Planned a two night trip to Belfast before heading up the Antrim Coast for a few days in a rented cottage. Pricing up hotel options revealed that the Tara Lodge compared very favourably with the usual chain motels (Holiday Inn, Hilton, Jury's Inn, etc).
Arrived around 18h on a Monday evening. The hotel is three minutes walk from Botanic train station (between Belfast Central and City Hospital). This is a much more convenient option if you're arriving at Belfast City George Best Airport. Just ask for the free shuttle bus to take you from the airport terminal to Sydenham train station. If you arrive in Belfast from Dublin on the Enterprise train just hop on any southbound train for the next stop.
The evening and night porter was very friendly and checked us in smoothly. The room was on the first floor facing onto the street, but it's a quiet side street in a busy and mixed area. Sixty seconds walk to the busy Botanic Avenue, where there are loads of decent places to eat and drink. The rooms have all be been renovated in the last year, and are finished to an exceptional standard for this price of hotel, although the sharp modern style of the rooms does clash a bit with the fake panelled doors and naff gold door handles.
The double bed was high and firm, but very comfortable, with fine sheets and a warm selection of colours on the carpet and the walls, where wood panels frame the bed. A digital flatscreen TV was mounted on the wall at the end of the bed, and the bedside lamps were good for reading in bed. However the double bed was formed by two singles pushed together, which meant a slight crevice was noticeable in the middle of the bed, and the bedside tables were a bit of a stretch from the bed. However the bed was massive and very very comfortable. Double layers of glazing allowed for good ventilation without noise from the usually quiet street.
The bathroom was sharply styled and very clean, with a good shower. It certainly passed the litmus test of feeling as though we were the first occupants.
Overall an excellent hotel - definitely the best value four star in Belfast. The proprietors have deliberately chosen to disguise a bed and breakfast as a very smart hotel. There's no need for a bar or evening meal service when Botanic Avenue has such good offerings near by. These include the great Ulster Fry and cheap wholesome family cooking (including a large veggie selection) at Maggie May's cafe, the great fairtrade coffee and cakes at Clements Coffee, and the fantastic No Alibis crime bookstore.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Let us look after you at Tara Lodge, the metro style boutique hotel located in the heart of Queens Quarter, Belfast. Enjoy a warm welcome from our friendly team, and be delighted with our stylish and luxurious hotel rooms. Close to Queens University, the Ulster museum and only two train stops from Titanic Belfast, you'll be perfectly placed in the heart of the city, to explore all that Northern Ireland has to offer. Wake up refreshed to enjoy an excellent a la carte style breakfast served in our contemporary, sun lit breakfast room by welcoming waiters. By the way the car parking is free and the high speed WiFi is unlimited. At Tara Lodge boutique hotel, we take pride in providing nothing less than gold standard customer service. Our highly engaged, long established team will offer you the warmest of welcomes on arrival and will aim to anticipate your every need. The award winning housekeeping team always deliver the highest of cleanliness throughout. Our consistent, meticulous attention to detail has ensured that our guests always want to return to our hotel. Since September 2007 Tara Lodge has been rated No.1 hotel in Belfast on Tripadvisor - testament to the excellent customer service our team delivers time and time again. With rooms you can really relax in, Tara Lodge boutique hotel is truly Belfast's hidden gem. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tara Hotel Belfast