Belfast hotel marks milestone with expansion plan
A Belfast hotel is adding 27 bedrooms alongside 20 new jobs as part of its latest expansion.
The Malone Lodge Hotel, which is based at Eglantine Avenue, is growing after 25 years in business.
The independent hotel - owned by Gareth Macklin - is also expanding the size of its Knife and Fork restaurant.
It's understood there are no major objections from residents living in and around the area.
Mr Macklin, who revealed the four-star hotel's expansion during a party to celebrate 25 years in business, has said 20 new jobs will be also be created.
The new rooms are due to be completed by the end of 2017.
"The hotel has marked a milestone anniversary this month - we have been trading successfully for a quarter of a century," Mr Macklin said.
"Three years ago we extended the hotel and added the new Knife and Fork restaurant which has proven extremely popular with hotel guests and local diners, along with our 240-seater Deramore suite.
"We have been on the lookout for an opportunity to add to the number of rooms we have and with the acquisition of two adjoining properties, we have the opportunity to develop an additional 27 rooms, bringing our total portfolio up to 138."
In 2013, the hotel added 20 new jobs as it unveiled an underground car park, new meeting facilities, a function room for weddings of up to 240 people and a new restaurant.
"It does amount to a significant investment but we are very confident that as tourism numbers in Belfast and Northern Ireland increase, so too will the level of business customers, which is already a strong feature of our customer profile," Mr Macklin said.
"In this era of hotel chains and brand names there is undoubtedly a place for the independent family-owned hotel, and that is what has marked out the Malone Lodge since 1991.
"We are very confident about the future of the business."