As Belfast puts its troubles behind, the capital of Northern Ireland is swiftly becoming a major destination. With a lively cultural scene, brand-new culinary wonders, and a renovated shipyard that comprises Ireland’s most talked-about new museum, there are enough reasons to plan a trip to Belfast as soon as possible.
The golden Victorian age has still left its sign on the city, and some of the most famous buildings are now chic hotels in the heart of downtown. Soaring skyscrapers have also been transformed in luxury rooms, but much-loved B&Bs still abound. Here is where to live next time you visit Belfast.
The tall glass building that houses the Fitzwilliam Hotel in central Belfast offers unbeatable visions of city hall and the lovely St. Anne’s Cathedral. Visitors rave about the 5-star service, but the elegant digs speak for themselves. The award-winning hotel restaurant provides exquisite meals from morning to night, incorporating a delicious pre-theatre sampling menu in the elegant dining room. Following a nightcap in the glitzy hotel bar, slip under the duck down duvets and relish views of the city skyline from the modern rooms.
Grand Central Hotel Belfast
A small walk from the Grand Opera House, the Grand Central Hotel Belfast is one of Belfast’s most sought-after brand-new hotels. The new Grand Central Hotel launched in the 1880s and accommodated many celebrities over the years, involving the Rolling Stones when they passed through Northern Ireland in the 1960s. The new Grand Central Hotel is an entirely converted and modernized 23-story glass building. The upper floor is home to Ireland’s highest bar — the swanky Observatory Bar. The resort also offers on-site dining in the Seahorse Bar and Restaurant, though you can also ask for food to be delivered quickly to your lavish room.
This four-star boutique hotel is one of Belfast’s most elegant places to stay. The industrial-style room is sleek without losing any kind of comfort. The modern rooms are adorned in cool blues and greys, and all have kettles for making tea and coffee. Every single morning, a plain breakfast is distributed to the rooms, even though there is also a bistro restaurant in the hotel if you are seeking for heartier fare. The little rooftop bar is a key feature, but you can also discover all the pubs and restaurants in the central neighbourhood right in the middle of St. Anne’s Cathedral and St. George’s Market.
For an exceptional stay in Queen’s Quarter, check into Harper’s Boutique on University Street. The calm area is only a 10-minute walk from the town centre but presents a taste of local living in the city. The comfy bed and breakfast are set within a grand, beautifully decorated, brick Victorian townhouse. Numerous rooms sizes are accessible to suit all travel styles and budgets, and all consist of breakfast every morning. There is also a tiny coffee shop inside, even though those looking for hearty meals later on in the day will have to eat off-site.
One Sussex Place
While Belfast has amazing traditional hotels and beautiful modern boutique lodgings, some trips call for apartment-style stays. For a flawlessly appointed flat, check into One Sussex Place, less than 5 minutes from St. George’s Market in the town centre. The apartments vary from one to two bedrooms and include full kitchens and relaxed seating areas. While there are no bars or restaurants on-site, you will have all the appliances you want to whip up a meal for a cosy night in, and it’s only a quick walk to many eateries and nightclubs.
For water views, it is difficult to beat the Hilton Belfast, which lies right on the banks of the River Lagan. The family-friendly hotel also invites business travellers because it is connected to the Waterfront Hall convention centre and a 2-minute walk from the side of downtown. With two eateries and an on-site gym, there is a lot to do at the property if you want to discover further than the spacious rooms.
For those who want to feel Queen’s Quarter and stay a few nights at a reasonable rate, Tara Lodge is an outstanding home base in Belfast. Situated right next to Botanic Train Station, most of downtown is a short walk away, but you can also get on the train to easily reach the Titanic Belfast. The modern-day B&B-style hotel is situated inside a red brick townhouse and a hot breakfast is offered in the dining room every morning. There are no other bars or eateries on-site, but there is a lot to do and eat in the progressively trendy neighbourhood adjoining Tara Lodge.
The Flint Belfast
The stylish, simple design of the Flint makes it one of the best places to stay in Belfast. The hotel, situated in the Linen Quarter, presents studio-style suites with accommodating areas and a kitchen so that all the comforts of home are offered while you discover the city. The smart TVs are even coded with Netflix so you can flow your favourite films from the bed. If you don’t intend to stay long, the basic rooms come with all the similar perks, minus the cooking area. While there is no bar or restaurant on-site, The Flint is exactly in between two of Belfast’s top eateries, and many more are a short walk away.
The Titanic Hotel Belfast
The Titanic museum is one of the top things to go through in Belfast, and the new Titanic Hotel is a thematic lodging option on the same shipyard as the popular attraction. Housed inside an old shipbuilding office that dates to the late 19th century, the hotel is filled with historic touches and maritime design. The maritime decor follows you into the posh dining room, which provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Merchant began life as a bank but the beautiful Victorian building has ever since been transformed into one of Belfast’s best hotels. Stuffed with art-deco touches, the high-end hotel can be discovered a short walk from St. Anne’s Cathedral, right in the middle of the city. While everything that the city has to offer lies perfectly outside the door, you might not ever want to leave behind the luxe hotel. The Merchant has a good dining restaurant well-known as The Great Room where visitors can dine under a huge period chandelier. After dark, Berts Jazz bar turns up the volume with live music seven days a week. A cocktail bar and an Irish pub rounded out the dining and drinking options. Of course, the next morning you’re welcome to spend time in the rooftop gym that looks out over downtown.