Marriott to Open First Hotel in Northern Ireland

Belfast Harbour Selects Global Hotel Chain for its City Quays Hotel

Belfast Harbour has revealed that Marriott International has been selected as the brand for its new City Quays Hotel on Belfast’s waterfront under a franchise operating agreement with Interstate Europe Hotels and Resorts.

The hotel will be Marriott International’s first in Northern Ireland, joining the company’s portfolio of nearly 4,500 hotels located in 87 countries and territories around the world.

The four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast will include 188 rooms, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, fitness facilities and meeting rooms. The new hotel will reflect the AC Hotels by Marriott brand vision to create contemporary hotel experiences through modern and purposeful design.

Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour’s Property Director, said:

Marriott to Open First Hotel in Northern Ireland
AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast CGI

“Bringing Marriott to Northern Ireland for the first time is great news for both business and leisure travellers as well as for the City.

“Marriott has a very strong presence in the business market which will complement the wider office developments planned for City Quays – the first office is already fully let to four US firms employing 800 people.  The hotel will also be well placed to tap into Belfast’s growing reputation as a conference destination with the newly refurbished Waterfront Hall just a short riverside walk away.

“With views of Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic the hotel will also appeal to inbound tourists and – given Marriott’s reputation for quality – we’re confident that it will appeal strongly to local people looking for a new leisure experience.”

Marriott already has two hotels in Ireland: the world famous Shelbourne Dublin, a Renaissance Hotel and Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection in Co. Wicklow. Marriott International hotels in London include the five-star JW Marriott Grosvenor House and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Paul Thomas, Director International Development said:

“We are delighted to bring our lifestyle hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the revitalised City Quays area of Belfast. This will be the first AC Hotel by Marriott in Northern Ireland, demonstrating our commitment to opening design-led hotels in thriving destinations where we see growing demand from discerning travellers seeking a refreshed hotel experience.  We look forward to being part of this exciting and flourishing city.”

Robert Crook, Managing Director of Interstate Europe Hotels and Resorts, said:

“We’re thrilled to be operating the first Marriott International-branded hotel in Belfast.  It’s a fantastic development for the city’s tourism industry, catering for both the leisure and corporate markets, and with all that Belfast has to offer on its doorstep, we’re sure its arrival will be a success.”

Last month Gilbert Ash was appointed as contractor for the construction element of this £25m project. Due to open in early 2018 the hotel is expected to create 180 construction jobs and employment for approximately 115 people when complete.

Ray Hutchinson, managing director of Gilbert-Ash, said:

“City Quays Hotel represents one of the largest contracts that we have worked on in Northern Ireland in recent years, with a project value of £22m, and we are excited to commence work on site. We know that the finished property will be a welcome new addition to the local leisure accommodation offering, particularly at a time when demand for beds is at an all-time high.

 “There are a number of major construction projects under way in Belfast at the moment which will substantially change the face of the city in the coming year. Few buildings are able to capitalise on a view over the River Lagan and we think that this hotel and its riverside terrace will allow locals and tourists alike to enjoy one of the city’s greatest assets.”

Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive of Visit Belfast said:

“We welcome the news that Marriott International has been selected to operate the hotel in City Quays. This is a welcome addition to Belfast’s growing portfolio of hotels. The last decade has seen tremendous growth in Belfast’s tourism industry, and demand for hotel rooms is rising. Just last year for example, we saw room sales break the one million barrier for the first time, and room occupancy averaged in excess of 78 percent.

“It is vital that the city maintains a mixture of recognised brands and independent hotels, so the addition of the internationally-renowned Marriott brand will only strengthen Belfast’s positioning as a must-see destination. Within close proximity to the Belfast Waterfront, key attractions like Titanic Belfast, and the city centre, this hotel will appeal to leisure and business visitors alike.”