#stayNI : Bishops Gate Hotel

Bishops Gate Hotel, is just about to celebrate its first birthday and already it’s the winning awards and acclaim from the industry and tourists.

    Named as the ‘Hideaway of the Year’ at the Georgina Campbell 2017 awards hospitality guide. More here.

    Third place in the NI Hotels Federation ‘Hotel Restaurant of the Year’ category, sponsored by Stephens Catering.

    Winner of 2nd place in the UK’s top 25 rated hotels by TripAdvisor in the annual Travellers’ Choice awards.

And these are no doubt just the beginning!

Edwardian Bishops Gate exterior
We were invited by the operator of the hotel Ciaran O’Neill, to experience what everyone seems to be talking about, and it most certainly lived up to the hype. It’s up there with the best in Northern Ireland, and in some ways, beats the best.  

Arriving early, our room was ready, no waiting for that sometimes strict 3pm check-in, we were taken to our room by the concierge and settled in. But how could I not mention check-in first. With a sparkling chatty personality we were very warmly welcomed, given a map of the city with full directions and offered advice on things to do. We were told about a valet parking option and once we went to our room, the concierge took our keys, went to the public car park across the road and moved our car to the secure valet parking. Now that’s top service!

Built in 1899, Bishops Gate Hotel was once a gentlemans club and hosted a number of well known historic figures including Winston Churchill. After falling out of use it lay vacant for a number of years before its current reincarnation. It’s refreshing to see a hotel which isn’t a faux re-creation of a bygone era, as Bishops Gate has been refurbished to its former Edwardian elegance with stunning success. You are nearly stepping back in time to the early 1900’s with elegant and tasteful decor of the time, but with a lovely contemporary twist. It’s a beautiful boutique hotel inside and out. 

Our room with fresh flowers!
After reading about the restaurant achieving 3rd place in its category of Hotel Restaurant of the Year, we were looking forward to a wonderful meal in the Wig & Gown champagne bar and restaurant. It didn’t disappoint!

The decor was again stylish and elegant with painted wooden panelling, studded leather chairs and simple lighting. You can see the nods to the Edwardian Gentlemans Club. Simple luxurious spaces for relaxing and enjoying oneself.

The Gown Restaurant
We couldn’t fault a thing, the food and service were perfect. The menu had plenty of choice without being overwhelming, and it wasn’t intimidating and over the top. You have the choice of a selection of fish and meats, including the standards, chicken or steak, but also lamb, duck or guinea fowl. Fish was sea bass or fish of the day, and two vegetarian choices completed the mains. Desserts were pannacotta, Creme Brûlée, various tarts, a cheese board or ice cream.  It was delicious food and fantastic service; worthy of that 3rd place. 

The Gown restaurant menu

Overall, our stay was flawless. The cleanliness was better than most, actually it was spotless, the service from everyone on the team was warm, welcoming and charming. As with anywhere we go to, and love, we often return. And plans are already in place for a return trip to the Bishops Gate Hotel with friends in the not too distant future. 

Huge thanks to Ciaran O’Neill and his team for a wonderful visit to a gem of a hotel in the heart of the city.

PS…. fresh flowers in our room! That’s a deal breaker… loved them. 


Post Author: Belfast Times

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