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Operator sought as new Belfast apart-hotel is given green light



CBRE’s Brian Lavery

CBRE’s Brian Lavery

CBRE’s Brian Lavery

A new apart-hotel in Belfast city centre is now seeking an operator after winning planning permission.

Oakland Holdings, which is led by Gareth Graham, will build the 175-room, nine-storey venue on the corner of College Street and Queen Street.

Oakland Holdings is also the firm behind the new office building at Merchant Square, which is to be occupied by business advisory firm PwC when work is completed next year.

Brian Lavery, managing director of commercial property agency CBRE, said: "The Queen Street apart-hotel offers an exciting opportunity for hotel operators to establish a presence in the vibrant and rapidly expanding Belfast market.

"Working closely with Oakland Holdings, proposals are now being sought to operate the apart-hotel either under a lease agreement or under a hotel management agreement, with completion expected for the second quarter of 2021."

The apart-hotel will have 175 guest rooms and food-and-drink facilities at ground and first floor levels. There will also be meeting rooms, a guest gym, catering kitchen and staff facilities at lower ground floor.

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Over the last few years Belfast has seen the arrival of a number of new hotel brands, including Hampton by Hilton and the AC Marriott.

Meanwhile, two hotels in Northern Ireland have been honoured by hotel and travel association the AA.

While Belfast's Fitzwilliam Hotel took the honour of top hotel in Northern Ireland, the Galgorm Resort & Spa in Ballymena received an AA Four Red Star Award for excellent levels of quality.

Each year, AA inspectors select the best hotels within each star rating. Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort is the only NI hotel to receive the Four Red Star accolade.

Colin Johnston, managing director of Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, said: "We are delighted to accept this award which is testament to the continual hard work and dedication of our fantastic staff.

"Their commitment to delivering excellence across all our offerings at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort is unparalleled, from luxury accommodation to famous golfing greens, a world-renowned spa offering and an award-winning fine dining restaurant.

"In 2015 we were honoured with the triple AA Rosette award for our River Room restaurant and we are delighted to build upon this with the prestigious AA Four Red Star Award. We are very proud to be the only hotel in Northern Ireland to receive this rating and to be recognised officially for the high quality service and hospitality offering which Galgorm is renowned for."