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Grand Central Hotel celebrates first anniversary

From left, Damien McDonald, food & beverage manager; Stephen Meldrum, general manager; Ian Jameson, concierge; Deborah Galloway, deputy general manager; and Damian Tumilty, executive head chef, Grand Central.

Hastings Hotels is celebrating the first-year anniversary of the new jewel in its crown, the Grand Central Hotel.

Since opening its doors last year, Northern Ireland’s largest hotel has made over 78,000 beds and served over 38,000 cocktails and over 11,000 pints in the Observatory, won numerous awards and was named one of Ireland’s 50 best places to stay in 2019 by the Irish Independent.

During its opening year, the Grand Central has welcomed Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Irish President Michael D Higgins, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid, NI Secretary of State Karen Bradley and a host of stars from around the world including Shania Twain, Jodie Kidd and Jamie Dornan.

“In just a year, the Grand Central Hotel has firmly established itself as one of Northern Ireland’s leading hotels,” said Stephen Meldrum, general manager of the Grand Central Hotel. “Opening the largest hotel Northern Ireland has ever seen is no mean feat, but I am proud that we have risen to the challenge and offer a luxuriously unique proposition.

“Our very first guests to check-in was a group of international delegates attending the prestigious Hosts Global Forum and in the last 12 months, we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

“2018 saw an additional 107,000 hotel room nights sold in Northern Ireland compared to 2017 and I am confident that Grand Central played a major part in giving visitors an extra reason to visit. The Observatory cocktail lounge on the 23rd floor has been a massive draw for the hotel and is now one of the most popular bars in the city with people queuing up to get in to enjoy the unrivalled views across Belfast and beyond coupled with fine wines, exquisite cocktails and a selection of exclusive beers.

“We have worked hard to create a fantastic choice of dining options including the Grand Café and Seahorse Restaurant, which has already achieved an AA Rosette, and exquisite Afternoon Tea with Cloud Catcher tea which is specially blended for us by Punjana. We take great pride in using the very best of local produce and our menus have all been carefully created by our Executive Head Chef Damian Tumilty with something for everyone.

“The Grand Central Hotel is proud to provide all our guests with the finest in Northern Irish Hospitality with style and excellence and we invest heavily in our staff who all complete the Hastings Training Programme to ensure they are offer the first-class service the group is well-known for. We fully embrace promoting Belfast and Northern Ireland as a world-wide destination, and are proud to be playing a part on putting the city on the international map for tourism and inward investment.”

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