Hotel review: The Harrison – Chambers of Distinction

Step into a lovingly restored, lavish and artsy Victorian merchants’ house, a stone’s throw from bustling Belfast city centre.

I travelled in September and stayed in the WB Yeats suite which starts from £175 BB per person, per night. Other rooms start from £109 off-peak.

Address

The Harrison
Chambers of Distinction
45 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 6RX

Contact

T: +44 289 460 0123
W: chambersofdistinction.com

The Harrison – Chambers of Distinction overview

This is a characterful and charming place to stay for a Belfast city break; it’s unique and homely – albeit fit for an aristocrat! Owner Melanie Harrison has clearly spent time researching the history of both the house and the city, evident in the eclectic furnishings that won’t fail to put a smile on your face.

The staff are incredibly helpful; be sure to ask for a copy of ‘Melanie’s Belfast Map’, which she has curated using expert local knowledge to lend a helping hand when navigating the city.

Décor and vibe

Both the exterior and interior of The Harrison have been planned with immense attention to detail. As you approach, railings from Ebrington Barracks separate the imposing Victorian façade complete with marble columns from the street, and you can’t help but notice the quirky leopard-print blind behind the attractive bay window.

Upon entering, looking up you can see the original 1879 cornices and looking down the black and gold flamboyant carpet made by Ulster Carpets, who just so happened to make the carpets for the Titanic too.

The blend of Victorian antiques, modern art, bold printed floral wallpaper, playful wall murals, colourful deluxe velvet upholstery, chandeliers and gold-framed mirrors, not to mention owner Melanie’s vibrant personality and adorable resident rescued French bulldog named Blue, ensure your stay is uplifting and full of intrigue.

Services and facilities

  • Room service
  • Parking

Rooms and suites

Each of the individually designed rooms have been named after prominent creatives who have links with Belfast, from singer Ruby Murray to writer CS Lewis, and all come complete with hints to these connections in the décor and accompoanying paraphernalia.

Those who watched TV series Derry Girls will be happy to know one of the bedrooms houses a bed from the film set. Traditional free-standing baths and ornate cast-iron radiators from nearby Newtownabbey add a plush touch, as do the deliciously scented vegan toiletries, again made in Northern Ireland.

The rooms are certainly a haven with not only an aesthetically pleasing design but comfortable finishes from hand-picked, fabulously upholstered, furniture – you’ll no doubt go home with some ideas to revamp your own home!

Food and drink

I decided to go for breakfast in bed, as it’s a such a treat and even more so in such sultry surroundings as The Harrison. The large wooden tray was laden with fresh berries, homemade local jam and granola, freshly squeezed orange juice, indulgent Irish yogurt and compote, freshly baked mini croissants and sweet pastries, with a pot of tea and a cafetiere of fresh coffee.

The dainty antique porcelain cups and saucers complimented the well-thought-out room décor. Plans are in place to offer a cooked breakfast too soon, and local ingredients will certainly feature.

On 6 October 2021 a seasonal restaurant, focussing on Irish produce, will open as part of the accommodation offering. However, given that the hotel is sited only 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre, which is jam-packed with culinary offerings to suit every budget and taste, you won’t be left hungry in the meantime.

More information

For more information and bookings, visit the hotel website at chambersofdistinction.com.