With its buzzing pubs, cultural hotspots and arguably the best restaurant scene in Ireland, Cork has an accommodation offering that doesn’t always come cheap. But we can help – here’s our roundup of budget-friendly hotels and B&Bs that don’t compromise on style.
If you’ve come to Cork to scrub up on your Irish history, you’ll want to check into Maldron Hotel Shandon, in the middle of the city’s historic culture quarter. Since a refurbishment, rooms offer every modern amenity, and there’s a fully equipped gym and swimming pool, if you’ve not had enough exercise exploring the city.
Built in 1897 but with modern ensuite bathrooms and luxe Karre toiletries, the Metropole is a traditional bolthole near to shops, boutiques, bars and eateries. Join locals for a drink in the lively Met bar, while Sundays should be saved for Brunch in the City, where you can indulge in tasty breakfast staples washed down with free-flowing prosecco.
While the prospect of staying in an airport hotel isn’t the most thrilling, Cork International is pretty swanky for what could easily be another mediocre highway hotel. Stacked with modern yet comfortable guest rooms, this hotel is hardly option B – especially since you’re just 10 minutes from the city centre. Waiting to catch a flight? Enjoy a meal at the New Yorker Bar & Bistro that specialises in hearty creations.
Be it business or pleasure, this picturesque riverside hotel is perfectly positioned to allow you to experience the best the city has to offer. Its 198 spacious guest rooms have everything you could possibly need, including 32-inch televisions, in-room safes, complimentary Wi-Fi and a free-standing ironing board with iron, while the hotel’s 18m (60ft) pool with sauna and hot tub is where you’ll want to relax after a rigorous day.
The no-frills Jurys offers all the essentials for a comfortable stay without the pricey extras. Beds are soft, the linens are crisp, and you’ll get complimentary toiletries and free wifi included. Whether you’re here for work or play, this is a perfect spot if you plan to be out and about for the majority of your visit; make the most of the central location close to Cork train station.
Just 200yd (180m) from Blarney Castle, this is a great option for travellers on a budget who don’t want to compromise on location. Locals come early for the traditional cooked breakfasts and stay late for traditional live Irish music and refreshing ales at Johnny’s Bar. When it comes to your meals, ingredients are locally sourced, and guests rave about the monkfish served with sun blushed tomatoes and sautéed potatoes. And while rooms are simple, you won’t be compromising on comfort.
This charming family-run guesthouse is thoughtfully decorated with accents of colour, and set among its own tranquil gardens with cascades, ponds and a gazebo. A traditional Irish breakfast is the star of the show, so fill up on a feast of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, mushrooms and grilled tomato, all cooked to order. Rooms have all the essentials – come summer, be sure to ask for a room with private access to the gardens for a special touch.
High up on a steep hill surrounded by the woods, you’ll feel a world away from the centre of Cork when in fact you’re just 3mi (5km) away. Originally built as a hunting lodge, it retains its period charm, though it’s suitably modern, having undergone an extensive multimillion-euro renovation. Each of its 48 guest rooms, five suites and eight holiday chalets are uniquely done out with brocade wallpaper, while the head chef conjures startling flavours and unusual combinations in the kitchen.
Just a five-minute walk from Cork Airport terminal, Cork Airport Hotel offers smart and spacious rooms that won’t break the bank. Touting authentic Italian with locally sourced ingredients, enjoy some of the best pizzas in town at the Olivio Bar & Restaurant. A continental buffet breakfast of fresh bread, pastries, cold cuts and more freshen every morning, and there’s even a grab-and-go option available from 4am if you’ve got an early flight.