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City Hotel Derry review: Panoramic views, service with a smile and the city’s only rooftop bar

City Hotel Derry review: Panoramic views, service with a smile and the city’s only rooftop bar


by Sarah Finnan
26th Mar 2023

With gorgeous views of the iconic Peace Bridge below, a rooftop bar and some of the friendliest staff in all of Derry, City Hotel Derry is a must-visit when planning a trip to Northern Ireland.

Getting to stay in hotels for work means you become tuned in to the things that set a place apart – things like fluffy bathrobes and extensive breakfast menus (both key). At City Hotel Derry, it was the friendly staff and in-room provisions that made me take note. 

Service with a smile

Showing me to my room – an executive junior suite, no less – the lovely porter who escorted me to the seventh floor told me that they had had several high profile visitors over the years. “Oh, I’m definitely not up to that standard,” I laughed, to which he responded kindly, “all guests are treated the same here”. And he wasn’t just bluffing either, because though my visit was but short, the team couldn’t have made me feel more welcome. 

Part of the hotel’s newest collection of rooms, the executive junior suites were launched in April 2013 during the City of Culture celebrations. Each inspired by the city itself, local landmarks and well-known residents, the floor can only be accessed by key card and all of the suites have different coloured doors leading into them to mirror the rows of neatly terraced houses you can find elsewhere around the city. 

John Hume Suite 

I spent the night in the Hume Suite which comprised a large bathroom, a cosy living area and separate bedroom with double bed. Several personal items and design features honouring the politician could also be found dotted around the suite – including, but not limited to, a large black and white mural of Hume on one wall and a framed photo of him chatting with former US president, Bill Clinton. 

What could easily have bordered over into tacky tourist territory somehow managed to sidestep the kitsch though and the result was a lovely tribute to a man whose impact on the city can still be felt today. 

Beautiful bathrooms

Aside from the Hume memorabilia, the bathroom was the suite’s most notable feature, in my humble opinion. Kitted out with both a bath *and* a shower, this always sets the precedent for how a trip is going to go. I’m not usually a fan of baths in my normal, day-to-day life… but in my travel girl hotel life? They’re a staple.

As is normally the case at most hotels, there was an array of different toiletries left out on the countertop. City Hotel Derry’s selection went a step beyond the standard offering though and had items I had never seen in any other roundup. A toothbrush and toothpaste for example – something I regularly forget to pack and only tend to realise once it’s too late and nearby shops are already closed. 

Rooftop views

Also home to Derry’s only roof terrace bar, Hervey’s Roof Terrace offers panoramic views of the city below. Looking out onto some of the locality’s most famous sights, you can see everything from the River Foyle to the iconic Peace Bridge while enjoying a cocktail under the stars.

Available to hire for weddings, company parties or other private events, the venue has its own partly covered garden area along with a fully stocked bar and outdoor heating too. Calm and peaceful yet buzzy and atmospheric all at once, it’s the perfect place to catch up with loved ones.

Business, work or pleasure

In Derry for the highly anticipated season three premiere of Derry Girls, I was all business when I arrived (well, mostly) but the hotel is the perfect base from which to set up regardless of why you’re visiting. Conveniently located within a four-minute walk of the bus station, it’s in a prime spot for exploring… though the gorgeous rooms make it hard to want to leave. 

Executive Junior Suites start at around €230 (£200). Find out more and book your stay here.

Sarah Finnan was a guest of City Hotel Derry. 

This article was originally published in April 2022.