Eight of the best budget Belfast hotels

When it comes to finding superior slumbers, Belfast has never been a prohibitive city to visit.

The issue came with variety, or should we say, a serious lack of much beyond a smattering of corporate business hotels and flocks of outdated B&Bs.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.

Here’s eight of the most budget friendly boltholes.

The best budget friendly Belfast hotels are:

Best for a family break: Malone Lodge

Malone Lodge is great for kids (Malone Lodge Hotel)

Neighbourhood: South Belfast

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 Sunday Funday lunches where kids under five eat for nothing and activity packs full of puzzles and games are free. The family vibe expands during school holidays when there’s face painting and a bouncy castle. Be prepared to share your weekend with some impending nuptials though; there’s almost always a wedding on here.

Price: Doubles from ?124 B&B

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Best for the ultimate Ulster Fry: Roseleigh House

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

Neighbourhood: South Belfast

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.

Price: Doubles from ?83 B&B

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Best for nearby nightlife: Benedicts

Start your big night out at Benedicts (Benedicts)

Neighbourhood: Golden Mile

Belfast’s “Golden Mile” may have a bit of competition from the Cathedral Quarter and Lisburn Road these days for the title of being the city’s premier nightlife strip, but Benedicts is still a stylish and somewhat eclectic bolthole for a hedonistic weekend. Start your night at their 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 Caf? Bar.

Price: Doubles from ?122

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Put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door – and relax (Duke at Queens)

Neighbourhood: Queen’s Quarter

Formerly the HQ of the city’s health board, the rooms at this centrally located neo-gothic behemoth are still a very effective tonic to any hotel-induced illness. With a lusty red and cream colour scheme, Rolf Benz swivel armchairs, rainforest showers, Villeroy & Boch baths and supremely comfy beds, rooms here are perfect for a romantic night in with just the occasional call to room service for another ice bucket.

Price: Doubles from ?77

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

Neighbourhood: Balmoral

Like stepping into the home of a Queens University lecturer from a century ago who has just nipped out to grab a paper, 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 canap?s, finger sandwiches, home-made scones and, of course, lashings of fresh cream and jam.

Price: Doubles from ?115

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Best for local cred: The Flint

Contemporary design and local cred awaits at The Flint (The Flint)

Neighbourhood: City centre

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.

Price: Doubles from ?122, room only

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

Neighbourhood: City centre

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. There’s a little indulgence amid the modish cool here too; if you need a little pep to your morning there’s the option of porridge with Bushmill’s whiskey for breakfast.

Price: Doubles from ?125

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Best for legendary lodgings: The Europa

The Europa: Belfast’s most famous lodgings

Neighbourhood: City centre

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 then it’s possible to get a double for ?85.50, 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.

Price: Doubles from ?130 room only

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