We’ve picked the top three options in Northern Ireland’s capital whether you’re celebrating a special anniversary or you just feel like celebrating life! Stay in a former bank right in the centre and spoil your senses with a spa experience, or treat a loved one to fine dining in an award-winning restaurant before sinking into a bubble-filled bath. There’ll be plenty of memorable views, sleek bars and vintage-inspired rooms to enjoy along the way.
Three 5-star hotels in Belfast for a weekend of pure indulgence
Sip cocktails and sleep peacefully at this 5-star hotel in Belfast
At the Fitzwilliam you can set the mood for a relaxing night ahead by curling up in a velvet armchair by the lobby’s open fire. Help yourself to a modern or classic novel from the surrounding bookshelves and lose yourself in faraway adventure. Upstairs, the 5-star experience continues in your room. With grey, soft pink and teal tones, the design scheme here feels really modern, but it also has a lovely quirky twist with Art-Deco touches like mirrored walls and plush high-back slipper chairs. Freshen up in the rainfall shower, or run yourself a deep bath with the exclusive Fitzwilliam Hotel toiletries – you’ll find candles and matches ready and waiting for that soothing dip. Your welcome pack also includes postcards and playing cards as mini keepsakes to take home.
On a fun-filled hen weekend, start off in the cocktail bar on the ground floor. Copper lighting and candle-lit tables create a warm atmosphere, while live music every Saturday night makes a party atmosphere. Sip on drinks like the New York Sour – made with Jameson whiskey – and snack on tasty dishes such as halloumi fries and chilli chicken wings while you catch up with your pals.
Time to see Belfast? Head to Rita’s bar, a 3 minute walk away, and cosy up by the fireplace with a tropical cocktail – maybe an Old Cuban or a Mai Tai. Your weekend of indulgence will be even more memorable with a show at the Grand Opera House, just opposite the hotel’s entrance, or the Waterfront Hall, a 12 minute walk away. Before you head out for the night, make sure you’ve chosen from the feather, memory foam or synthetic pillows on the pillow menu. To help you sleep more soundly, the hotel hands out free earplugs – just one of many thoughtful touches here.
Brunch at Made in Belfast (just steps away in the Cathedral Quarter) is a trendy pick before you do a bit of designer and high-street shopping in Victoria Square. Top off your time away with afternoon tea served back at the Fitzwilliam, or book a table in the award-winning restaurant. Snug booths and soft lighting create an intimate atmosphere, while marble pillars bring a luxurious vibe. Fill up on tempting seafood dishes, like potted Kilkeel crab or hake fillet, and choose a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon from the menu to go with your meal. Still feeling peckish? Satisfy your sweet tooth with a twist on a classic dessert – the lemon meringue cheesecake is bursting with flavour. But the celebrations don’t have to stop there. The bar has more than 700 spirits, all served up in real crystal glasses, so you can have your fave drink in style before heading off to bed.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast
Go back in time at this Art Deco-style 5-star hotel in a former Belfast bank
Impress a loved one with a weekend of pure pampering at the Merchant. Inside, you’ll find a blend of Victorian and Art-Deco features and plenty of cosy nooks to unwind in. Start your break with a whiskey in the Cloth Ear, the hotel’s very own traditional pub. After a dram or two, move on to Berts Jazz Bar for a taste of 1930s New York without leaving the comfort of your 5-star home from home. Pull up a plush red armchair and tap your toes to the live jazz shows that take place seven nights a week. There’s a fab selection of Irish gins – Dingle and Blackwater to name just two – to add even more of a smooth vibe to your evening. The menu also lists simple French classics like moules frites and coq au vin.
Once the Ulster Bank HQ, this Grade-A-listed building dates back to the 1850s and is definitely worth capturing on your Instagram. Upstairs, the history of the building comes out in the super-lavish guest rooms. Stay in the more modern half and you’ll be given a striking Art Deco-style space made up of a soft palette of greens and creams with shiny golden highlights. Furniture by designers like Eileen Gray brings a luxurious feel, while Carrara marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and separate tubs are reminders of exactly why this is a 5-star hotel. If you want to go even more retro, book a regal Victorian room in the original building with features like velvet and silk throws. Whichever option you pick, there’s a nightly turndown service to finish off the plush experience. And with a multimedia hub in each room, you can savour your lie-in while catching up on a show from your pillow-top bed.
With a sauna and therapy steam room, as well as a muscle-easing hydropool, drench shower and ice fountain, the hotel’s spa is impressively equipped. Treatments use luxury Voya and Elemis products, including wraps, scrubs, massages and facials. Try the organic peppermint and seaweed sugar glow to give your skin a boost; the sweet peppermint scent leaves you feeling ready for just about anything. Waxing, tinting and manis or pedis are on hand if you’re prepping for a night out at Muriel’s Café Bar – just a minute’s walk away. Take a seat beneath the washing lines of undies in this quirky space and scout out a new gin from the menu.
For a once-in-a-lifetime trip, you can see the city sights from the windows of your own Rolls Royce Phantom – just speak to reception to book. Finish off your stay with an unforgettable meal in the two AA Rosette-awarded Great Room restaurant, where you’ll dine on dishes like prawn tortellini and wild venison underneath the original domed ceiling.
The Merchant Hotel
Soak up the surroundings at this 5-star hotel in Belfast with magical woodland views
Escape daily life with a staycation at Culloden Estate and Spa. The mansion, which was built as the Bishops of Down palace back in 1876, looks out over the peaceful woodlands of Belfast Lough and has 12 acres of grounds waiting for you to roam. With a trip here, you’re whisked away from the bustle of the city but still within easy reach. In fact, the railway station is just at the bottom of the hotel’s grounds and the train will have you in Belfast’s centre in about 10 minutes. Inside you’ll experience all the building’s old-world charm, from the original oil paintings and chandeliers to the open fire in the huge drawing room – a cosy spot for checking out the views of the lake.
For total escapism, head for the ESPA spa and slip into the sunken pool with your other half. The oversized copper lanterns here create a soft and romantic mood. Pamper yourself with an ocean and earth body wrap treatment, which uses algae and essential oils to soothe skin. Prepping for a candlelit meal for two? Scrubs, massages and facials are on the menu, as well as manicures, pedicures, waxing and make-up. End your afternoon of luxury on a high with a relaxing session in the marble steam room.
Once you’ve unwound, stroll slowly through the leafy gardens to the Cultra Inn. An open fire, beamed ceiling and menu of tasty favourites makes a welcoming environment for a lazy day. Slip into a checked armchair and take in the panoramas of the landscaped grounds while you choose from satisfying dishes like herby gnocchi and lamb tagine. Every Sunday, local musicians bring the atmosphere to life with traditional Irish music.
Celebrating a special birthday or anniversary? Book a table in the Gothic-style Mitre restaurant. Culloden Estate’s answer to fine dining is headed by chef Paul McKnight and invites you to eat looking out over Belfast Lough. The menu here focuses on up-to-the-minute Irish cuisine with dishes like Thornhill duck and Carnbrooke beef.
Splash out on a Junior Suite with a garden view and treat yourself to a soak in the deep tub. Brew a fresh coffee with your own Nespresso machine or have the concierge bring you a tea infusion (or, better yet, a glass of fizz). Standard Rooms are just as sleek, with their marble bathrooms and rainfall showers. Get ready for bed with your complimentary ESPA toiletries before snuggling into a fluffy robe. A turndown service makes sure your room stays serene, and a cloud-soft premium bed invites you to take a long lie-in the next morning.