Economy Minister Gordon Lyons was on hand for the topping-out ceremony at Northern Ireland’s first aparthotel.
The nine-storey aparthotel replaces a 1980s office block at the junction of Queen Street and College Street in Belfast. The development includes 175 apartments, a ground-floor bar and restaurant, a gymnasium, and meeting rooms on the first floor.
The aparthotel is being developed by Oakland Holdings and will be operated by Room2, a London-based hotel operator that is making Belfast its first investment on the island of Ireland. The total investment associated with this project is £20 million. The combined hotel and self-managed apartments will open to guests in the spring of 2023.
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons visited the development and paid tribute to the investment by Oakland Holdings, saying, “This exciting project will contribute significantly to the tourism and business accommodation sectors that Belfast has to offer. This aparthotel is a new development in many ways – the flexible service it provides will be well received by tourists and business visitors. Tourism will be one of the key drivers of post-pandemic economic growth, and this new aparthotel can play a major role in meeting the needs of tourists. Delivering an innovative, inclusive and sustainable tourism offering is critical to ensuring that Northern Ireland stands out in all our key markets and underpins my department’s 10X Economic Vision.”
Guy Hollis of Oakland Holdings said that the aparthotel will enhance Belfast’s reputation as a city open for visitors, stating, “An aparthotel provides a combination of the best parts of a hotel with the advantages of a luxury apartment. We have researched the aparthotel concept in other major cities and believe the business community, in particular, will respond to this offer very positively. This is an ideal project for the city, which will complement and enhance the Queen Street area and provide appropriate leisure space, business space and bed space for the growing business and tourist sectors.
“It is very significant that Room2 has chosen Belfast as their point of entry – not only to Northern Ireland, but to the entire island.”