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The Titanic Hotel - A Historic Hotel in the Heart of Belfast

Published in Hotel Reviews

The Titanic Hotel - A Historic Hotel in the Heart of Belfast

The Titanic Hotel Belfast is located in the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff, builders of the Titanic, and provides the perfect destination for anyone travelling to the Titanic Quarter on business or for pleasure. 

The hotel's location really is exceptional, located just 10 metres from the Titanic Exhibition, 50 metres away from the HMS Caroline and 5 minutes walk from the exciting SSE Arena and W5. The location of the Titanic Hotel was a real drawing point for us as it was close enough to walk to Belfast City Centre, yet far enough away to relax and not have to worry about the hustle and bustle of the city. 

On arrival, we were greeted with the sheer beauty of the exceptionally historic building, almost like a museum than a hotel. It’s certainly a very aesthetically pleasing hotel with a clean open reception and open bar/ restaurant area.

Check in was a breeze, with the very kind lobby staff offering to show us to our room, on arrival to the room we were welcomed by a lovely array of macaroons, which really was the icing on the cake.

The room itself was very spacious and had a real historic feel to it, from the high ceilings to the old light fixtures and notable mirrors. Both the room and the hotel are very dark, although we like the relaxing dim lighting it may be an issue for some.

In the room were two large TV’s playing enjoyable documentaries and related videos of the Titanic, which was a lovely touch. Also, provided was all the important amenities; hair dryer, ironing board, air conditioning, complimentary bottled water, tea/coffee facilities, refrigerator on request, safe, bespoke bathrobes and slippers & very good WiFi.

The bathroom was very spacious for a city hotel with both a shower and a bath and two large couple sinks (although this differs from room to room), even the simplest of rooms have everything you need. In the bathroom, you'll also find a handful of Paul Costelloe toiletries, which we ended up taking for travelling (sorry Titanic Hotel).

The Titanic doesn’t just have amazing rooms though, it also offers some of the best food options we have seen in any hotel. We had both dinner and two days of breakfast and I couldn’t fault it. The Breakfast was plentiful with a wide variety of options ranging from cereals, pastries, yoghourts and a wide range of traditional Irish breakfast options, we recommended the Irish fry.


After you’ve tickled your taste buds with the plentiful breakfast options and have explored the tremendous titanic quarter, the Titanic’s Wolff Grill or the drawing office dinner will certainly make your trip that little bit more special. We aren’t what you would call ‘fine dining’ type of people but the Titanic really changed our opinion on ‘fine dining’ with large portions & flavours that we can’t really put into words how incredible they are. If you want something a bit more casual the Drawing-office lunch or dinner menu is prepared by the same kitchen so you will still be in for a treat.

Rating
Overall the Titanic Hotel is an excellent hotel experience with a brilliant location to the Titanic Quarter, set in history and with some incredible top class food options. It really could be a brilliant city getaway or if your coming to Belfast to visit the culture and history this hotel is perfect. Staff were extremely intentive and went above and beyond to get us extra amenities and when we left the room we arrived with the bed pre-made and chocolates on the pillows. Although not exactly a budget Hotel, keep an eye their website and social media as they run packages with breakfast/stay/dinner and for the perfect price this hotel could be the perfect getaway.

Rating:
Price: £120-180 a night
Address: 8 Queens Rd, Belfast BT3 9DT
More Info: Click Here

Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accommodation ranging from First class being the best and Last class being the worst.

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How to book cheap flights

Published in Travel Tips & Tricks

How to get cheap flights

Whether it's your first time booking your own trip or you’ve experienced the tiresome repeat flight searching to get the best possible flights, finding affordable flights can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Here are some tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
Be flexible

It may sound simple but one of the main ways to reduce costs on flights is by having flexible travel plans, you can change your hotel/accommodation options to suit your budget but with flights its a very limited choice, you need to work around the airlines and find that perfect flight. Broaden your spectrum of dates/destinations/airports/flight times can really save you a lot of money. If you start with the mindset of; I want to travel to New York from the 3rd December- 6th December on an early direct flight in to JFK Airport more than likely it’s going to get expensive, but if you broaden your search to travel to New York in the first two weeks of December flying anytime during the day to any accessible airport with a maximum of 1 stop over you open a wide variety of prices for many different airports/dates/times/airlines. Flexibility is key with flights & can be the difference of saving hundreds of pounds.

Use the best flight search engines

So where do you start? your dates or travel plans are flexible, you're ready to start getting those cheap flights. Unfortunately, no search engine is consistently perfect although we find sky scanner to be the #1 choice, we would advise trying a combination of search engines to make sure you're not missing any results. 
- Skyscanner (or download the app) - your starting point & first choice.
-Kiwi.com (combines all airlines to create routes that are cheaper than booking with just one airline & is our next go to after skyscanner)
- Momondo (a broad search engine that sometimes shows cheaper fares) check out our new TripFinder helper that makes it a little more user-friendly
-JetRadar (includes budget airlines, which many search engines don’t)
-AirWander (lets you extend layovers into stopovers to visit 2 destinations with 1 trip)
-Google Flights (good tool to quickly compare flights, also brilliant for free flight price tracking see more info below)

Track your flights & book at the right time

So when is the right time to book? To not sound cliche but the right time to book is when you're comfortable with the price before you plan on going away, set yourself a budget of what your willing to spend. There's no point in adding an extra stopover or flying with a budget airline if it's only going to save you a minimal amount. REMEMBER the hidden extras of flying; baggage fees, transport to that airport vs another, meals when travelling and of course time which sometimes can be the most important. All that said though, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a right time to book, if you have set dates & your fixed with your travel plans and destination we advice to book as soon as possible, but if you have flexibility we would say the best time to book is 6-8 weeks before your flight (off-peak) and 3 months peak times such as holidays/main months in summer.

One of the main ways we know when its the right time to book is through google flights, they offer a free flight trends overview of prices and let you track your flights free of charge. They will email you updates on a particular flight or route and the change in prices to your email, which has certainly saved us a fair few pounds for other holiday activites.

Befriend budget airlines

One of the best ways to get significantly cheaper tickets is through budget airlines but of course, this can come at a value of compromised leg room, no complimentary food/drinks & most importantly strict rules and regulations that you need to be careful of. Overall if it's for a short haul flight this may be your best option. We fly budget airlines regularly for trips under 4 hours & can't complain. In the day and age were you can get flights from the UK to Europe for half the price of a train ticket from London to Newcastle, you have to half a certain bit of flexibility with what you're expecting for your money. Not all budget airlines are on Search engines so here's a comprehensive list of some of the best budget airlines per region, check out their websites for prices & check whats included/excluded.

Top tips for booking with budget airlines
-Check where the airport location is (some budget airlines fly to airports further out of town).
-Ensure you’ve booked & paid for your luggage allowance. Adhere to restrictions on weight, height, and the number of bags allowed. Some airlines (e.g. Ryanair) will charge a hefty fee if you’re over.
-Print your own ticket- some airlines have printout fees which can sometimes be more than the flight.

In a nutshell, always read and follow instructions! & Tweet us @beattravelagent if you have any questions.

Discover nearby airports

Do you know what airports are near you? You’d be surprised how easy it is to get buses/trains to nearby main airports. Many budget airlines only operate out of the larger main airports so be sure to check. When on Skyscanner or other search engines click the add nearby airports button and see your nearby options.

Clear those cookies

Unfortunately, in this day and age flight companies save all our details so the more you look at that flight with certain travel booking companies and flight companies the price will go up. Use a browser such as google chrome or safari to go into Incognito mode to look like your a new customer.

Embrace the single life

Now don’t go leaving your other half at home, it seems some airlines, especially budget airlines seem to have tickets cheaper for single purchasers and seem to hike the price when you buy multiple tickets. So check the price first for your group then check it singularly and make sure it isn’t cheaper to book singly. Afterwards, in the checkout process, you can pick your seats so you and your family are sitting together.

Locate those airlines errors

Yes that's right, everyone makes mistakes and when it comes to flight companies this seems to also be the case, whether it be a system error, human error or a wrong currency conversion, airlines do make mistakes and there are websites out there to take advantage of them. Sites like Airfarewatchdog has a dedicated team of deal hunters, who frequently post to their deals blog and keep you in the loop, also check out SecretFlying & Fly4Free.

Use Air miles

If you thinking of getting a credit card or looking to get that free upgrade or free flight (minus taxes) Air Miles could be the next step to lying on that beach. There are many different companies such as AMEX, Chase, Flybe & MBNA who are providing Cards that both come with free air miles when you join & Air miles when you spend. Check out our article here to find the best card; as you may need to research what airline you plan on using or provides the most routes so you can spend those earned points.

Make an airline buddy

No, we don’t mean making friends with that passenger next to you on the plane (although why not), but rather make friends with the airlines. Subscribe to their email newsletters, join there reward schemes, follow them on Facebook/Twitter and keep track of the voucher code and deals. As many times a year airlines will have discounts and sales and their followers will have first notice of the deals. What we do is have a separate email address just for tracked flights & flight and hotel newsletters to make sure we keep on top of the latest offers. Also, make sure to check out HotUKDeals and Vouchercodes to see what deals and promo codes are out there before you book your trip.

If you can’t beat them join them

That's right, sometimes the travel agent is the best place to book a flight package, due to a lot of flight companies like Thomas Cook/Thomson Airways etc. owning their own airlines. They can offer undercut rates & run services to the busy destinations around the holiday times at a slight discount that other airlines providers, although that doesn’t make them the cheapest if your booking an all-inclusive or package holiday your cheapest option is probably going to the travel agents themselves. Still, price check the flight without accommodation and with it and see if they can beat or match your own quote.

Check back and track

So you’ve got yourself a good deal, your flights are booked but your a bit worried the price might change today or tomorrow morning, its not over yet though any ticket sold in the US, for flights from the US, even if they’re on a foreign carrier must allow for one of two things: a 24 hour hold guaranteeing your fare before purchase OR a 24 hour risk free cancellation entitling you to a full refund. This isn’t the full case in the UK but many airlines such as BMI, British Airways, Virgin & some easyJet tickets offer this service so that you can cancel within 24 hours. So what we normally do is set an alarm to check in 23 hours or so to see if there was any price change. Just make sure to protect yourself when booking anything for a holiday over £100 on a credit card to protect yourself under section 75.

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Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane - A Dreamy Dublin Detox

Published in Hotel Reviews

Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane - A Dreamy Dublin Detox
The Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is located in the bustling business district in Dublin 2, just a stone throw away from the beautiful Samuel Beckett Bridge and a number of bars, restaurants and attractions.

This four-star hotel is just 1 minute from the famous Bord Gais Energy and a 5-minute walk to close-by public transport. Although situated in Dublin's busy business district, the hotel has that relaxing vibe that's a real breath of fresh air.

As soon as we arrived we were given a warm welcome and a perfect explanation of the many facilities the hotel offers on-site ranging from the state of the art leisure centre, swimming pool, sauna & jacuzzi, restaurant & bar and breakfast area.

Although large the hotel is labelled and signposted well to keep you on the right track of the many different floors and areas and staff were friendly with any questions or queries we had and even offered to order taxis or guide us to the local transport to get back to the airport. 

The room itself was extremely spacious, especially for what you would except for a city centre located hotel, boasting a comfortable super king-sized bed and spacious seating area, there was more than enough room for all your luggage and then some.

Decorated with the modern Clayton style and cleaned to perfection it was a perfect base for us when we just wanted to relax after a long day in Dublin. Especially with the full Sky TV package to sit down and watch your favourite shows, which was a really nice touch that we haven’t seen in many hotels.

The amenities were plentiful with not only tea & coffee making facilities but a full Nespresso machine for those coffee lovers that fused well with the complimentary Irish chocolates that were awaiting us on arrival.

Leading on from the sizeable bedroom was the bright bathroom with a complete list of toiletries to pamper yourself if you didn’t feel like using the award-winning spa and leisure facilities complete with soft bathrobes & slippers.


The Clayton Hotel doesn't just have amazing rooms though, the food is brilliant as well. The hotel offers a variety of dining options; the vertigo bar, Stir restaurant and breakfast area. The complimentary breakfast was a great start to the day and defiantly is needed after working up a sweat in the Club Vitae gym and pool.

All hotel guests have access to the fully equipped gym with over 50 pieces of fitness equipment or can enjoy one of a selection of fitness classes. 


If relaxation is your thing escape in the 22 metre heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna or get a professional massage or beauty treatment.

Rating
Overall the Clayton Cardiff lane really is a perfect hotel whether you're a family of four or on a business trip, it truly is an affordable option with amenities and facilities that would be in a completely different price bracket. The leisure facilities are some of the best we have seen never mind in a hotel. But for us it was the little things that the hotel and staff had made that made this a perfect hotel; the small box of chocolates, full sky package, complimentary bottles of water, professional coffee facilities and friendly staff makes this a first-class hotel in our eyes.

Rating: 
Price: £80-120 a night
Address: Cardiff Lane, Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin, Dublin 2, D02 YT21, Ireland
More Info: Click Here

Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accommodation ranging from First class being the best and Last class being the worst.

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The Manor House - A Charming Country Retreat

Published in Hotel Reviews

The Manor House Country Hotel, Fermanagh's Charming Country Retreat 
Located in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands, close to the Enniskillen town centre but just far enough away to enjoy the tranquillity of the Lower Lough Erne shores. The hotel itself is quite large with just under 80 rooms yet still feels like a family run homely resort.

As soon as you enter the welcoming gates of the Manor House country hotel you really get a sense of relaxation. Driving past the large green gardens and getting a glimpse of the sun reflecting off the calm Lakeland's. On check in we were greeted by the front desk and even received a friendly call to the room when I clumsily forgot my drone bag at reception.

The hotel has a fairytale feel to it with a charming country house ambience, from the classic fireplaces to the vintage chandeliers, you almost feel like your in a medieval castle. 

The room itself was extremely spacious with a large living area that alone was bigger than my apartment's living room, it actually took much difficulty even getting a picture of the whole room as it was so enormous.  The living area came kitted out with a large TV, fridge, tea & coffee facilities, large table to work on, comfortable sofas and off course an incredible view of the Lakeland.

Leading on from the living area was the cosy bedroom with a sizeable bed that has more than enough room for three people never mind a couple. Looking out from the bed you have a large balcony that has some of the most scenic views we have seen from a hotel, we even managed to take off a drone from the balcony it was that large.

Yet the bedroom or living room wasn't even the best part of this hotel room, in the bathroom, you have two large sinks, a shower and the pièce de résistance the jacuzzi bathtub with a monitor to relax while watching some late night television.

The manor House doesn't just have amazing rooms though, the food is incredible as well. The hotel offers a variety of dining options; their AA Rosette Belleek Restaurant, Cellar Door Bar & Bistro & Watergate Bar. We especially loved the true Irish breakfast that was served up every morning with a smile that starts your day off perfectly.

After you have tickled your taste buds, the Manor country house offers numerous in-house facilities for all your needs, including a complete leisure centre with a large swimming pool, steam room, Jacuzzi, Sauna, fitness suite and Outdoor Hot Tub. Also on offer is a 9 Hole, Par 3 golf course, tennis court, pitch and putt and an option for a luxurious cruise around the Lakelands on the Lady of the Lake Cruiser.

Rating
Overall The Manor House country hotel really is a Northern Irish gem, it truly is a perfect relaxing retreat where you can arrive and not have to leave the comfort of the resort. The food is incredible even in the bar and the facilities are top class. When taking the price into account it really is a first class hotel even for the upgraded suites including breakfast it beats the price of many hotels yet has so much more to offer. The only issue we had was the internet which was slightly slow for our needs but for just scrolling social media or checking your emails it would do the job for most.

Rating: 
Price: £80-120 a night
Address: John Wesley Rd, Enniskillen BT94 1NY
More Info: Click Here

Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accommodation ranging from First class being the best and Last class being the worst.

Read more...
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