Magic Bullitt: A sneak preview of Ireland's hippest new hotel
Bullitt Belfast opens its doors this weekend. Here's a sneak preview of what guests can expect.
Belfast has bitten the Bullitt.
43 slick rooms, Northern Ireland's first ski-themed bar, a 58-seater restaurant and the city's slickest coffee machine are open for business on Church Lane.
Bullitt Belfast, the latest venture from the Beannchor Group – the people behind the five-star Merchant Hotel - is a brash new symbol for a city that has come on in leaps and bounds since the Troubles ended and tourism began in earnest.
Titanic Belfast, Game of Thrones, Michelin Stars for OX and EIPIC and a booming casual food scene and Cathedral Quarter are now joined by £7 million (€7.75m) hotel inspired by the timeless cool of Steve McQueen.
Rooms start from £120 (€132), and designers have gone for a fit-out (see galleries) that blurs the lines between work and play, reflecting the way urban travellers increasingly use hotels as hangouts, work spaces and accommodation.
Features include 'super-fast' Wi-Fi, an open kitchen and bespoke Asador Grill in its restaurant, one of the only Kees van der Westen coffee machines in Ireland, and a centrepiece courtyard sculpture based on Jameson barrells.
All rooms offer king-size beds, smart TVs and a daily breakfast bag filled with OJ, a granola pot and a piece of fruit to kick-start the guest's day.
Cocktails, craft beers and smoked specials flow, in an atmosphere that feels like a cross between Dublin's Dean Hotel and Belfast's Dirty Onion.
The hotel opens this weekend, with a small private events space - The Good Room - catering for anything from launch parties to intimate weddings.
On a hard hat visit recently, I loved the brash, 'can-do' attitude that would have been unthinkable alien to this city not long ago, but wondered how late-arrivals guests might navigate the courtyard and lobby bars in full flow - and, as with all of hotels hanging their hats on bold design - how the concept will age.
Time will tell. For now, Bullitt Belfast aspires to a four-star ranking.
See bullitthotel.com or @BullittBelfast for more.