Titanic Hotel Belfast is located in the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff, builders of Titanic, and provides the perfect destination for anyone travelling to Titanic Quarter on business or for pleasure.
The Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, the earliest parts of these historic buildings, date from the 1880s and over the following 100 years played an important part in the design of many of the world’s most famous ocean liners, the creation of the ‘floating hotel’ and influenced the design of many of today’s cruise ships.
Belfast is the birthplace of Titanic and this heritage hotel is a sister to their award-winning Titanic Hotel Liverpool, the hotel is operated by Harcourt Developments; an international property development company with over 50 years experience restoring and renovating listed heritage buildings.
BTN caught up with this award-winning hotel to find out why they are continually winning praise from around the world.
BTN: Congratulations on another outstanding year in 2022, a year in which you won Northern Ireland’s Leading Hotel 2022 at the World Travel Awards, your fifth successive year winning this incredible accolade.
How do you pass down news on your success in awards such as these to your deserving staff and of course your customers?
TH: In addition to sharing this wonderful news via our online channels, we hosted a celebration party for our staff and customers and we have our winners plaque on display at reception for all to see and to be proud of.
BTN: In a highly competitive market, what do you think makes you stand out from the other hotels in your region, what are you so obviously doing right?
TH: Our customers often describe the hotel as ‘part hotel, part museum’. The building is ‘listed’ due to its special architectural and historical importance and was sensitively restored within architectural heritage protection guidelines. Throughout the hotel guests can enjoy a permanent collection of over 500 artworks, artefacts and photographs. Staff are trained in conducting historical tours for guests, at no extra charge, which sets us apart from our competitors. Profits are invested straight back into the hotel to ensure that the building never gets tired, and the product is continually upgraded. Guests can enjoy many of the hotel’s historic spaces, including the Telecommunications Room that received the telegram from RMS Titanic on that fateful night.
BTN: The design of your property together with the clever finishes to the interior rooms is clearly a huge hit with your guests, is there a clear favourite room that guests ask for time and time again?
TH: The corner executive rooms are one of the favourites, with their panoramic views of Titanic Quarter and their floor to ceiling glass windows. Each room has a ‘looking point’ where guests can sit and watch the world go by and enjoy the lights of Titanic Belfast in the evening.
BTN: You are fortunate to be sited in the centre of the Titanic Quarter, Northern Ireland’s premier leisure destination, other than the Titanic exhibition, what other tourist sites are near to the property and which you recommend to guests?
TH: Titanic Quarter has the perfect waterside setting, with a range of open green spaces and the Maritime Mile walking route. Recently opened in the area is the Titanic Distillery and Visitor Centre, which sits next door to HMS Caroline, a naval warship where visitors can travel back in time and experience life at sea during the First World War. In addition to the afore mentioned Titanic Belfast exhibition, SS Nomadic is also situated on the opposite side of the hotel, and further beyond that is the W5 interactive science centre. So plenty to see and do in the immediate area!
BTN: With the success you have had, the proverb, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” must apply, but in keeping the hotel up with the very latest developments, what plans have you in place over the coming year?
TH: The hotel has an exciting 3 year strategy plan which will take it to the next level. I can’t share this with you but watch this space for further information!
BTN: The MICE market is a growing one in the Northern Ireland market, are you getting your fair share of this market and if so how do you intend to build upon this.
TH: Due to the uniqueness of our iconic spaces, we have a lucrative base of MICE business which we intend to build on further by strategically targeting international companies. This is with the support of our local MICE partnerships.
BTN: Are you promoting seasonal offers throughout the year, if so, what are your most popular?
TH: We offer a range of seasonal offers throughout the year, our most popular offers being our Complete Titanic Experience (including tickets to the Titanic Belfast Visitor Attraction next door), and our Stay Longer for Less Campaign which encourages longer stays.
As editor of BTN, I have not traveled to Belfast for some years, upon reading this, I will be making plans to change this!