making a reservation by phone previously and that he was not reading emails. As he was perusing his reservation book we actually did see that our name and reservation was listed, something he then tried to dismiss by saying that, in any case, he did not have a credit card number to guarantee the room (something that we had offered to give him while on the phone back in July).
All the while we were systematically insulted: called liars, arrogant (for presuming that hotel management had nothing better to do than to read emails) and other assorted invectives. There was no real effort made at helping us find alternative accommodation or any other kind of satisfactory arrangements. Our plight (my wife, pregnant, was very tired by that time) was obviously the least of his concerns. Ultimately we ended up in the street, left to fend for ourselves in an unknown city in the middle of the night with fully-booked hotels everywhere.
I had stayed at the Helga some years ago and enjoyed a very comfortable stay in a pleasant part of the city, just a short walk from the centre. But under new ownership standards have plummeted to rock-bottom. Having booked by e-mail and confirmed by phone some weeks before, we found that our rooms had been let to others. After some half an hour standing in the lobby whilst the rather embarrassed receptionist tried to persuade my friend and I to share a room, we were asked to speak to the owner by phone. He accused me of not confirming the booking but eventually "discovered" that there were two singles available after all. We were shown to our rather scruffy rooms and directed to the shared toilet and shower facilities. The toilet seat was boken and the beds had clearly been slept in, so a quick exit was made to find more acceptable accommodation. We ended up paying £70 at the nearby Madison's Hotel instead of the anticipated £25 each, but the extra cost was worthwhile! It's generally true that you get what you pay for!
Reasonable, but needs to do better...
Helga was not a first option but they had space for a single traveller. I stayed 2 nights here in a twin ensuite for £37 pn, as doubles would be £50. A cooked breakfast is included- i recommend opting for scrambled not fried eggs, but hey, find out for yourself!
The staff are friendly and helpful, but that doesn't detract from the old, 70's slap-dash mis-matched decor, the brown tint on everything from carpet to wall paper and general vision of a time warp. It can feel claustrophobic for this reason, and not somewhere to spend much time in. BUT- for shared acommodation on a budget (25 for singles wiv wash basin), in a great location, for a short trip, it isn't bad. there aren't any single rooms with ensuite tho.
So if there's no availability at any of the BBs nearby (tara lodge is one), then this would do. You can't miss the green and cream bold face next door to the local Indian restaurant:-) 2.5/5