Fodor's Expert Review Bishop's Gate Hotel

24 Bishop St. Within, Derry, Co. Londonderry, BT48 6PP, Northern Ireland Fodor's Choice

Restored from a historic city-center building that was once a gentleman's club, Bishop's Gate Hotel has kept its Edwardian craftsmanship and original architectural details but the plush rooms with velvet furnishings are all fit for the 21st century; just for fun, the guest rooms have retained their antique telephones with rotary dials—and yes, they do work. The bathroom soaps, shampoos, and gels from the Happy Buddha Rituals range produce a scent of Asian incense leaving you with a feel good factor. The Wig and Gown Champagne Bar and dining areas have kept original fireplaces and exquisite wood paneling. They are the perfect locations to enjoy a cocktail or a meal with such dishes as duck breast, guinea fowl, or sea bream. Afternoon tea is served in the Hervey Library where the wing chairs create a hushed atmosphere. Special rates are often available online for a package stay of one night or more. In the reception look out for the chest sculpture, "St James," a shirt pattern created from clay by the ceramic artist Tom Agnew. It commemorates the shirt industry in the city in the 1930s and one of the biggest firms, McIntrye, Hogg, Marsh & Co., whose history stretched back to 1844. If time permits it is also worth seeking out what is nicknamed "The Siege Well," which provided fresh drinking water to people in 1689. A member of staff will show you the well, which can be seen in a back room of the hotel, and is thought to be one of the most ancient in Ireland.

PROS

  • elegant restoration
  • central location
  • valet parking available

CONS

  • surrounding streets can be noisy at night
  • short on amenities
  • slow service at busy times

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Historical
Trendy
Central
Design
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 028-7114–0300

HOTEL DETAILS

31 rooms
Rate Includes: Free breakfast