Inside Belfast's new £28m Titanic Hotel as it opens with a fanfare
Belfast's newest luxury hotel has opened its doors at the site of the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices and headquarters after a two-year restoration.
The £28m Titanic Hotel, which highlights the history behind Queen's Island and the shipbuilding industry in Northern Ireland, was opened with a performance by the Queen's Island Victoria Male Voice Choir on Sunday.
The hotel says occupancy for its first week is already "exceptionally high".
With 119 rooms, the hotel has a team of 90 employees, including apprentices from Belfast Metropolitan College and students of Ulster University.
The Drawing Offices have been transformed with the help of a £5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by the Titanic Foundation.
Heritage spaces retained in the development include the telephone exchange, which received the first communication of Titanic hitting the iceberg. The board room, directors' entrance and lobby and former directors' offices are also preserved.
One drawing office houses the hotel's bar and lounge, while the other has become the hotel's ball room and heritage experience.
There will be daily tours to showcase the heritage features and throughout the hotel.
John Doherty, Creative Director at Harcourt Developments said: "To be finally ready to open this historical and authentic hotel is another mark in the history of Queen’s Island. Titanic Hotel Belfast is a hub of heritage and legacy, and we’re delighted to open the doors to the public and our first guests today.
Anna Carragher, Trustee and Chair of HLF Northern Ireland said: "It is wonderful to see the completion of this exciting project, which was one of the first in the UK to benefit from a Heritage Enterprise grant.
"This innovative programme brings together not-for-profit and private organisations, creating partnerships and funding the costs of repair to make the restoration of heritage buildings commercially viable."
Ms Carragher added: "Thanks to £5m from National Lottery players this hugely important building has been secured for the future, creating jobs, investment and putting heritage at the heart of future growth."
Kerrie Sweeney from Titanic Foundation added: "Where one of Northern Ireland’s biggest commercial ventures once stood over 100 years ago, now stands a fitting tribute and another fantastic venture to shine a light on what was the largest shipyard in the world."
The hotel boasts unparalleled 360 views of the Quarter, with the Harland and Wolff cranes to the east and the Titanic Belfast and the slipways to the west.
Belfast Telegraph Digital