Hotels in Northern Ireland
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Northern Ireland – The Home of Game of Thrones and Stunning Natural Beauty
It’s fair to say that Northern Ireland has seen more than its share of conflict; sectarian violence, known locally as ‘The Troubles’, cast a long shadow over the country for many years. During this period, the tourist industry struggled, but recently, thanks to the peace process initiated by the Good Friday Agreement, tourists have returned and new hotels have opened. Now, visitors can learn about Belfast’s Titanic heritage, marvel at natural landmarks such as the Giant’s Causeway and explore locations used in Game of Thrones without the negative aspects of the past.
Belfast – Capital of Northern Ireland
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, was an industrial powerhouse. It excelled in the linen, ship building and textile industries and many of its attractions today hark back to that era. A good place to start a tour of the city is City Hall on Donegall Square. Completed in 1906, it features beautiful architecture and a garden dotted with various statues and monuments. Free daily tours of the building are available and at night it is beautifully illuminated. Just across the road is Visit Belfast which provides a wealth of tourist information; coach tours to attractions throughout Northern Ireland can be booked here too. A few minutes’ walk away, close to the River Lagan, Victoria Square Shopping Centre is the place to catch a film and enjoy a meal and its dome offers great views of the city’s landmarks. Numerous hotels are also located in this part of the city, from budget options to high-end boutique hotels.
Birthplace of the Titanic
In the 19th and 20th-century, Harland and Wolff was a pre-eminent ship building yard, constructing many world-famous ocean liners here. While its last ship launched back in 2003, the affectionately named gantry cranes, Samson and Goliath, still stand proud in the docks area. Probably the most famous ship in the world, the Titanic, was built here and forms the focus of a major tourist attraction, Titanic Belfast. It tells how the ocean liner was constructed and, soon after leaving Northern Ireland, was fatefully sunk on her maiden voyage to New York after striking an iceberg. Reconstructed cabins and interactive exhibits really bring the ship to life. The Titanic Dock and Pump House is another fascinating attraction: it’s the dry dock where the ship was launched on her one and only voyage. Not surprisingly, this part of Belfast is known as the Titanic Quarter, and an increasing numbers of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues like Odyssey Arena are locating here.
Other Attractions in the Belfast Area
If time is short, a great way to see a lot of Belfast is to use an open top bus tour. A typical tour lasts an hour or two, or longer if hopping on and off at various sights along the way. The tickets are usually valid for a day or two as well which is really handy. Some of the popular sights covered include Shankill Road with its loyalist murals and Stormont, the seat of government in Northern Ireland. Also on the itinerary, Crumlin Road Gaol offers tours of restored prison cells, live music and a restaurant. In the evening, Great Victoria Street is the place to go for great entertainment. The Crown Bar, opposite the iconic Europa Hotel, is a lovely traditional pub with original snugs and gas lights and a few paces up the road, the Grand Opera House is a magnificent Victorian theatre and music venue.
A Drive up the Coastal Causeway Route
Northern Ireland is famous for its stunning coastal landscape, with the Coastal Causeway Route one of the most popular road trips in the world. Starting in Belfast, the Coast Road meanders up through Carrickfergus with its Norman castle, Larne and the Glens of Antrim, all the way to Derry-Londonderry which features 17th-century walls and cannons. Along the way, it’s worth stopping off at the National Trust’s Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which hangs 100 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. It’s thrilling to walk across, but maybe not for the faint-hearted! Of course, the Giant’s Causeway on the north coast is a must-see attraction. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a collection of hexagonal stones that, as legend would have it, were created by warring giants in Scotland and Ireland. Nearby in Bushmills, the oldest working distillery in Ireland, Old Bushmills, offers tours and whiskey-tasting sessions. There are also hotels in the town, so no need for a designated driver!
Game of Thrones Filming Locations
Fans of Game of Thrones, the very popular HBO television programme, will be interested to know that Northern Ireland has doubled as Westeros in many episodes. Indeed, quite an industry has developed around the show with Belfast’s Titanic Studios home to the iconic Throne Room and many locals employed as extras. Conveniently, some of the key locations are near the Coastal Causeway Route such as Ballintoy Harbour, which portrays the Iron Islands, and Cushendun Caves where the character Melisandre gave birth. A short drive inland, to the south of Ballintoy, the overhanging beech trees known as ‘The Dark Hedges’ were transformed into ‘The Kingsroad’, an important thoroughfare in the Seven Kingdoms. To the south of Belfast, Castle Ward in County Down became Winterfell, home of the Starks. Here, visitors can dress up as characters from the show and learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. Overnight hotel accommodation can be found nearby in the town of Downpatrick.
Price rangefrom $38to $731
Hotel Premier Inn Belfast City Cathedral Quarter hotel Belfast
The Premier Inn Belfast City Cathedral Quarter is a 3-star chain hotel situated in the Belfast city centre. Local attractions include Belfast Cathedral, Odyssey Arena, City Hall, and the Customs House. Restaurants, bars, museums and entertainment venues are also nearby. Train and bus stations are within minutes of the hotel, providing guests with the means to explore the rest of the city. Accommodations consist of 171 ensuite guestrooms ranging from single to family units (for up to four people). Amenities for each include air-conditioning, Freeview TV, work desk, Wi-Fi (fees apply), coffee maker, hair dryer, and alarm clock. All units are smoke-free, and rooms fitted for disabled guests may be requested, . Other hotel features include 24-hour front desk, lift, function space, and nearrby parking (fees apply). The Four Corners, an on-premises bar and restaurant, offers drinks and both traditional and contemporary fare--including meal service for breakfast and dinner. Rates are available for lodging only or for lodging with breakfast. more
Hotel Benedicts of Belfast Belfast
Conveniently located close to Shaftesbury Square, Benedicts of Belfast offers boutique accommodations, a popular restaurant, and a bustling bar hosting live music seven nights a week. Fashionable guest rooms boast Egyptian cotton sheets, down duvets, and feather top mattresses. In-room amenities include TV, safe, free internet, and a practical workstation. Triple-glazed windows offer a respite from the hustle and bustle, while suites add a soothing spa tub. The hotel features a 24-hour reception where guests can seek assistance with tourist information and offers discounted parking at a nearby public car park. Benedicts Restaurant serves hearty, locally-sourced dishes, with à la carte and set menus available. Boasting gothic-inspired décor, Benedicts Bar offers an extensive choice of beers, wines, and cocktails. Breakfast is available for an added fee. Benedicts of Belfast is about a ten-minute walk from the city centre and a nine-minute walk from both Ulster Hall and the Grand Opera House. Botanic Train Station is just three minutes' walk away. more
Hotel Premier Inn Belfast Titanic Quarter hotel Belfast
The Premier Inn Belfast Titanic Quarter is a 3-star airport hotel located on Queens Road near the Belfast city centre. It serves the George Best City Airport and can be accessed using the Translink Airport Express. Nearby attractions include Odyssey Arena and Pavillion, Grand Opera House, Waterfront Hall, Victoria Park and Belfast Castle. Accommodations consist of 121 en-suite guest rooms--including family units and those fitted for mobility-impaired guests. Each has television, air-conditioning, coffee/tea-making facilities, desk, Wi-Fi access (fees apply), telephone and power shower. Irons, hairdryers and cots may be requested without charge. Guest services include 24-hour front desk, lobby, onsite parking (fees apply) and lift. The in-house bar and restaurant provide onsite options for meals and refreshments. Room service is also available. This hotel is a non-smoking facility throughout. more
Hotel Premier Inn Belfast City Centre (Alfred Street) hotel Belfast
The Premier Inn Belfast City Centre (Alfred Street) is a three star property located in the city centre of Belfast. It is within close driving distance of the motorway, ferry terminal and Belfast City airport. Nearby to the hotel are a wide range of shops, restaurants and pubs. On site parking is possible against charges. There are 148 guest rooms including family rooms and rooms that are suitable for people with a handicap. All of these have coffee and tea making facilities, flat screen remote control television, a hairdryer, a desk area and an en-suite bathroom. On request an iron and a free cot are available. Guests have access to the wireless internet against costs. The hotel offers a full continental breakfast. Snacks and a dinner menu are serves daily. There is a 24 hour front desk service with a luggage storage room and a daily newspaper can be requested. Pets are not allowed at the hotel. more
Hotel Crowne Plaza Belfast Belfast
The Ramada Belfast hotel is a four star accommodation facility that is a part of Andras House Hotel Group. The hotel is situated within the Lagan Valley Regional Park in Belfast. It shelters a total of 120 rooms including twins and double rooms and four luxurious double suites. Each room is air conditioned and features internet access (for a fee), a telephone line and a television set. Rooms commodities also include an ironing board, a safe, a hairdryer and coffee and tea making facilities. All rooms have showers with bathrooms. A wireless Internet connection is free of charge in the public areas of the Ramada. The reception is open for 24 hours and the hotel also provides room, porter, babysitting and laundry services. There are 3 restaurants at The Ramada Belfast hotel. A beauty salon, fitness, an indoor swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a sauna, a steam room, a supermarket and a solarium are also hotel facilities. The onsite car park is free of charge and the hotel is wheelchair accessible. The city's main attractions are within a two mile radius form the Ramada Belfast hotel. . more
Hotel Radisson Blu Hotel Belfast Belfast
The Radisson Blu Belfast hotel is a four star property located at Cromac Place Ormeau Road in the city of Belfast. The hotel is located near the city centre and close to Belfast Castle and Odyssey Arena. It offers 120 guest rooms and suites including standard, business class rooms and tower suites. The entire hotel is non-smoking. Each of the rooms has free high speed wireless internet access, an in room safe, television with pay per view, individually climate control, ironing facilities, mini bar and a hair dryer. Room service is available at limited hours. At the onsite Italian restaurant Filini, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with a view from Monday to Saturday or simply have a drink at The Bar. There are 6 flexible meeting rooms and facilities offering space for up to 150 people. A 24 hour front desk service is available with a luggage storage room and safety deposit box. Guests arriving by car can park onsite against costs. Other hotel services include a cash machine, ticket and currency exchange and concierge services. Pets are not allowed at the hotel. Guests have free access to the nearby LA Fitness Health Club. more
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