Saturday 20 January 2018

First Look: Inside the €32m Titanic Hotel set to open in Belfast

'The hotel that history built'

Checking into Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Checking into Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Titanic Hotel Belfast: Elevation from Queen's Road
Afternoon tea in the old drawing offices...
The Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices (archive)
Inside Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
A bedroom in the Titanic Hotel Belfast
A superior suite at the Titanic Hotel Belfast
A White Star Line print at the Titanic Hotel Belfast
Wolff Grill at the Titanic Hotel Belfast
Presentation Room, Titanic Hotel Belfast
Titanic Hotel Belfast. Photo: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Main Staircase (Ground floor) before restoration
Titanic Hotel, main staircase. Photo: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Inside the Titanic Hotel Belfast
Suite, Titanic Hotel Belfast
Harland & Wolff Drawing offices, before restoration
Titanic Hotel Belfast, drawing offices during restoration
Pat Doherty of Harcourt Developments with Kerrie Sweeney of Titanic Foundation in Drawing Room 2. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Titanic Hotel Belfast: Bar Lounge in the Drawing Office
Titanic model in Harland Bar. Photo: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
The Harland Bar at Titanic Hotel. Photo: Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Titanic Hotel Belfast is on course to open in weeks, and here we can reveal the first photos of the historic work-in-progress.

The luxury project, set in the Harland & Wolff headquarters and historic Drawing Offices next to Titanic Belfast itself, opens on September 10th.

The £28m/€32m hotel is one of the most hotly-anticipated on the island, and will offer 119 rooms with spectacular views of Queen's Island and the Harland & Wolff cranes.

B&B rates start at £125 (midweek) and £175 (weekends) per room, but accommodation for its opening week is "almost sold out", according to the hotel.

A bedroom in the Titanic Hotel Belfast
A bedroom in the Titanic Hotel Belfast

A penthouse starts at £400 on its website.

As well as deluxe rooms, the hotel will hold seven private event spaces making use of the offices of Thomas Andrews, Lord Pirrie and Mr Charles Payne.

Several of these will be open to the public, as will the main Drawing Offices, on tours starting with a six-week free exhibition that will tell the story of the building.

It will also feature a 166-seater dining room and bespoke cocktail bar.

Titanic Hotel Belfast, drawing offices during restoration
Titanic Hotel Belfast, drawing offices during restoration
The Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices (archive)

Titanic Hotel Belfast is operated by Harcourt Developments, with a £5m investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund aiding restoration of the Drawing Offices.

As can be seen in our galleries (above and below), the distinctive, arching spaces have been kept intact, with original moulding restored.

Most Floor and wall tiles were restored from the main building, with those surrounding the main bar identical to the tiles in Titanic’s swimming pool.

“History and heritage helped build this hotel, and it can be seen in every aspect of the finish, from the carpet to the cornices," said John Doherty, Group Creative Director at Harcourt Developments, which will employ 75 people at the hotel.

The Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices (archive)
The Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices (archive)

"We are working with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Titanic Foundation to ensure Belfast’s illustrious shipbuilding legacy is told in true style.”

Paul Mullan, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Northern Ireland, added:

“It is thanks to National Lottery players and the £5m raised by them that this hugely important building has been restored and returned to sustainable use.

“The Heritage Enterprise programme has been specifically designed to support ambitious projects such as this where the costs of restoration would be so high that it would not be commercially viable."

Belfast's tourist offering has gone up a gear in recent years, with the opening of a new Bullitt Hotel, EastSide Visitor Centre and CS Lewis Square, a £6 million extension to the five-star Fitzwilliam and, of course, Game of Thrones Season 7 on the way.

See titanichotelbelfast.com for more.

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