When people think of Ireland they instantly think of Dublin yet Belfast is bursting with lots to see and do a colourful mix of art, music, history, great food and beautiful landscapes. Belfast has recently been divided into ‘quarters’, each with its own character and charm, so the first stop should be the Cathedral Quarter is also known as the cultural quarter and is centered around, St. Anne's Cathedral it’s full of narrow cobbled streets, with great bars and restaurants. The next stop should be the Titanic Quarter at the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the infamous ship was built, see the amazing craftsmanship & other big ships history. The Gaeltacht Quarter promotes the use of the Irish language , and you’ll find Irish language restaurants & culture , the fourth quarter is Queens Quarter is named after Queen's University and is located in South Belfast.
Like most modern cities, Dublin can be divided up into various sectors or quarters, helping you to find the things that interest you with ease. The Medieval Quarter is the oldest part of the city, encompassing the area around Dublin Castle, Christ Church and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Dublin’s Antique Quarter is right next door and has an abundance of antique, art and collectibles, offering hours of browsing. Running from St Stephen’s Green and Trinity College to the canal, the Georgian Quarter is the epitome of gentrification, while Dublin’s trendy Tech Quarter can be found in the Grand Canal Dock area of the city- so it’s not all about the Guinness!
So here are our pick of places to stay in Belfast
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast (More Information & Booking)
On Great Victoria Street, beside the Grand Opera House, the luxury Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast offers boutique bedrooms with free Wi-Fi. There is a chic restaurant and modern cocktail bar.The sumptuous rooms have crisp Egyptian linens, and the elegant bathrooms feature fluffy robes and designer toiletries. All rooms have an LCD TV, air conditioning and a minibar.
Fitzwilliam Restaurant serves fine wines and a creative menu in intimate surroundings. The stylish bar offers cocktails and champagnes in real crystal glasses, and boasts over 700 quality spirits.The impressive hotel features designer interiors, modern artwork and colourful furnishings throughout. Guests can relax in the luxury lounge areas, and there is also a 24-hour front desk.
The Merchant Hotel Belfast (More Information & Booking)
The 5-star Merchant Hotel is in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast's city centre. It offers luxurious air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, a spa, and a rooftop gymnasium and hot tub. The Merchant is the winner of the Best UK Hotel 2011 award in the International Hotel Awards. All of the elegantly appointed rooms are decorated with original artwork. They each have black-out blinds, a flat-screen TV, and spacious en suite marble bathrooms. The Merchant is a Grade I Listed building dating back to 1860. Its Great Room Restaurant has a huge domed ceiling and offers a fine à la carte menu and traditional afternoon teas.
There is a selection of bars, and an elegant on-site nightclub to enjoy, including the Veuve clicquot champagne lounge. Berts Jazz Bar serves food and has live music 7 nights a week.The Spa has 5 treatment rooms and a hydrotherapy area. There is also a sauna and a steam room located on the rooftop.
The Culloden Estate and Spa Belfast (More Information & Booking)
A 10-minute drive from Belfast city centre, Culloden hotel has a spa, a pool and a fitness suite. There is free parking, and Belfast Airport is a 5-minute drive away.Rooms at the 5-star Culloden feature satellite TV and tea/coffee facilities. Many rooms have garden views. The Spa at Culloden features a marble steam room, a dance studio and a hot tub. ESPA beauty treatments and massages are available.
The Mitre Restaurant serves a fine dining menu, including modern Irish dishes. The Culloden is in 12 acres of gardens and woodland. Overlooking Belfast Lough, The Culloden Estate and Spa has many period features including antique furniture, paintings and chandeliers.
So here are our pick of places to stay in Dublin
The Marker Hotel Dublin (More Information & Booking)
Situated on Grand Canal Square in the heart of Dublin’s business and cultural quarter, The Marker features a ground-floor cocktail bar & brasserie, free WiFi and a spa with 4 treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art gym. The property also boasts a 30 yards infinity pool, sauna, steam room and fitness centre. An en-suite bathroom, 32-inch LED TV and air conditioning are featured in each room at The Marker, as well as a Philip Stark Lamp which comes with iPod charging facilities.
The Rooftop Lounge features views of the cityscape, which guests can enjoy with a drink. Please note that the rooftop bar and terrace opening hours are subject to weather conditions and availability, and arranged on a weekly basis. Traditional Irish cooking is on offer in The Brasserie, with a strong emphasis on locally sourced produce.
The Westbury Hotel Dublin (More Information & Booking)
The luxurious 5-star Westbury Hotel has spacious and sumptuously furnished bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. On Dublin’s Grafton Street, the Westbury has fantastic restaurants, a bar and a fitness suite. Each immaculate room has Sealy beds, Lissadell linen, and Aromatherapy Associates bathroom products. They also feature LCD TVs and an iPod compatible music system.
There are 2 superb restaurants offering contemporary dining, while The Gallery, with its view across Grafton Street, serves afternoon tea. The glamorous Marble Bar has a fine cocktail menu.
The Shelbourne Dublin (More Information & Booking)
The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin is a historic, landmark hotel located in the heart of Dublin on St. Stephen's Green. The five-star hotel is a 5 minutes' walk from Dublin's famous attractions, such as Trinity College, Grafton Street and the National Gallery, National Museum and National Library. Overlooking beautiful St Stephen’s Green, this historic, landmark hotel is located in the heart of Dublin. Just 5 minutes’ walk from Trinity College and The National Gallery, it boasts luxurious rooms with elegant, marble bathrooms.
All rooms feature pillow-top mattresses and duvets, ensuring guests receive a restful night's sleep. Sleek marble bathrooms offer robes, slippers, lighted makeup mirrors, and luxury bath products are also available. Guests can unwind with free WiFi and an LED fully digital flat-screen TV.Dining options at the Shelbourne include The Saddle Room, a steak and seafood restaurant with classic touches, the No.27 Bar & Lounge and the Lord Mayor’s Lounge, where afternoon tea is served daily.
The hotel features an exclusive Health Club and Spa offering 7 treatment rooms, a 20 yards swimming pool, thermal facilities, dance studio and a state-of-the-art gymnasium. Completing the beauty facilities, The Salon at The Shelbourne offers a range of premium hairdressing and beauty services including luxury manicures, pedicures, express facials and hairstyling.