While the Northern Ireland Assembly remains inactive, the same cannot be said of the Stormont Hotel which is located almost directly adjacent to Parliament Buildings.

The four star hotel is in the leafy suburb of Belfast's Newtonards Road around four miles from Belfast city centre.

For those who may have had considered navigating their way through Belfast city centre traffic a deterrent to staying at the Stormont Hotel need no longer worry however.

This is because the recent establishment of Translink's Glider service has in effect removed the last reason not to stay at this excellent establishment.

On arrival at the Europa Bus Centre at Glengall Street it's around a three minute walk to Wellington Avenue. There you will find the stop for the G1 Glider which will leave you right outside the Stormont Estate and 100 yards from the Stormont Hotel.

However, should you choose to drive, then the huge car park will immediately dispel any concerns you have about that issue. Even more reassuring is the fact that parking is complimentary for all guests.

Once inside the Hastings hotel you'll quickly find that it has deservedly earned each of its four stars.

From check-in until your departure you'll discover that the courteous service provided by the reception, room, restaurant and bar staff is exceptional both in terms of professionalism and just plain old good manners and friendliness.

The spacious, beautifully decorated and highly maintained reception area is a carefully crafted mixture of modern and traditional styles. The very comfortable surroundings are a perfect backdrop to relaxing after dinner or simply calling in for a coffee or a cocktail.

And, this is a theme that continues throughout the remainder of the hotel's bedrooms, dining rooms, bar and many conference facilities.

There are 105 rooms at the Stormont Hotel, split over three floors. The top floor is given over to executive rooms and include two suites named aptly after the founders of east Belfast's famed shipyard-Edward James Harland and Gustav Wolff.

There are also superior bedrooms as well as Junior or Presidential suites to choose from.

As you would expect, all of these rooms are finished to an exceptionally high standard and overlook the Stormont Estate, all of the rooms are tastefully decorated and designed with nothing but comfort in mind.

Walkers can enjoy a lengthy stroll around the grounds of the Stormont Estate either along the famous mile long entrance road or veer off left or right through the imposing parklands. This of course includes Stormont Castle and its gardens too.

Alternatively, a 15 minute trip back into town will allow access to all the best that Belfast has to offer in terms of shopping, theatres, museums, concert venues such as the SSE Arena, Grand Opera House and the Waterfront Hall and the city's hundred of restaurants and bars.

Heading away from the Stormont Hotel, you'll quickly find yourself on the scenic Ards Peninsula and Strangford Lough, the Castle Espie Bird Sanctuary, twenty different golf courses and National Trust properties including Mount Stewart House and Gardens as well as Rowallane Gardens.

Should you consider this hotel as just an overnight stay before moving on elsewhere it is also with noting that you will be just three miles from George Best City Airport, five miles from Belfast ferry terminal and only 15 miles from Belfast International Airport.

Attention to detail at the Stormont Hotel is obviously a dedicated part of customer service not only reflected in the experience of a stay there but clearly also as part of staff training.

This becomes even more evident when eating at the hotel.

The centre point of the dining at the hotel is the La Scala Bistro. A huge bay window allows sight of the Stormont's beautifully illuminated grounds and immediately sets the stylish tone  for lunch or dinner.

The service at La Scala is perfectly balanced in terms of politeness and efficiency without ever being overly fussy, overbearing or intrusive.

The food itself is exceptional in terms of quality and presentation. And, a very wide-ranging menu is on offer with a dedicated concentration on using the best local produce on offer. For desert, his includes ice cream flavours such as lavender and Yellow Man from Glastry Farm on the nearby Ards Peninsula.

Breakfast served in the Assembly Chamber Breakfast Room is a buffet that provides the traditional fry or in the continental format for the more health conscious visitor.

The dining experience at the Stormont Hotel is also on offer whether you are staying or not and another great sample of this is the Grand Sunday Buffet Lunch which takes place in the hotel's renowned ballroom.

With a dinner, bed and breakfast package available from just £83 per person a trip to one of Belfast's best hotels is simply a must.

CAPTION: The Stormont Hotel on the Newtonards Road in Belfast.

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