Friday, September 08, 2017

Inside the new Titanic Hotel Belfast (opens Sun 10 Sep 2017)

It’s been a few years since I was inside the Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices down in Titanic Quarter. Probably an European Heritage Open Day, which incidentally is happening this weekend with lots of venues freely open to the public including some which are not normally accessible.

(The EHOD17 brochure PDF can be downloaded and there are copies in libraries and coffee shop window sills.)

Back in 2009 the decay and damage to the plasterwork was obvious. (You can find more photos from that tour on Flickr.)

The Titanic Hotel Belfast opens its doors this Sunday, offering 119 bedrooms in the beautifully restored building.

The transformation is amazing.

The splendour of the two Drawing Offices has been enhanced with art works. One can be used as a conference/event/wedding reception space and has its own private bar off to one side with glass walled views out past the eye-catching Titanic Belfast.

The board room and offices have been turned into meetings rooms and reading rooms with leather sofas and couches. Period fireplaces have been restored or, if beyond repair, reproduced.

With over 200 unique pieces of art, Harcourt Development’s creative director John Doherty has splashed the building’s heritage onto the walls of the hotel’s rooms and corridors.

I doubt that I’ll ever have cause to stay in the rooms, but the one we toured through last night would be a Titanorak’s dream with bespoke furniture, mouldings and enough attention to detail to keep an enthusiast up all night.

With a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the hotel will, unusually, offer public tours around the parts of the building that were restored. For the first six week’s a free exhibition in Drawing Office One tells the story of the building.

No comments: