The best hotels in Northern Ireland

The Europa Hotel, Belfast. Credit: Christopher Heaney

From cosy inns to historic ‘big houses’ and luxurious spa hotels, here are some of the best places to stay in Northern Ireland

As part of our Celtic Britain special, available to buy here, we’re bringing you our round-up of the best hotels in Northern Ireland

The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn 

In the little whitewashed village of Crawfordsburn, just a 20-minute drive from Belfast at head of the Ards Peninsula, this historic inn has been given a makeover since being bought by the people behind the successful Galgorm hotel in Ballymena in 2021.

best hotels in Northern Ireland
The Treetop Spa at the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn

A new ‘treetop’ spa overlooking Crawfordsburn Country Park is a beautiful and tranquil addition, while plenty of original character abounds in the wood-beamed pub.

The Europa, Belfast 

best hotels in northern ireland
Entrance to the Europa Hotel in Belfast city centre

Probably the most famous hotel in Belfast, this city centre 4-star hotel is a local institution thanks to its rolling programme of live music, its excellent restaurant, and glamorous bars. It’s also a good spot for afternoon tea and is within strolling distance of lots of the city’s biggest attractions. Plus, the roster of former A-list guests, which includes Bill Clinton, Lionel Richie, and Brad Pitt, is seriously impressive.

The Regency Belfast 

This collection of fully serviced luxury apartments in Belfast’s Queen’s Quarter is the most elegant home from home. Guests can expect gorgeous bedrooms, plus plenty of period flourishes, and a very pretty courtyard. It’s the attention to detail that really wows though – think selecting a record from the vinyl library or sinking into a brass freestanding bath, while the 24-7 concierge team will help you make the most of your city break.

Ballygally Castle Hotel 

Handily located for Antrim’s Causeway Coastal Route and its many attractions, including Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway, this 4-star hotel, which dates from 1625, overlooks Ballygally Bay and has beautiful views across the Irish sea. Rooms are comfortable with lots of original features but only the brave will book the ghost room in one of the towers where you may well be woken in the night by spooky goings on.

Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen 

best hotels in northern ireland
Lough Erne Resort in winter

Set within 600 acres on the edge of the beautiful Fermanagh Lakelands region, this five-star resort has everything you might need (and plenty you don’t) with golf courses, spa services and a choice of restaurants and bars, including a 3AA Rosette lakeview restaurant. It’s a luxurious base for exploring County Fermanagh, including National Trust properties such as 18th-century Florence Court – one of the most important Georgian houses in all of Ireland.

Slieve Donard Hotel 

In the foothills of the Mountains of Mourne, this historic hotel is a striking example of a Victorian resort and is renowned for its excellent spa. With walking in the Mournes one big draw, the verdant Tollymore Forest Park is also just a short drive away and having recently been bought by Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts, expectations are high for when renovations are completed.

Culloden Estate & Spa 

Long considered one of the best hotels in Northern Ireland, and one of the grandest, this five-star resort hotel, which stands proud in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking Belfast Lough, was originally built for the Bishops of Down. Today, guests can be assured of a good night’s sleep thanks to the King Koil ‘Cloud’ beds, enjoy a homecooked breakfast each morning, and unwind in the spa or take a refreshing walk through the 12 acres of secluded gardens and woodland.

Read more:

The best stately homes across Celtic Britain

A journey through the heart of Celtic Wales

Celtic Britain: The 7 best sights to visit


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