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Northern Ireland

trivago Reveals Autumn Traveller Trends for the UK

trivago reveals Autumn traveller trends for UK

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London, as expected, is the most popular destination this autumn with the greatest search volume coming from international travellers. Cardiff has overtaken London by the highest average clicked price among overseas visitors and Germans account for the largest group of travellers from off-shore countries.

This autumn, 64% of all search inquires to UK destinations have been made by domestic travellers. Based on search volume, German travellers make up the largest group of visitors coming from overseas followed by travellers from the US, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Canada and Denmark.

London is the most searched destination in the UK, accounting for 67% of all UK searches from the top 10 visiting countries. Edinburgh takes the second place followed by Blackpool, the third most popular city for the UK residents. However, Blackpool ranks much lower (closing the top 30) for international travellers who prefer Liverpool.

Lenka Trckova, Industry Management UK & Ireland, Hotel Relations: “Our data shows that travellers from all around the world will pay the highest prices for hotels in London, Cardiff and Liverpool. Cardiff is for overseas visitors even more expensive than London, reaching the average level of £137 per night. We can see a significant difference in search behaviour between international and domestic travellers particularly in London and Edinburgh. For these longstanding popular destinations, UK residents pay roughly £20 more than international visitors.”

The average duration of stay reveals that travellers from the UK will mostly take short two-night trips this autumn. On the contrary, visitors from France, Italy and Denmark are likely to stay longest, as they search for stays of four nights on average.

For further insights and more detailed information about traveller behaviour and popular destinations in the UK, visit the trivago Hotel Manager Blog.

About the data
The 2017 autumn travel trends are based on data gathered from trivago.com searches between 1 June – 2 August 2017, for the period of 1 October – 30 November 2017 and includes searches for stay of three and more days. All prices shown are the average clicked prices selected by trivago users for a standard double room.

Titanic Hotel Belfast

Titanic Hotel Belfast opens for business

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Belfast has welcomed a new link to its famous ship with the opening of the new Titanic Hotel in the Northern Irish capital.

The city’s newest luxury hotel opened its doors this weekend following a £28 million restoration of the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices and headquarters. The 119-room hotel has been transformed with the help of a £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by the Titanic Foundation.


During the restoration the telephone exchange, which received the first communication of Titanic hitting the iceberg, has been retained. Designers have tried to make the hotel as authentic as possible, with porters wearing period costumes on hand to welcome guests to the hotel.

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RELATED: BELFAST TITANIC HOTEL GETS GREENLIGHT – STAY THE NIGHT IN THE ROOMS WHERE TITANIC WAS DESIGNED
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Director of hotel operator Harcourt Developments, John Doherty, told Northern Irish press: “To be finally ready to open this historical and authentic hotel is another mark in the history of Queen’s Island. Titanic Hotel Belfast is a hub of heritage and legacy, and we’re delighted to open the doors to the public and our first guests on Sunday.


“To celebrate, the Queen’s Island Male Voice Choir will be performing in the drawing offices after we create a bit of theatre and fanfare when officially declaring the hotel open at noon.”

www.titanichotelbelfast.com

Hastings Hotels invests more than £60m in growing portfolio

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Hastings Hotels, Northern Ireland’s leading collection of hotels, has announced the continued investment of over £60 million into its growing portfolio. In addition to investing £53 million on its seventh hotel which is due to open in 2018, it has also completed a £10 million renovation programme on its six other hotels.

Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels said: “Despite the current economic uncertainty across Ireland, we have continued to invest heavily in our properties. We are currently making our biggest single investment to date in the Grand Central Hotel of £53 million and upon completion it will be Northern Ireland’s largest hotel with 304 bedrooms.

Culloden Estate
“At Hastings Hotels we have a long term philosophy to reinvest year on year in our people and our properties which is why we have the leading hotels in Northern Ireland. We do not rest on our laurels and have invested over £10 million in recent years in the continuous investment programmes of our six hotels as we strive to ensure we offer our guests the very best facilities and experience on every visit.

“We have recently completed a £4.8 million renovation of the Culloden Estate & Spa, a new £1.5 million Grand Ballroom at the Everglades Hotel which is now the largest facility of its kind in the North West, invested £2 million in the Europa which has included a new entrance and lobby bar as well as £1 million in the Stormont Hotel with a new look high-tech conference and event facility, lobby and bar area,” Howard continued.

Hastings HotelsEarlier this month Hastings Hotels celebrated 50 years of the ownership of the jewel in its crown, the Culloden Estate & Spa. The luxurious property was purchased in June 1967, and over the course of the last 50 years, under the direction of Sir William Hastings, it has transformed in size and luxury.

The continued investment has been recognised recently with Hastings Hotels picking up five prestigious gongs at the 2017 Irish Hotel Awards. The Slieve Donard Resort & Spa was named Irish Hotel of the year, Conference & Business Hotel of the Year and employee Raymond Edgar picked up Groundsman of the Year while the Culloden Estate & Spa was named Luxury Hotel of the Year and Natalie Gourley from the Stormont Hotel won Conference Manager of the Year.

In addition to this, the Culloden was highly commended at the first ever Georgina Campbell Breakfast Awards 2017 in Dublin in the Best 5-Star Hotel category. The judges stated “It is a lovely place to stay, The Culloden has always taken particular pride in the food served and its provenance. Fine dining in the Mitre Restaurant, overlooking the lough, can be memorable, and the excellent Irish Breakfast that is also served here is keenly anticipated by guests.”

www.hastingshotels.com

Spas in the UK

Five to Watch: Best UK spa hotels

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We’re halfway through the summer months, and judging by the weather we’ve had so far we’re in for a good one this year. With this in mind, Hotel Designs profiles five of our favourite spa hotels across the UK…

G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland
Situated at the intersection of some of Edinburgh’s most historic streets, The G&V Royal Mile Hotel invokes the city’s vibrant, creative and charismatic appeal – injecting new colour into a dramatic and storied backdrop.

G&VCotswold House Hotel & Spa, Gloucestershire
This award-winning luxury hotel and spa in the heart of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, which has recently benefitted from a substantial refurbishment, will appeal to discerning travellers visiting the Cotswolds, looking for tranquility, sublime comfort, exceptional food and a stunning spa.

Cotswold HouseRudding Park, Harrogate – Yorkshire
The new Rudding Park Spa is one of the finest in the country and recaptures Harrogate’s spa heritage using natural waters from the grounds at Rudding Park. A privately owned luxury hotel, Rudding Park also has 90 bedrooms, two restaurants and a kitchen garden, private cinema, two golf courses and conference and events space. Set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, Rudding Park is one of the most beautiful Harrogate hotels.

Rudding Park
Culloden Estate & Spa – Northern Ireland

Today the Culloden Estate and Spa is one of the finest and most distinguished 5 star hotels in the Province. The Culloden was built in 1876 by a Mr. William Auchinleck Robinson, JP and former MP. It took two and a half years to complete, and most of the stone came from Scotland by boat, arriving in the County Down fishing village of Portaferry and being brought to the site by horse and cart.

Culloden Estate
La Suite West – Hyde Park, London

Perfectly positioned on a quiet tree lined street on the edge of London’s magnificent Hyde Park and close to the West End and Paddington, this boutique hotel is the minimalist and state of focus creation by famed British designer Anouska Hempel.
La Suite West - Hyde Park

Grand Central Hotel, Belfast

Sir William Hastings ‘proud’ of £53m Grand Central, Belfast investment

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Following revised planning permission being granted for the Grand Central Hotel, Hastings Hotels has announced that its investment will be £53 million on what will be Northern Ireland’s largest hotel.

Building work is now well under way following the approval of the revised plans by Belfast City Council which will see an additional 104 bedrooms bringing the total number to 304 with the creation of over 150 jobs.

Sir William Hastings, Chairman of Hastings Hotels said: “We are pleased that the revised planning permission for the Grand Central Hotel has been approved. This represents our company’s biggest single investment to date of £53 million and is the sum required to create a top quality hotel befitting the name, Grand Central, and of which Belfast City can be proud.

“The Grand Central Hotel will be more than a hotel when it opens in mid 2018. The original Grand Central was built in 1893 and was the thriving hub of Victorian Belfast as well as the finest hotel in Ireland. Winston Churchill, the King of Belgium, Al Jolson, Mario Lanza and the Beatles were all guests who enjoyed its luxurious hospitality. I am extremely proud to be able to pay tribute to this much loved property of the past by naming Belfast’s newest hotel after it.

“The new branding for the hotel will incorporate the Seahorse which is part of Belfast’s Coat of Arms and celebrates the City’s Maritime history. Old photos from the Glory Days of the Grand Central show the Seahorse motif featuring on menus and plates and our new interpretation of this classic Belfast emblem is a permanent reminder of the new Grand Central’s connection with its elegant past,” Sir William continued.

“The Grand Central is a legend reborn and to celebrate this we have created a building wrap which will be changed at regular intervals before the hotel opens. It will help tell the story of the hotel as it is being built and pay tribute to some of the local companies we are working with who are each playing key roles in helping Hastings Hotels create this major development.

“We look forward to working with a wide range of local companies during this major project. Our lead construction partner is Graham Construction and their building expertise and quality of workmanship is second to none. The structural steel has been fabricated in Lisburn and the cladding is being designed and procured through a company based in Moira. The mechanical and electrical contractors are also local as are the bricklayers, joiners, plasterers and even the tower crane driver,” Sir William concluded.

Titanic - themed hotel in Belfast

Belfast’s Titanic-themed hotel nearing completion

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Harland and Wolff has been transforming their Belfast headquarters into a Titanic-themed luxury hotel, aptly names the Titanic Hotel Belfast.

The building, some of which dates from the 1880s and where plans for incredible steamships, including the doomed Titanic, were drawn up, is to be given a new lease of life as a 4-star hotel with amazing period details. These Drawing Offices were also where the idea of the “floating hotel”, the model for many of today’s modern cruise ships, was conceived.

The new boutique hotel will offer 84 prestigious new rooms and suites, such as the Superior King Titanic View, which affords the visitor impressive views of the Belfast Titanic building through industrial-style windows, the Penthouse Suite and Corner Suites, which give panoramic views over the entire Titanic Quarter. The rooms are a mixture of industrial chic, the original character of the building, Art Deco inspiration and modern refinement. Exposed brick walls and Herringbone-tiled floors give the rooms a warmth, Egyptian cotton bedlinen and plush carpets lend a sense of comfort and minimal decoration give the room a contemporary edge.

The new hotel will also provide a host of corporate and entertainment spaces for events and conferences. The grand architectural studio of the Drawing Offices will now be available for use, with a capacity of 250 people for a variety of events. Smaller events can be held in the Heritage Rooms, which also have the possibility of being catered. A team of award winning chefs use locally sourced ingredients to create their delicious plates, and the dining rooms looks out onto the buildings that make up this historic Belfast neighbourhood.

Culloden Estate

Culloden Estate and Spa completes £4.8m renovation programme

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The Culloden Estate & Spa has announced the completion of a renovation programme which has seen Hastings Hotels invest £4.8m in their leading 5 star property over the last three years.

This week, the Estate’s General Manager Eoin O’Sullivan was joined by the group’s Managing Director, Howard Hastings, to unveil the complete redevelopment of two floors of bedrooms which has seen a selection of the smaller bedrooms remodelled to be augmented in size, bringing the hotel stock to 98.

Also included in the renovation programme has been the extensive redevelopment of the Mitre Restaurant, the Stuart Suite and the Spa which has ensured that the Culloden remains one of the top hotels in Ireland.

Eoin O’Sullivan, General Manager of the Culloden Estate & Spa said: “We are thrilled to have completed a three year renovation programme which has seen almost £5m spent on Northern Ireland’s premier 5-star hotel. As part of this programme we now have a brand new facade to a wing of the hotel with larger rooms and magnificent bathrooms overlooking landscaped gardens, all with the aim of providing our guests with an even more enjoyable experience when they stay at the Culloden.

Culloden Estate“As well as the bedroom project, we undertook a complete redesign of the Mitre restaurant together with new menus created by Chef McKnight, and an upgraded spa with new quiet room, exclusive nail bar and remodelled gym facilities as well as a beautiful refurbishment of the Stuart Suite for our weddings, conferences, and banquets to enjoy. In addition we have installed a brand new lift allowing easier access to the new rooms and to the spa.

“It is continual investment like this that has enabled us to pick up prestigious awards throughout Ireland. Most recently, this year we were delighted to have been named Luxury Hotel of the Year at the Irish Hotel Awards and highly commended at the first ever Georgina Campbell Breakfast Awards in the Best 5-Star Hotel category,” Eoin added.

Ophir PR will be taking a group press trip to visit the Culloden Estate and Spa to celebrate the renovations and 50 years of The Culloden from 3rd-5th June 2017.

www.hastingshotels.com/culloden-estate-and-spa

Holiday Inn Express Antrim to undergo refurbishment

Holiday Inn Express Antrim to undergo major refurbishment

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A significant project to transform guest bedrooms at Holiday Inn Express Antrim is underway.

Refurbishment works at the hotel began on Monday 14 November and will see £110,000 invested in making improvements to 30 rooms within the property over the next fortnight. As part of the wider initiative, all of the property’s 90 bedrooms will be refurbished by the end of 2018, marking an overall investment of £350,000.

The makeover will be in line with the recently launched Holiday Inn Express Next Generation redesign, developed with industry-leading experts to meet the changing needs of today’s ‘Smart Travellers’.

The project will see the carpets, lighting, curtains, chairs and artwork in the rooms all replaced, while the hotel will take delivery of a new bed for every room to ensure guests enjoy a great night’s sleep. Work at the hotel, managed by the UK’s leading independent hotel management company, Redefine|BDL Hotels (RBH), is expected to be completed by 25 November.

Diane McMullan, general manager at Holiday Inn Express Antrim, said: “This investment will allow us to make some fantastic upgrades to our rooms.

“The investment underlines the commitment we have to improving every aspect of our guests’ experience at our hotel. We felt that modernising the rooms was a long overdue project and we’re all excited about how much this will enhance what we have to offer.

“We have put a lot of thought into the improvements being carried out and we are sure they will prove popular with our regular guests and newcomers alike.”

Holiday Inn Express Antrim is located off the M2, near Belfast International Airport. It features four purpose-build meeting rooms and free WiFi access for all guests.

Marriott International Belfast

Marriott International to open first Northern Ireland hotel in Belfast

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Belfast waterfront will be the site of the city’s newest hotel with the construction of Marriott International’s City Quays Hotel.

This will be Marriott’s first hotel 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 hotel will include 188 rooms, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, fitness facilities and meeting rooms.

Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour ’s Property Director, said: “Bringing Marriott to Northern Ireland for the first time is great news for both business and leisure travellers as well as for the city.

“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.

“We are delighted to bring our lifestyle hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the revitalised City Quays area of Belfast,” said Paul Thomas, Director International Development.

“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.”

Erbington Square - County Derry

Private investor pumping £12m into County Derry boutique hotel project

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An investor is about to spend £12 million on building a luxury boutique hotel in Erbington Square, County Derry – according to reports in the Derry Jorunal last week.

The hotel – believed to be called The Erbington – will form part of a wider development which will also see a distillery launched and construction could start later this year.

It is believed that the new hotel will have 151-bedrooms, two conference suites, a banqueting suite for 300 diners plus modern bar facilities and a restaurant.

Speaking to the Journal, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “There have also been quite a few serious expressions of interest in other parts of the Ebrington site from other businesses, proposals which I am really positive about.

“They have the potential to bring serious investment to the site which will help transport Ebrington Square to the next level and thus become a real economic driver for the city and the north-west area.”