IBIS HOTEL CASTLE STREET

By Zozimuz

IBIS HOTEL - CASTLE STREET

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I stayed in this hotel for two nights [April 2011] and it proved to be reasonably good value, mainly because of it's location (near the city centre) and the quality of the room. The bathroom facilities could be described a pre-fab module like you would expect to see in the International Space Station.

Before booking I searched for reviews of hotels in Belfast and this hotel was highly recommended by the majority of reviewers many mentioned how friendly the staff were. Some mentioned noise from outside late at night.

When I booked the hotel room breakfast was available as an additional extra at £12 per day but when I arrived it was on offer as a special offer at £9.00 for two days which was what it was worth. The restaurant which included the check-in desk and the bar was very poor and should be avoided, in the morning it was chaotic on the two days that I had breakfast there. My advice is book a room but organise to eat elsewhere as there are many really good options.

WI-FI is free in the common area but it is an expensive additional extra in the room. However, there is a slight flaw in the system in that if you initially use the free service in the restaurant and then go to your room the free service is still available but this may vary depending on what room you are given (I was on the third floor).

If you wish to explore the city the location could not be better but at night there was an unacceptable amount of anti-social behaviour at the corner across from the hotel.

I was surprised by the amount of on-street drinking in and around the city centre and I have a feeling that the anti-social behaviour is not unique to the Ibis. I could not determine if the area is safe at night but I suspect that walking around alone at night might not be a good idea.

The rooms are all that you need for a short visit.



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Divis Tower (very close to the IBIS hotel where I was staying)


Divis Tower is a 61m (200.08 ft) tall tower in Belfast. 20 floors tall, it was built in 1966 as part of the now-demolished Divis Flats complex. It is named after the nearby Divis Mountain. The complex of 850 flats, housing 2400 residents was designed by architect Frank Robertson for the Northern Ireland Housing Trust.
 
Due to Provisional IRA activity in the area, the Army constructed an observation post on the roof in the 1970s and occupied the top two floors of the building. At the height of the Troubles, the Army was only able to access the post by helicopter.
 
Divis Tower was a flashpoint area during the height of the Troubles. 9-year-old Patrick Rooney, the first child killed in the Troubles, was killed in the tower during the Northern Ireland riots of August 1969, when the RUC fired a Browning machine gun from its Shorland armoured car into the flats. The RUC claimed that it was coming under sniper attack from the tower at the time. Patrick Rooney's death took place during a day of street violence in the area. Chairman of the enquiry into the riots, Mr Justice Scarman, found the use of the Browning machine gun "wholly unjustifiable".
 
In 1981, an Army sniper killed INLA member Emmanuel McClarnon from the top of Divis Tower on the night that Francis Hughes died on hunger strike.
 
Following the IRA's statement that it was ending its armed campaign, the Army decided to dismantle the observation post. Dubbed a 'spy' post by Sinn Féin, removal of the observation post commenced on 2 August 2005.
 
In 2009 the top two floors of the tower floors were reinstated as residential properties. As part of a £1.1 million refurbishment program by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive 8 extra flats were provided.
 
Divis Tower rises near the interface between Falls Road and Shankill Road.