The Duke at Queens, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Posted on
Sep 25, 2012
Posted in: Hotels

The Duke at Queens in Belfast is both homey and palatial – a kind of interesting balance. We were only there for one night, but it was, as the Irish would say, just grand, and the staff was exceedingly kind and helpful.

There were six of us in our group, three couples in three rooms, and by luck of the draw Rand and I managed to score the suite.

This elicited a mixed reaction from our friends:

Stephen does not look amused, but I let him borrow our iron and stand in our room without charging him, so I don’t see what he’s so fussy about.

Our suite was huge, and considering we were there for a little over 16 hours, it felt like a bit of a waste. I still took some time to enjoy the view, though. This corner of Belfast – known as the Queen’s University Quarter – looks all cottage-y and pastoral. (And we were right next door to a restaurant called Molly’s Yard, which was excellent and, more importantly, makes a mean sticky toffee pudding.)

I took nary a photo of the hotel’s breakfast buffet, which was par-for-the-course for a European hotel, but seemed rather lavish by our American standards: yogurts and fresh fruit and breads and pastries, plus made-to-order hot breakfasts and bottomless cups of tea and coffee.

Oh, and I forget to photograph the exterior of the hotel, too (some travel writer I am). Instead, here’s a fuzzy picture of the toilet!

Don’t question my shitty photographic skills. I’m an artist, damn it.

And, almost as if they knew we were coming, we found complimentary packages of cookies near the coffee pot, and chocolate mints on the nightstand.

“My lord,” I said, biting into one of the chocolates. “These are amazing.” Dark and glossy chocolate on the outside shattered underneath my teeth to reveal a creamy minty center.

“We should stay here again just to get more mints,” Rand said.

“Or, you know,” I said, “we could just buy -”

“WE COULD JUST BUY A HOTEL AND GET ALL THE CHOCOLATE MINTS WE WANT!” Rand shrieked, triumphantly.

Boy, do I love the way that kid thinks.

Leave a Comment

  • … and again with the CHOCOLATE …. hmmmm….. heheheheee.

  • Colleen

    It sounds strange, but that toilet is ridiculously cute.

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • #climatemarch You can clearly see how much better Geraldine is at creating protest signs (picture #1) vs me (picture #2). In my defense, it's hard to communicate complex ideas and nuance in catchy, simple phrases. 
#randtookthis #climatechangeisreal #letsdosomethingaboutit
  • The final, finished copy of my book arrived at our house today. Rand is very excited about it. (Everyone else has to wait until May 2nd, but you can pre-order it now. Link in bio.) #AllOverThePlace #AOTPbook #everywhereist #happydance
  • 9 foods we ate in Japan that I'm missing now:
1) Sushi! 
2) Kaiseki (a multi-course meal with tons of delicious little plates)
3) Croissants (Japanese bakeries seem to have mastered them) 
4) Okonomiyaki (multi-layered pancakes with noodles and all sorts of stuff)
5) Takoyaki (octopus balls) 
6) Ramen (so many styles, all so good) 
7) Yakiniku (grill your own meats!)
8) Tempura (so light and crispy) 
9) Onigiri (Geraldine was crazy for these - the best ones came from 7-11 of all places) 
#foodsofjapan #randtookthis #latergram #tastebudsforeverspoiled
  • Geraldine bought this frickin' adorable tea cup in Tokyo and I'm kinda jealous (even though everyone knows cups that hold hot liquids need handles!). #studioghibli #totorotea #randtookthis
  • Sayonara Japan. We loved you so much, we're already planning ways to come back. Thanks to @nicelleh & @wescarr for insisting we go, and for being our tour guides. #randtookthis #randaldineselfie #selfiesonaplane
  • It's not often you get to meet up with friends at Tokyo Station on the way to Narita, but we lucked out. Thanks @benhuh @emilyphuh for the great lunch and amazing company. #randtookthis #lastdayofvacation #selfiesatthetrain
  • That's no way to describe how stunning the ryokan & onsen is here. Maybe these 7 photos will help. It's definitely modern, but the landscape, the food, the lobby, the architecture, the service... everything is just spot on. And we even get to wear yukatas! #randtookthis #hoshiniya #karuizawa #beautifulhotels
  • Karuizawa has its own creamery, and they make both matcha and black sesame gelato. It's frickin' tasty. Who cares if we have to wear coats to eat it. #icecreamtime #lastdayofvacation #nagaifarm
  • Waiting for the bus. With a friend. 
#randtookthis #totorotime
  • This stone church in Karuizawa was designed by an American architect, Kendrick Kellogg, and serves as a popular wedding facility. Fascinatingly, it has no right angles in the design (though Geraldine spent most of our visit trying to claim that angles on exit signs or edges of photos inside technically violated this rule). #randtookthis #stonebuildings #curvyarchitecture

All Over The Place

Pre-order my book now and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

Pre-Order Now!