A 280 room “family friendly” hotel has been proposed for Hamilton Dock in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
The proposal by JMK Group is planned to sit directly opposite the Titanic Belfast building and 10 minutes walk away from the city’s retail heart.
Included in the plans are 100 family rooms aimed at meeting growing demand from visitors to family focused attractions at Titanic Quarter including; Titanic Belfast, W5 and the SSE Arena, WeAreVeritgo, SS Nomadic and HMS Caroline, and other attractions across the city.
The new 280 room hotel, designed by award winning Belfast architects RMI Architects, will open in the summer of 2021, and although a brand has not yet been confirmed JMK Group’s current brands include Hampton by Hilton, Seraphine and Holiday Inn operating across both the UK and Ireland. This Titanic Quarter site will be its first investment in Northern Ireland.
“This project is about making a strategic investment in Belfast’s tourism sector, meeting the increasing demand from families who see Belfast and Titanic Quarter as a family friendly destination,” said a spokesperson for JMK Group.
“We believe that the growth of the tourist sector in Belfast and Northern Ireland has an exciting future.
“Titanic Belfast is among the leading tourist destinations in the world so we are confident that tourism will continue to be an engine of economic growth for Belfast and that is why we are investing in that future, tailoring our offer to the needs of the city.
“JMK group will be able to bring a wealth of experience in the tourism and hospitality sector to Belfast. We already have a presence in the Republic of Ireland, in Dublin and Waterford as well as a lot of experience in the London hotel market.”
Titanic Quarter has become Europe’s largest waterfront development attracting over one million visitors every year.
Brian Kelly, a director at the project’s planning consultants, Turley said: “As part of the master-planning team for Titanic Quarter, Turley is very excited to be part of this exciting project.
“We are delighted that a leading UK hotel developer has chosen Titanic Quarter as its first location in Northern Ireland. This major investment will support the area’s successful evolution into a world-class tourism destination, an international exhibition and conferencing location and a hub of local, national and international business and education.
“Tourism is a key driver of Belfast and Northern Ireland’s economy and Titanic Quarter is home to three of Northern Ireland’s top five visitor attractions, Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic and W5. Since 2012 Titanic Belfast has attracted over five million visitors from across 145 countries and was awarded the accolade of ‘World’s Leading Tourist Destination’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2016.
The JMK Group has been investing in hotels and hotel sites across Ireland since 2013 and owns upmarket boutique hotels in London and Ireland.
Their Dublin projects include the redevelopment of Findlater House on O’Connell Street into a 198-room Holiday Inn Express, which opened in 2016, and a 421-bedroom hotel which is under construction near Dublin Airport.
With an estimated 4.9 million overnight trips in Northern Ireland in 2017 and expenditure associated with these trips estimated to be £926 million, JMK Group expressed confidence that demand will continue to grow.
They have two further hotels under construction in Dublin and London and are actively seeking other opportunities within Belfast which they have identified as a market with huge scope for tourism led ventures.