Belfast’s Grand Central Hotel opens its doors
Belfast’s newest hotel, the Grand Central on Bedford Street, opened its doors today.
Owned by the Hastings hotel group, the Grand Central is the largest and most expensively constructed hotel project ever seen in Northern Ireland.
Residents of Belfast have watched over the past two years as Windsor House has been transformed from an aging office block to one of the foremost features on Belfast skyline.
Boasting 300 bedrooms, the £53m hotel has been built ‘double height’ on the ground and first floor levels. With marble floors, plush furnishing and dramatic interior lighting, the Grand Central is unashamedly high end.
Stephen Meldrum, general manager of the new venue, says he’s delighted to open the doors and see the vision of our late Hastings Hotels chairman, Sir William Hastings, fully recognised.
“The Grand Central Hotel is a really unique proposition for Belfast. No detail has been overlooked and we are excited to bring a new era to the city,” added Stephen. “The teams have been working hard over recent weeks to get the hotel open on time and we are looking forward to welcoming our first guests from the prestigious Hosts Global Forum who are staying with us this week.”
The Grand Central’s dining options range from the city chic Grand Café on the ground floor, to the design-led Seahorse Bar & Restaurant overlooking Bedford Street and the small plates cocktail lounge on the 23rd floor which has been named The Observatory.
A poem has been commissioned to mark the Hotel’s arrival. Snippets of it are etched into the pavement at the hotel entrance, and in a metal fretwork screen. It is by one of Northern Ireland’s leading poets, Paul Muldoon, who used to work in the building when at the BBC in the 1980s.
The poem is entitled ‘Hymn to Belfast’ and speaks to the new era in which Belfast now finds itself, acknowledging its past glories and the spirit of its people who are now transforming the city’s fortunes.
The Hotel has been constructed on-time and on-budget by local builders Graham’s of Dromore. Design was led by Belfast architects, RPP.
Pictured are the directors of Hastings Hotels, Howard Hastings, Allyson McKimm, Edward Carson, Julie Hastings and Aileen Martin outside the Grand Central Hotel on Bedford Street.