Europa: World’s most bombed hotel still standing after 50 years

The world’s most bombed hotel is celebrating its 50th birthday.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 2:39 pm
Julie Hastings, Marketing Director of Hastings Hotels is joined by the Europa Hotel's Executive Head Chef, Kyle Greer, and Head Concierge, Martin Mulholland, as the iconic hotel celebrates its 50th birthday. Celebrity guests that have stayed over the years include President Clinton, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bob Dylan, Lionel Ritchie, Victoria Beckham and Elvis Costello. Photo by Presseye
Julie Hastings, Marketing Director of Hastings Hotels is joined by the Europa Hotel's Executive Head Chef, Kyle Greer, and Head Concierge, Martin Mulholland, as the iconic hotel celebrates its 50th birthday. Celebrity guests that have stayed over the years include President Clinton, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bob Dylan, Lionel Ritchie, Victoria Beckham and Elvis Costello. Photo by Presseye

The Europa was built on the site of the former Great Northern Railway Station and was opened in 1971 by Grand Metropolitan Hotels.

It was then purchased by the late Sir William Hastings in 1993 after it was taken over by receivers, at a time when it was hard to believe that Northern Ireland would be seen as a tourist destination due to the Troubles. The pioneering hotelier invested £8 million and reopened the hotel in 1994.

And while it is known as the world’s most bombed hotel, having been targeted 33 times between 1970 and 1994, the Europa is part of the peace story of NI and has transformed into an iconic symbol of Belfast’s survival.

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The Europa was purchased by the late Sir William Hastings in 1993

Julie Hastings, marketing director of Hastings Hotels, said: “Despite almost constant challenges and setbacks, the Europa continues to stand proud as a beacon for Belfast’s unique enduring spirit. No other hotel in the world has the history to rival that of the Europa’s.

“My father had the courage and optimism to buy it when nobody else did. He invested heavily at the time despite the bombings that followed over the next three years. And it was this confidence that then led to Belfast, and Northern Ireland, to begin its journey to become the well-loved tourist destination that it is today.”

As part of the 50th birthday celebrations, the Europa hotel has launched a Golden Moments package from £115 per room.

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