The Best Hotels in Derry/Londonderry for Every Traveller

The Peace Bridge over the River Foyle in Derry/Londonderry is one sight you cant miss
The Peace Bridge over the River Foyle in Derry/Londonderry is one sight you can't miss | © Dennis Frates / Alamy Stock Photo
Tim Rowland

The 17th-century city walls that once surrounded Derry/Londonderry hint at its rich history, as do the landmarks of resistance to British rule in the Bogside. Many of its hotels also have stories too, with some housed in former banks or headquarters for Crimean War veterans. Stay in the city centre on the banks of the River Foyle, or at a country inn on the outskirts. Wherever you are, a pint of stout and good craic with the locals is never far away.

1. Shipquay Hotel

Luxury

A bed with a tray and bottle of wine and glasses in a hotel room at Shipquay Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Shipquay Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Hotels in former banks can often be gorgeous, benefiting from the high ceilings, city centre locations and ornate facades of their former incarnations. Shipquay Hotel is no different, set in a Grade II-listed townhouse constructed in 1895 in the italianate style for the Provincial Bank of Ireland. Many of the 21 boutique rooms have views of the city and Luxe VOYA Organic Beauty products in the bathrooms. Shipquay Restaurant does great brunch – try the Walled City Fry with artisan pork sausage, dry cured bacon, Clonakilty black pudding, grilled tomato and portobello mushroom.

2. The Belfray Country Inn Hotel

Independent Hotel, Inn

Two beds and bedside tables with lamps in a hotel room at the Belfray Country Inn Hotel
Courtesy of The Belfray Country Inn Hotel / Expedia

The Belfray is south of Derry/Londonderry city on the A6 – a short drive into town. Inside, the hotel is all wood-panelled walls and deep blues, golds and reds in the rooms, which all have memory foam mattresses. There’s all day dining in the Belfray Bistro and fine dining in the Palace Restaurant. Ness Country Park is close by and features a waterfall walk and plenty of unspoiled countryside around Burntollet and Ness Woods. You’re handy here for The Giant’s Causeway too, just an hour northeast by car.

3. City Hotel Derry

Hotel

A bed, desk and chair, TV and table with two chairs in a hotel room at City Hotel in Derry
Courtesy of City Hotel in Derry / Expedia.com

Right on the River Foyle just a couple of hundred metres from the Guildhall and Peace Bridge, City Hotel Derry is located in an imposing building with 158 guestrooms, including a Penthouse Floor of luxury rooms and suites. You can’t get a much better spot from which to enjoy the Halloween carnival, an eight-day fright-fest which makes Derry/Londonderry one of the world’s premier Halloween destinations. Hervey’s Roof Terrace on the seventh floor claims to be the only roof terrace bar in the city, with a faux grass floor, artificial hedging and lounge areas, outdoor heating and a private event bar.

4. Chamberlain House

Guesthouse

A bed and bedside tables with lamps in a guest room at Chamberlain House
Courtesy of Chamberlain House / Expedia.com

This self-catering accommodation bills itself as one of the best value places to stay in the centre of the city and keeps things simple, with nine ensuite bedrooms sleeping up to 18 people – perfect for budget travellers. Guests at the converted red brick terrace in a quiet residential road have access to a kitchen, hob oven, a wash and dry room with a tumble dryer and washing machine, plus a fridge and dishwasher. In three minutes on foot you can be at the city walls or the Peace Bridge, and the historic Bogside area is close by too.

5. Bishop’s Gate Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

The exterior of Bishops Gate Hotel, with windows and columns
Courtesy of Bishop's Gate Hotel / Expedia

Bishop’s Gate Hotel is just across from the Derry Walls, where visitors can explore the intact 17th-century enclosure of the city, featuring 24 restored cannons and seven gates. The listed Edwardian-style hotel has plenty of history of its own, having once been the headquarters of a club of local gentry who had served in the Crimean War, with Winston Churchill and W.B. Yeats among the visitors. The Edwardian heritage is reflected in the dove greys, plum, gold and muted moss greens of the decor in the 31 guestrooms, which include two suites and an apartment. The Wig Champagne Bar is the best spot in Derry/Londonderry for a fireside glass of bubbles.

6. Maldron Hotel Derry

Hotel

Two beds, a desk with lamp and chairs in a hotel room at Maldron Hotel Derry
Courtesy of Maldron Hotel Derry / Expedia.com

This modern hotel is centrally located within the historic city walls just around the corner from the bars and restaurants of Shipquay Street and Waterloo Street and has 90 rooms and three suites. The Maldron does a mean afternoon tea in the Lyric Bar – available from £12.50 per person or £15 with a glass of sparkling wine – including finger sandwiches, butter, cream and jam with your scones, a selection of mini desserts and freshly brewed coffee or tea. There’s also live music every Saturday night from 8pm.

7. Waterfoot Hotel

Hotel

A bed, chaise lounge, armchairs and two lamps in a hotel room at Waterfoot Hotel
Courtesy of Waterfoot Hotel

If you’re happy to be a little way out of the city centre, Waterfoot Hotel is a great option by the eastern banks of the River Foyle. You can walk into town via the river bank path, St Columb’s Park and the Peace Bridge, in around 30 to 40 minutes. There’s plenty to keep you entertained at the hotel as well, particularly if you’re lucky enough to be staying in the Ambassador Suite with its jet baths, double sinks and bespoke toiletries. Snug Bar has regular live music and is a prime spot for enjoying a pint of stout and a bit of craic with the regulars. Don’t miss the Sunday carvery either, with entertainment for the kids if you’ve brought the family, featuring dressed up novelty characters.

8. Da Vinci's

Hotel

A bed, armchairs, desk and chair in a hotel room at Da Vincis in Derry
Courtesy of Da Vinci's / Expedia.com

A smart purpose-built hotel, Da Vinci’s is close to the banks of the River Foyle, 15-minutes’ walk north of the city centre. The 64 bedrooms offer more space than many hotels in the heart of town and provide complimentary newspapers and bespoke toiletries, while the Morrisons Suite has a super king bed and vanity area. The wood-panelled Da Vinci’s Bar opened in 1986 and was one of the city’s Famous Five top bars, all named after painters. The Irish Breakfast is recommended, and includes white pudding, potato bread and soda farl, a quadrant of flatbread particular to Northern Ireland.

9. Abbey Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

A table set for dining next to music memorabilia and photos at Abbey Bed and Breakfast
Courtesy of Abbey Bed and Breakfast

Right in Bogside, Abbey Bed and Breakfast is where you want to be if it’s Derry’s history you’re keen to explore. It’s a short walk from the Museum of Free Derry, Free Derry Corner with its mural reading ‘‘You are now entering Free Derry’’ and the Derry Walls. Get a Full Irish or continental breakfast to start your day in the Abbey Studio Tea Room, which also serves soup, Irish Stew, wraps, paninis and sandwiches. The walls are covered in memorabilia celebrating the colourful musical history of Derry/Londonderry.

10. Charlotte House

Guesthouse

Two beds and gray curtains over the window in a guest room at Charlotte House
Courtesy of Charlotte House / Expedia.com

Charlotte House is a relatively new guest house close to Ulster University’s Magee campus in a residential street to the north of the city centre. The rooms feature dark tartan carpets and lots of glass table tops, with silver and grey prominent in the decor. You can be at the Guildhall in the centre of Derry/Londonderry in 15 minutes on foot. There are watersports, angling and a cafe by the lake at Creggan Country Park is five minutes’ drive away.

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