Take a look inside Belfast's new €32m Titanic Hotel

Shipbuilder’s former headquarters gets new lease of life as luxury hotel

The Harland and Wolff headquarters in Belfast will begin a new chapter in history this weekend with the opening of Belfast’s newest luxury hotel, Titanic Hotel Belfast. Video: Titanic Hotel Belfast

 

The Harland and Wolff headquarters in Belfast will begin a new chapter in history this weekend with the opening of Belfast’s newest luxury hotel, Titanic Hotel Belfast.

The project, set in the former Harland and Wolff headquarters and historic drawing offices – which sits next to Titanic Belfast visitor experience – opens on Sunday, September 10th.

Harland & Wolff shipbuilders, Belfast, in the 1940s
Harland & Wolff shipbuilders, Belfast, in the 1940s

The €32 million (£28m) hotel will offer 119 rooms with views of Queen’s Island and the famous Harland & Wolff gantry cranes. The hotel has been designed to with a nod to the work of the shipbuilder and the RMS Titantic. The passenger liner sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15th, 1912, after hitting an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

The hotel is owned and operated by Dublin-based Harcourt Developments and will be a sister hotel to the Titanic Hotel Liverpool.

The Harland & Wolff offices were designed in the early 1900s and have been vacant for more than 25 years. The €32 million hotel investment includes €5.4 million (£5m) investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration of the Drawing Offices, which was also supported by the Titanic Foundation.

The original Harland & Wolff drawing offices
The original Harland & Wolff drawing offices
The refurbished drawing office of Harland & Wolff, now a banquet room in the new Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
The refurbished drawing office of Harland & Wolff, now a banquet room in the new Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd

As well as deluxe and superior rooms, the hotel will have a number of suites, one penthouse and a Champagne bar. It will also have seven private event spaces making use of the offices of former managing directer Thomas Andrews (who died when Titanic sank), Lord Pirrie (chairman of Harland and Wolff between 1895 and 1924) and Charles Payne, a former director of the company. Several of these will be open to the public, as will the main drawing offices, through tours. For six weeks, there will also be a free exhibition that will tell the story of the building.

“History and heritage helped build this hotel, and it can be seen in every aspect of the finish, from the carpet to the cornices,” said John Doherty, group creative director at Harcourt Developments, which will employ 75 people at the hotel.

The refurbishment has involved the restoration of many original features. Significant global shipping history lies in the Victorian Drawing Offices, where more than 1,000 ships were designed, including oceanliners such as the Majestic, Teutonic, Oceanic, Olympic, and of course, Titanic. The main office is now the hotel’s banquet hall, which can fit in up to 250 guests in medium- to large-scale functions. Another drawing office has been fashioned into a Champagne and cocktail bar with Titanic Quarter views, and it features the same tiles that adorned Titanic’s swimming pool. Most floor and wall tiles were restored from the main building.

Tilework in the Harland Bar, Titanic Hotel Belfast. Many of the tiles in the building are originals, salvaged from the Harland & Wolff headquarters and drawing rooms. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Tilework in the Harland Bar, Titanic Hotel Belfast. Many of the tiles in the building are originals, salvaged from the Harland & Wolff headquarters and drawing rooms. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
A bathroom in the new hotel, which looks out at the gantry cranes on Belfast’s docklands. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
A bathroom in the new hotel, which looks out at the gantry cranes on Belfast’s docklands. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd

The distinctive, arching spaces have been kept intact, with original moulding restored. The main dining room will look out at the Titanic Belfast building, as well as the slipways that housed the construction of the ship.

B&B rates start at £125/€136 (midweek) and £175/€190 (weekends) per room, with junior suites starting at £250/€272 midweek and £305/€332 at the weekend. The penthouse starts at £400/€435 midweek, rising to £505/€550 at the weekend. There is an online exclusive opening offer of £109 (€118) B&B.

Speaking ahead of the hotel’s opening, general manager Adrian McNally said it will be a “luxury experience with a Northern Ireland personality”.

An original spiral staircase in the Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
An original spiral staircase in the Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd

McNally became general manager of Titanic Hotel Belfast in June. Before this he was was general manager at the Culloden Estate and Spa in Hollywood, Belfast. From Sunday, the hotel is launching 83 of its bedrooms, with the remainder coming on stream by the end of September.

The Harland Bar in the new Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
The Harland Bar in the new Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye/Darren Kidd

The hotel will be officially opened on Sunday at noon and this will be followed by a performance of the Queen’s Island Male Voice Choir.

In 2016, Titanic Belfast was named “World’s Leading Tourist Attraction” at the World Travel Awards 2016.

See titanichotelbelfast.com for more.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.