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Northern Ireland 

Accommodation in Northern Ireland
Accommodation in Northern Ireland is varied and plentiful but unfortunately it is not cheap in comparison to many places throughout the world. Accommodation is priced roughly the same as England but is considerably more expensive than many Eastern European countries. Prices range depending on the type and size of the accommodation, the size of the bed i.e. a double or single room, the view you get from your window and also the time of year that you go. Typically prices are higher when you visit Northern Ireland in the summer (which is the peak season) and lower when you visit in the winter. Almost all B&Bs offer a full Irish Breakfast as part of the rate and many hotels offer the same service or at least a continental breakfast.
Through our site you can view and enquire about a wide range of different accommodation types in Northern Ireland and they can all be viewed under the Accommodation heading at the top of the main page.
Bed and Breakfasts 
The Bed and Breakfast (B&B) is potentially the more sought after accommodation in Northern Irish tourism and ones can nearly always be found quite close to Northern Irish hotspots (if they are not fully booked, that is). They are great because they are typically family run businesses which offer a personal service and take their hospitality very seriously. Each B&B is unique and has its own little idiosyncrasies which are (hopefully) fantastic. These little touches range from chocolates on your pillows to little surprises left around your room for you.
You are more than likely going to get to know the owners very well as they are usually the ones that welcome you in, clean your rooms, cook your food and tell you interesting stories about the building itself and its surroundings.
In the larger cities there will be a whole range of B&Bs to choose from so you should shop around. Most B&Bs are good, but some are just plain better than others; this is normally the cause for any price differences.  The nearest tourist information center is the best place to get help with booking (if you have not booked in advance) as they can reserve the accommodation for you. 
B&Bs in Northern Ireland are not large. By their very nature they are small to medium sized buildings and are very homely as it is their home as well as their business. They tend to have up to around four bedrooms although some are slightly larger and some smaller. The better known ones fill up quickly so make a reservation before you arrive to avoid disappointment especially during the peak seasons. Most have ensuite bathrooms these days but if you are bothered about sharing a shower with the family down the hall, then ask for a room with an ensuite. It may cost a little more than the standard but it is nice to get that added luxury of your own shower!  Nearly all the ones that we have stayed in have had tea and coffee making facilities in the bedroom and a little biscuit or crisps left for a snack.
Another great thing about B&Bs in Northern Ireland is the price. They tend to be a lot cheaper than most hotels in Northern Ireland and you get a lot of character for your money. 
Hotels in Northern:
Like B&Bs, hotels in Northern Ireland are a very common kind of accommodation. Many offer a tea and coffee making facility in their rooms as standard. Bellboys or Bellhops are not very prevalent anymore as price wars between hotels have forced cost cutting to be done across the board. They are still to be found in some of the posher and more expensive hotels but many of the middle range and certainly most of the low end hotels in Northern Ireland expect you to carry your own bags, unless a member of staff would be good enough to help you with them. Some of the smaller hotels also lock their doors at a certain time so you will have to knock or ring the bell if you want to be let in after hours. If you do plan on being out late then it is a good idea to let the attendant know beforehand.
Hotels in Northern Ireland are a good source of information and like B&Bs they will often be like a mini tourist board offering pamphlets and leaflets on what to do and where to go at night and during the day. The more expensive ones also have a concierge service that will certainly be able to offer you good advice on local attractions and will help arrange transport for you. Something that accommodation such as B&Bs do not offer but many of the larger and chain hotels do are facilities such as a gym, swimming pool, room service, and an in house restaurant.
The idea of hotels or accommodation in Northern Ireland can even stretch to overnight rooms in pubs and taverns. For the truly authentic Irish holiday book yourself into one of those. Just make sure that you will not be troubled by excessive noise until the early hours - or you could always join them!
It is often a good idea to see what deals are on at the weekend as many Northern Ireland hotes will offer a cheaper weekend rate because those nights are usually the domain of the business visitor. Because hotels are keen to keep as full as possible at all times it would be a good idea to ask what if they have any spare or late availability rooms available in the hotel.
Like all kinds of accommodation throughout Northern Ireland, hotels can be both good and bad depending on what you pay and where they are. On the whole though, hotels tend to offer the advantage of an established brand or a certain level of luxury that other kinds of accommodation in Northern Ireland do not offer.
Self Catered Accommodation in Northern Ireland
Self catered accommodation in Northern Ireland is a very loose term describing a number of different types of self catered accommodation. They could range from a full old style cottage which you could rent out with your family, or other families, a modern apartment to a room within a Castle.
The advantages of booking self catered accomodation in Northern Ireland are many but these advantages are also the disadvantages so it depends entirely on the type of experience you would like. They differ massively from hotels or B&Bs for a number of reasons one being that you are free to cook what you want when you want to and you can have the house as messy or as tidy as you like because in this kind of accommodation there will be no cleaner or maid to interrupt you. Although it is rather impolite to leave it a complete shambles after you have left you will be pretty much left to your own devices for the duration of your stay. So if you know where you want to go and what you want to do, and are looking for some privacy then self catered accommodation might be for you.
Of note is the fact that the price is not per head as with hotels and B&Bs it is calculated per room or cottage and is usually for week at a time although many now offer 3 / 5 day stays for slightly higher pro-rata prices. When you consider the cost of staying in a hotel for a week with say a family of seven then staying in self catered accommodation is a vastly cheaper alternative. Buying and cooking your own food would also save a lot of money that you may otherwise have spent at the hotel restaurant. This is money that can either be saved or used to fund your exploration of all Northern Ireland has to offer.
In summary, self catered accommodation in Northern Ireland is great for families and is the accommodation of choice for large groups or those looking for privacy. They have certain advantages over hotels and B&Bs in Northern Ireland but also their disadvantages. Shop around to ensure you get the very best priced self catered accommodation in Northern Ireland
Hostels in Northern Ireland:
If your view of the humble hostel has been formed by the recent film of the same name then you will be surprised to hear that they are actually friendly places that offer a good alternative to either the independent traveler or the family on a budget. They are not just for young travelers, although they are called ‘Youth Hostels’ in Northern Ireland, they do accommodate anyone, however the majority of people there will be in their late teens to early twenties. They are a great place for travelers of any age to meet like minded people who will be more than happy to share their stories of the day and what they have experienced so far. If you are a young traveler yourself then this would be the ideal place to not only find yourself some bargain accommodation but also a place to make friends.
Like all types of accommodation in Northern Ireland, the quality varies from place to place and hostels are no exception. In fact this is true more for hostels than any other place you may stay. Hotels may vary but hostels are on another level. Some will offer communal kitchens where you can bring and cook your own food while others may offer ensuite facilities such as a toilet or shower. Communal living is the watchword here. Unless you are lucky enough to find a hostel that offers private rooms you will probably be eating and sleeping communally. This means you will be sleeping in a dorm with bunk beds with a number of other people you may or may not know.  
While most hostels in Northern Ireland are completely safe it is a good idea to take your essentials such as your wallet, passport and keys into bed with you to safeguard them from thieves. Blankets are usually provided but it would be a good idea to bring your own sleeping bag because otherwise you may have to rent them from the hostel or the blanket may be dirty.  They are also family friendly as a family can rent out an entire room and sleep in bunk beds.
The bathrooms could be a bone of contention as they vary wildly. They could be absolutely immaculate or they could be rather grotty. If you are not lucky enough to find one with a private bathroom facility then expect them to be pretty standard dorm style affairs with a row of shower cubicles, tiles walls and ceilings and a row of sinks. If you have stayed in university dorms or used public showers in a gym then you will know the drill. Certainly not luxurious but they are functional and get the job done.
The good news about hostels in Northern Ireland is the rate. Expect to pay between £10 and £20 a night. £70 for a week of good eating and sleeping is brilliant and a very viable option for many young travelers.
When sleeping in close proximity to a number of strangers it is always best to consider your personal safety. Security is not really a problem in hostels in Northern Ireland but it is good practice to lock your belongings up in a locker if one is provided or alternatively if they do not have any available you should stack your belongings so that the most valuable things are right at the bottom of the pile.  Things such as wallet and passport should be taken into bed with you for added peace of mind (I use to sleep with my passport and money bag in my pillow).
In conclusion, hostels in Northern Ireland are a cheap form of accommodation that will certainly benefit budget or young travelers but they certainly do not have the same luxuries as hotels or B&Bs. 


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