Maldron Hotel Belfast: Bookings booming as tourists from around world flock to new city hotel
The £20m Maldron Hotel in Belfast city centre has enjoyed an occupancy rate of between 70% and 80% since it opened in March.
More than 100 new jobs have been created at the 237-bedroom hotel at Brunswick Street which has been welcoming guests from all over the world.
General manager Mike Gatt said: "We have been very fortunate that it has been well received. Bookings are coming to us at a regular rate. Guests are coming from far and wide.
"We had three tour groups yesterday - two from China and one from North America.
"For many years, the investment in Belfast was really non-existent. We have entered a new era. Hotels are just playing catch-up.
"Looking at occupancy levels across Belfast, we still have a bit to go."
Speaking at yesterday's official opening, Mr Gatt added: "We are delighted to officially open the Maldron Hotel Belfast City.
"Today marks the culmination of many months of work by our contractors and by hotel staff, but we now have a hotel which we are all incredibly proud of.
"We have already had a hugely positive response from the customers who have stayed with us and we look forward to welcoming many more in the months and years ahead. Our city centre location, four-star comfort, state-of-the-art technology, high levels of service and best quality food and drink mark the hotel out as a great place to stay.
He added: "Maldron Hotel Belfast City is perfect for both business and leisure travel and we are able to provide an unrivalled level of service to everybody who stays with us." A second Maldron Hotel in Northern Ireland is located in Londonderry and another at Belfast International Airport.
The Irish parent company, Dalata Hotel Group, also owns the Clayton Hotel, formerly the Holiday Inn, at Ormeau Avenue.
More ventures are in the pipeline for Dalata Group, with three new hotels comprising nearly 500 rooms due to open this year in Dublin and Cork.
In England, Maldron Hotel Newcastle is scheduled to open early next year.
The ribbon was cut on the new four star hotel by Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister at an event attended by other local dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald, a former guest, representatives of business, the public sector, tourist organisations and Belfast Metropolitan College.
The Belfast Lord Mayor said: "Tourism is boosting our economy and offering Belfast people rewarding career options.
"So I'd also like to pay tribute to the Dalata Hotel Group for their vision in partnering with us to deliver a Hotel Employment Academy, to help people who are currently out of work develop their skills and find jobs."
John Hennessy, chairman of Dalata Hotel Group, said: "Maldron Belfast City has been built with the business and leisure markets both at the forefront of our minds. We are confident that we can offer an unrivalled level of hospitality and service for all our visitors in the years to come."
The stylish new hotel boasts 237 bedrooms and five state-of-the-art meeting rooms.