Video: First look inside Belfast's newest hotel, the Maldron
From 'college of knowledge' to hotel of dreams, the ribbon was cut on the city's newest landmark, The Maldron.
The 237-room £24m - ahead of schedule and under budget - four-star development is right in the heart of the city at Brunswick Street in the former Belfast Metropolitan College building.
Designed and built by Dungannon company McAleer and Rushe it also represents an upping in strategy for Irish parent company Dalata Hotel Group as the first of three new hotels to open this year with two others just announced.
As well as the latest addition to the city's increasing portfolio of hotels, the Maldron has also created 110 new jobs. And while the hotel may pitch itself as the ideal location for both business and travel, it's the suits the city is after.
"Because we know those who come to the city for business are more likely to return for leisure." Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister told the Belfast Telegraph.
The Maldron sits under the glare of the Europa Hotel just yards from the ongoing development of Hastings Hotel's Grand Central and down the street from the George Best-inspired hotel development.
While its grand opening was Thursday the hotel has been welcoming guests since March and was booked out for the recent Royal College of Nursing conference. The Lord Mayor said business is attracted to the city by the recently redeveloped Waterfront Hall with its expanded conferencing services injecting millions into the local economy and filling up hotel beds.
"It has transformed the city in terms of the scale of the business tourism we can attract," the mayor told invited guests as she officially opened the venue.
"There is a clear industry-wide desire to see tourism in Belfast grow. The city is ready to move to the next phase in establishing itself as a key city tourism destination.
"We know that a global, diverse Belfast can help the city to grow and truly make visitors happy and want to return."
Belfast is riding the cusp of a popular tourism wave with people flocking to the city and filling rooms creating a huge demand for more hotels and leaving some disappointed as "no vacancies" signs pop up on an all-to-regular basis.
And as Maldron sales and marketing manager Francine O'Hagan explains the competition has been welcoming the city's latest reservation.
"The support we have received in Belfast has been brilliant... but even our competitor hotels have been a wealth of knowledge in giving us a helping hand pointing us in the right direction in terms of trend and markets."
Francine added: "Belfast it is a beautiful city as well as the tourist attractions it has great shopping and restaurants. The walk-ability of Belfast is such a major selling point everything is so close by... it's just a really nice and it's a friendly city."
Based in the city's Linen Quarter the building was home to the former Belfast tech - or the "college of knowledge" as it was once known.
For general manager Mike Gatt it represents a coming of full circle as he recounted sitting in a classroom not far from his new office wondering what the point was of all his studies.
"The linen industry was a success in Belfast because of the hard work that went on," he said at the grand opening.
"And we are here today because of the hard work that has gone into this new hotel - and that should be celebrated. We are really proud of it and of our ties to the city."
Belfast Telegraph Digital