Downtown location, near the Titanic and Cathedral quarters
Five-minute walk to City Hall and close to bus/train stations
Good-sized rooms with kettles, AC, and comfy beds
Triple and Family Rooms available
On-site bar and a restaurant with kids' menus
Solid buffet breakfast; kids eat free with a paying adult
Underground parking (next door)
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Bland, chain decor throughout
Rooms lack mini-fridges and safes
Front-facing rooms can be noisy
Parking is pricey (but cheaper options are nearby)
No meeting rooms or gym on-site
Fee to upgrade to high-speed Wi-Fi
Reliable comfort and central positioning make the mid-range Premier Inn Belfast City Centre (Alfred Street) Hotel a good downtown pick, but don't expect more than the basics here. Near Belfast City Hall and attractions, it draws a mix of corporate and sightseeing travelers, as well as families, particularly since 60 of the 148 rooms sleep four. Their air-conditioned layouts are predictable but pristine, and include desks, kettles, and pillow menus. The on-site bar and restaurant are well-reviewed, as are buffet breakfasts, although mornings get busy. Limited features are reasonable for the price, and families aren't phased by the lack of kid-centric amenities, especially since much of the city's attractions are family-friendly. The Ibis Belfast City Centre is more central and cheaper, although tiny bathrooms reflect the lower rates.
Well-placed chain hotel, particularly affordable if booking ahead
Amid similarly modern office blocks and apartments, the chain's purple crescent moon logo is a clear pointer to arriving guests. Its colors form signature palettes found across Premier Inns, and reliable comfort here follows suit. Though generic, contemporary interiors are welcoming, from the white-tiled lobby with its handy vending machines and ATM, to the cozy Thyme bar and restaurant. Blue and yellow chairs here jazz up laid-back dining areas with fun wall motifs, although the breakfast rush is less easy-going. Weekends are particularly busy, when waits for coffee machines can be long. Travelers tend to spend their days out, although some opt for the hotel's well-priced meal deals, which include dinner.
On the fringes of Belfast's city center, near City Hall
Just south of the main hub, the hotel's small street is quiet but central, and most attractions are within walking distance. The city center is a five-minute walk, as are historic City Hall and concert venue Ulster Hall. Belfast's shipyards were the building site for the infamous sinking Titanic, and exhibits relating to it fill the Titanic Quarter, which is a 23-minute walk away, or shorter bus ride. The Botanic Gardens are the same distance, while Cathedral Quarter's nightlife is a quick 10 minutes on foot. Conference, entertainment, and exhibition center, Belfast Waterfront, is the same distance. The 50 stores and restaurants at Victoria Square mall are a nine-minute walk. Belfast main train and Europa bus stations are both a 10-minute walk. Belfast City Airport is a 10-minute drive, or 35 minutes by public transport. Allow half-hour drives, or twice that by public transport for Belfast International Airport. Underground parking next door is pricey and spaces are tight, which is probably why most guests park around the block at the fire station, where rates are cheaper. Street parking is free on Sundays.
Predictable decor in contemporary rooms with flat-screen TVs
Good-sized rooms have a generic, no-frills design, but they're comfortable. The soothing purple theme pervades throughout carpeting, bed runners, and headboards with sconce lighting. Crisp white-covered "Hypnos" beds with pillow menus are comfy. Medium-wood upholstering is lackluster, and exposed shelving accentuates budget aspects, but flower paintings add splashes of color, and amenities are reasonable. They include phones, flat-screen TVs with 80 Freeview channels, desks with chairs, and kettles for tea- and coffee-making. No fridges or safes are provided, however. HDMI and USB ports, as well as hairdryers add extra comforts. Sofa beds form seating areas in some rooms, and Family Rooms have pullout beds. White-tiled bathrooms are simple, but spotless, with shower/tub combos, towels, and wall-dispensed soaps. Courtyard-facing rooms are quieter than those overlooking the street, and all have blackout drapes. Accessible rooms are available. All have free Wi-Fi.
Welcoming on-site bar and restaurant, paid parking, and free Wi-Fi
Features here aren't extensive, but they're decent for an affordable three-pearl property. Hanging lamps and large windows fill Thyme Bar and Restaurant with light, and colorful striped carpeting sits under blues and lime-green chairs. Well-priced wines and Irish beers accompany soft drinks and snacks at the all-day bar, while the restaurant offers locally sourced burgers, salads, and grill options, plus international fare like curries and pastas. At a fee (though free for kids with a paying adult), breakfasts are buffet-style. Cooked English and continental options accompany made-to-order eggs, oatmeal, and traditional black pudding. Tea, coffee, and juice come standard, but waits for hot beverages can be long when crowds swamp the area. Meal deals offer breakfast, plus a three-course dinner with a drink. There are no business, meeting, or wellness facilities, although an independent gym is next door. Wi-Fi is free throughout, but the speed is slow, and it costs to upgrade.
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