The recent rioting and protests that have been taking place in Belfast appear to be having a negative impact on the hotel sector in the city. The owner of the Merchant Hotel, Mr Bill Wolsey, has let it be known that a group of American tourists cancelled a booking for a stay at his Belfast hotel. It is reported that an entire floor had been reserved by the group at the Merchant for a number of nights. Nevertheless, after news of the disturbances in Belfast broke in the US, the booking, which could have been worth thousands of pounds, was cancelled.
“They have now taken all their business to Dublin because of the violence,” said Mr Wolsey. “And to rub salt into the wound they asked us to book them into a hotel of similar standard in Dublin. We are losing business because of this”. Mr Wolsey went on to point out that trade at the Merchant Hotel had dropped by some 15 percent over the last week due to a number of cancellations.
This message was reinforced by a Belfast businessman at an event in Dublin. Bob McCoubrey, who owns a number of restaurants in Belfast, was at... Click to read more about hotels in Belfast
The Lansdowne Hotel in North Belfast is reported to have been bought by Metro Inns. This is another piece of good news for the hotel sector in the city which was recently revealed as one of only 10 UK destinations to show a rise in hotel prices this year, thanks in part to the increase in tourist numbers due to the Titanic centenary celebrations.
In May of this year the landmark, 25-bedroom Lansdowne Hotel was closed at extremely short notice due to financial difficulties. At that time the hotel was owned by the Welcome Group and employed some 35 people. Welcome Group was established in 1973 and operated both a chain of hotels and Chinese restaurants in Belfast and Lisburn.
It is now expected that the Lansdowne Hotel will reopen in the near future under the ownership of Metro Inns. The company owns eight other hotels in various parts of the UK. With headquarters in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it operates hotels in Gloucester, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool, Doncaster, Teesside, Newcastle and Falkirk. The company is reported to have paid in the region of £700,000 for the hotel and the reopening of the Lansdowne is sure to provide a much-needed boost... Click to read more about hotels in Belfast
The World Police And Fire Games which will be held in Northern Ireland next year are already providing a welcome boost to the hotel sector in Belfast and beyond. It has been reported that almost a year and a half before the games are due to take place in August 2013 nearly £1 million of accommodation has already been booked in Belfast and other areas. The games will be the biggest event of this kind ever to be held in Belfast and it is expected that they will attract around 25,000 visitors from as many as 70 countries. Around 22,000 beds have already been booked in the hotels of Belfast as well as B&Bs and university halls of residence.
Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau has already booked rooms for guests and participants traveling from Sweden, Belgium, Germany and other parts of the UK and has dealt with inquiries from as far away as Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Russia. Mary Jo McCanny from Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau said: “The scale of it is both hugely exciting but also challenging in terms of meeting all the accommodation requirements over the extended 10-day period. The teams have all been incredibly impressed by the... Click to read more about hotels in Belfast
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of that most famous of ships built in Belfast, the RMS Titanic. The ship was constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and sank during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 15 April 1912. The sinking of the Titanic has attracted enormous world-wide attention over the years and Belfast is sure to be the focus of a lot of attention in this centenary year.
In preparation for the centenary celebrations a new Titanic Quarter is being built in Belfast. The development is the largest urban regeneration scheme in Europe and is sure to breathe new life into Belfast city. The centre-piece of the development is the iconic Titanic Belfast Building, which is due to open on 31st March and will be the focus of much of the activity surrounding this year’s celebrations. The Titanic Belfast Building is the biggest memorial dedicated to the Titanic to date and has had an investment of some £90 million and taken three years to construct.
There will be a series of Titanic commemoration events running in Belfast from March right through to August and in order to facilitate visitors... Click to read more about hotels in Belfast
The Merchant Hotel in Belfast has been named the best hotel in the UK at a prestigious industry awards ceremony held this week at one of the most famous hotels in London, the Savoy. The five-star Belfast hotel received the accolade at the first edition of the International Hotel Awards run in association with Bloomberg Television.
The Merchant Hotel, which this week was also named in Fodor’s guide ’21 places to go in 2012′, went on to another level in the International Hotel Awards in which the regional category winners from all over the world went head-to-head to find the ultimate Best International Hotel, with this award ultimately going to the Palm Hotel in Dubai.
The Merchant Hotel was opened in 2006 in Waring Street after Bill Wolsey, a County Down businessman, reportedly spent around £10 million to transform the former Victorian Ulster Bank building in Belfast into one of the most lauded and well-known hotels in all of Northern Ireland. Since opening the hotel has received many awards for its accommodation, food and drink as well as for its design.
The general manager of The Merchant, Adrian McLaughlin, said the award is a reflection... Click to read more about hotels in Belfast