Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Great hotel pool and golf

The Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf & Country Club is set in the beautiful Northern Irish countryside. It’s a wonderful backdrop to play golf or to have a wedding. It’s close to the Belfast International airport, but does not have a shuttle bus from the airport, (as many airport hotels do) It’s about a £15 taxi ride.

As I approached the nice long, wooded hotel driveway, I saw a man walking his dog and he lifted his dog to let the dog see the sheep over the old stone wall. Such a lovely location in the beautiful green countryside, where people are delightful.


I have a routine when I stay at a hotel with a spa. I phone the spa as soon as I check in to make an appointment. Unfortunately, the spa/health Club, did not answer their phone, so I phoned the front desk and a very nice man said that he would get them to phone me. He said that they are open till 9pm but when I looked at the Hotel info book in the room and saw that it is open Thurs and Friday till 8pm and the Spa pamphlet states that they are open every day of the week till 9 pm. Anyway, at 2p.m. Grace, from the Spa, called and I asked her if I could have an appointment for Thursday or Friday. She abruptly told me that there were no time slots available and they would not even be able to accommodate me for a half hour appointment. This made me think that they did not have staff on the premises and my suspicion was confirmed when I went to the health club and saw that the treatment rooms were empty, all afternoon and evening. I decided to swim and looked in the room for the slippers and robe, but it was not there, so I had to wear my winter boots to the pool and Yuk, walk bare foot to the pool, where I discovered that I would have to wait an hour to swim because there was an exercise class in the pool. I wish that they had left one lane open for swimmers. I can’t help thinking that this is a fake hotel Spa, that it is only interested in catering to the locals and not to the hotel guests. The health club may as well be located in the village. Many hotels that have similar treatment rooms, call a local spa therapist, to come to the hotel when guests request it. It usually works well when the front desk of the hotel organizes this. I had the same problem last time I stayed at this hotel. There were no appointments available unless you book 2 weeks in advance. Occasionally, this is the case with Sheraton hotels, but they warn you on their website at the time of making a reservation, that the Spa or restaurant needs to be reserved early.

I was a hotel guest, so I did not know that I should bring a £1 coin to use a locker. I was in a bad mood, nothing seemed to go my way, that day. I was at this hotel for much needed R&R. The pool was a nice warm temperature and this alleviated my mood.


I saw that another guest was wearing hotel slippers and she confirmed that they were in the room, so I asked the housekeeping lady in the hall if they do or don’t have slippers in the room. She was very nice and explained that the rooms on the one side of the corridor do and the other rooms don’t. Apparently, I was a lowly elite HHonors member, (I’m top with SPG Marriott and Hyatt), so I did not get a Delux Hilton room. Now that I know they do have them, I will ask for slippers next time, so I don’t have to walk to the pool looking as if I was walking on broken ice, and I will bring a £1 coin to use the locker. Luckily, most Spas in the USA have the code system… When you travel to different hotels all the time, it’s not easy to predict what each hotel is like, that is why I like to remain loyal to a brand like Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt, where you know what to expect, within the brand conformity. It is nice that they have a business center with 2 computers, but the printer did not work to print a boarding pass. I was glad that they had Bloomberg channel on the TV and had a nice evening relaxing.

There was no mini bar /fridge in my room but I put my milk for tea out on the window ledge to stay cold. The room is nice, a bit dated shape of the bathroom vanity, but it is a functional, good sized bathroom and no reason to modernize it because it is comfortable. I like that the window can be opened, because the heating worked too well and I like fresh air. Many hotels near airports, don’t have windows that open.

On the whole, I really like staying at this hotel and will return.

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