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Best budget hotels in Belfast: Where to stay for style and affordability

Rob Crossan offers his best budget picks in the Northern Irish capital

Rob Crossan
Tuesday 23 May 2023 12:35 BST
These are the best budget hotels in Belfast
These are the best budget hotels in Belfast

When it comes to finding superior slumbers, Belfast has never been a prohibitive city to visit. The issue was with variety, or should we say, a serious lack of much beyond a smattering of corporate business hotels and flocks of outdated B&Bs. No longer.

The Northern Irish capital still has its fair share of traditional guesthouses with quilted duvets and squeaky beds. But there are now numerous game changers on the scene, offering style and poise (at eyebrow-raisingly low prices) on both sides of the Lagan.

From family getaways that are just a short stroll from the city’s Botanical Gardens, to an eclectic bolthole that’s perfectly situated on Belfast’s Golden Mile – aka a haven for party goers – there’s something for every type of visitor and vacationer.

All you have to do now is decide which one is the perfect place for you. To help you make that decision, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best budget-friendly hotels in Belfast.

The best budget hotels in Belfast are:

Best hotel for a family break: Malone Lodge

Neighbourhood: South Belfast

Malone Lodge is great for kids

Just a 10-minute walk from the immaculate green expanses of the city’s Botanic Gardens, Malone Lodge is a set of joined-together Victorian terraces on a leafy residential street. It gets kudos for its location and for its family packages and kids’ menus. Be prepared to share your weekend with some impending nuptials though; there’s almost always a wedding on here.

Best hotel for the ultimate Ulster Fry: Roseleigh House

Neighbourhood: South Belfast

Head to Roseleigh House for the best fry-up in the city

Amid fierce competition, this discreet B&B in South Belfast stands out for its commitment to providing guests with a belt-loosening take on the Ulster Fry. Owners Donna and James McCumiskey use only locally sourced, organic ingredients to make their gargantuan breakfasts, complete with soda bread, plump sausages and endless tea and toast. The temptation after this may well be to clamber straight back into bed again; the six rooms are light-filled charmers complete with soft armchairs and views out over this serenely quiet Victorian street.

Best hotel for nearby nightlife: Benedicts

Neighbourhood: Golden Mile

Start your big night out at Benedicts

When it comes to being the city’s premier nightlife strip, Belfast’s Golden Mile may have a bit of competition from the Cathedral Quarter and Lisburn Road these days, but Benedicts is still a stylish and somewhat eclectic bolthole for a hedonistic weekend. Start your night at the in-house bar – an entirely unique space filled to bursting with arches, stained glass and mahogany salvaged from a church. It’s the ideal warm-up before moving on to the glorious Victorian gin palace that is the Crown Liquor Saloon or killer cocktails at Muriel’s Café​ Bar.

Best hotel for a step back in time: Maryville House

Neighbourhood: Balmoral

Patisserie lovers will adore the baked treats on offer at Maryville House

Like stepping into the home of a Queens University lecturer from a century ago, this period piece offers just six bedrooms, all with wonderfully faded landscape paintings, wrought-iron beds and tussled lampshades. The real draw, however, is the in-house bakery, which prepares, hands down, the best afternoon tea in the city: a sybaritic feast of canapés, finger sandwiches, home-made scones and, of course, lashings of fresh cream and jam.

Price: Doubles from £120 for a one-night B&B stay

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Best hotel for local cred​: The Flint

Neighbourhood: City centre

Contemporary design and local cred awaits at The Flint

Opened in summer 2018, this hotel is a seriously sleek operation with a commendable commitment to local design. Set up by brothers Ben and Peter Ringland, it's a suite-only concept, with beds, wardrobes and tables built by Sarah McLorn of Terry Design of Portadown and sofas created by Dungannon-based RUI. Worn parquet flooring and black-and-white colour schemes all combine to create a minimal yet freshly chic feel.

Best hotel for design: Tara Lodge

Neighbourhood: City centre

A pioneer of boutique hotels in the city, Tara Lodge continues to impress

Opened 21 years ago, Tara Lodge was one of the very first new-wave boutique hotels in the city. It’s still a contender in the style stakes, with rooms being sun-drenched oases of smooth honeyed woods and velvet throws. The bathrooms, in cool slate and white tones, have toiletries by Irish brand Orla Kiely. With a central location, the hotel is an ideal base when it comes to sampling local restaurants too.

Best hotel for legendary lodgings: The Europa

Neighbourhood: City centre

The Europa: Belfast's most famous lodgings

You’ll have to book well in advance to get a bargain bed at the city’s most famous hotel. But, if you’re prepared to commit a solid four or five months in advance, it’s possible to get a double for £117, although breakfast is a whopping additional £18 each. Better to enjoy the huge rooms with their King Koli cloud beds and ESPA toiletries and grab a ‘Hunter’ breakfast sourdough sandwich at YAHI in the Great Northern Mall further down Great Victorian Street; it comes stuffed with dry cured bacon and free range eggs from Ballygarvey.

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