Following a two-year £28m restoration and conservation project, part supported by £5m of National Lottery funding, the 119-room Titanic Hotel in Belfast has opened its doors to the public.
The hotel has retained many original aspects from the Telephone Exchange room, which received the first communication of Titanic hitting the iceberg, to the boardroom, directors’ entrance and lobby and former directors’ offices.
Tiles surrounding the main bar are identical to the tiles used for Titanic’s swimming pool.
The building is the former Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices and HQ and the hotel is putting on show to the world the history behind Queen’s Island and the shipbuilding industry in Northern Ireland.
As well as bringing heritage buildings back into sustainable use, the project brings new jobs, opportunities and investment to the community.
The Drawing Offices also house the hotel’s ballroom, while other event spaces include a 166-seater dining room and The Wolff Grill, with its own private dining area.
Adrian McNally has been appointed to lead a team of 90 employees at the hotel, including apprentices from Belfast Metropolitan College and students of Ulster University and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
John Doherty, creative director at Harcourt Developments said: “To be finally ready to open this historical and authentic hotel is another mark in the history of Queen’s Island.”
Kerrie Sweeney from Titanic Foundation added: “Where one of Northern Ireland’s biggest commercial ventures once stood over 100 years ago, now stands a fitting tribute and another fantastic venture to shine a light on what was the largest shipyard in the world.”
Anna Carragher, trustee and chair of Heritage Lottery Fund Northern Ireland, said: “It is wonderful to see the completion of this exciting project, which was one of the first in the UK to benefit from a Heritage Enterprise grant. This innovative programme brings together not-for-profit and private organisations, creating partnerships and funding the costs of repair to make the restoration of heritage buildings commercially viable.”