Posted on Thursday 18 August 2016 by Ulster Business

Hotel View unbranded

A computer-generated image of the new Marriott on Belfast’s waterfront

Marriott has confirmed it is to open its first hotel in Northern Ireland on Belfast’s waterfront, creating 115 new jobs.

The 188-room four-star AC Hotel by Marriott will be run under a franchise agreement by Interstate Europe Hotels and Resorts, a seasoned operator which works alongside other global hotel brands in the UK, Europe and Russia.

Due to be open in early 2018, it will be situated in Belfast Harbour as part of the City Quays 2 development which is currently under construction.

Belfast firm Gilbert Ash has been appointed contractor for the £25m project which is expected to create 180 jobs during the construction phase.

Robert Crook, Managing Director of Interstate Europe Hotels and Resorts, said he was looking forward to making a mark in Northern Ireland.

“We’re thrilled to be operating the first Marriott International-branded hotel in Belfast,” he said. “It’s a fantastic development for the city’s tourism industry, catering for both the leisure and corporate markets, and with all that Belfast has to offer on its doorstep, we’re sure its arrival will be a success.”

Although Marriott’s first hotel in Northern Ireland, there are two in the Republic: the Shelbourne Dublin and Powerscourt Hotel in Co. Wicklow. In London, it runs the five-star JW Marriott Grosvenor House and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour’s Property Director, said the name is a boon for business here.

“Marriott has a very strong presence in the business market which will complement the wider office developments planned for City Quays – the first office is already fully let to four US firms employing 800 people.  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.”

Ray Hutchinson, managing director of Gilbert-Ash, said the build is a big piece of local work for the firm.

“There are a number of major construction projects under way in Belfast at the moment which will substantially change the face of the city in the coming year. Few buildings are able to capitalise on a view over the River Lagan and we think that this hotel and its riverside terrace will allow locals and tourists alike to enjoy one of the city’s greatest assets.”

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