Hotel news

Holiday Inn Express Belfast completes three-year, £5m refurb

From left, Kamila Silingova, house-keeping manager and Aidan Murtagh, general manager, with Gary Purdy, managing director at McCue Fit.

Andras Hotels has completed a full lobby ‘new generation concept’ upgrade at its Holiday Inn Express in Belfast, representing the culmination of a three-year, £5m investment programme.

The concept has been rolled out across all public areas and guest bedrooms in the Queen’s Quarter property, owned and operated by Andras Hotels since 1996.

Designed by local interior design Philip Rodgers Design, and installed by local contractor McCue Fit, the concept encompasses a modern, ergonomic, open-plan, innovative design style while also offering smart technological solutions for guests at every stage of their stay.

It is the new global model from the Holiday Inn Express brand for the reception, bar and dining areas in its hotels, creating a new approach to how a hotel’s public areas can look, feel and function.

The concept was modelled entirely on guest insight and developed with industry-leading experts to meet the changing needs of today’s ‘smart travellers’, who appreciate functional and thoughtful design tied in with an efficient and friendly service. It features a bright and relaxed décor with an open-plan front desk area and Express Café & Bar for food on the go.

The investment included a 60-bedroom extension to the hotel featuring the new generation bedroom prototype, including noise cancelling headboards, black out curtains, USB ports and an innovative flexible rest/work area in each room.

Due to its ongoing investment, proximity to the city centre, free wifi, parking and breakfast, the hotel has built a strong corporate and leisure travel market.

Holiday Inn Express is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and is their fastest growing brand, with 2,800 properties globally.

“This past six months have been a huge challenge for us and indeed for the entire industry,” said Rajesh Rana, director of Andras Hotels. “We have done all that we can to plan for a strong future and have used that down-time constructively.

“We are fully committed to our on-going investment program and will plan to continue with this over the coming months and years, to allow us to continue to welcome business and leisure travellers to our hotels.

“Over the past 21 years, we have fostered an excellent partner relationship with IHG, and we now operate three IHG branded hotels in Belfast – Holiday Inn, Belfast City Centre, Crowne Plaza Hotel at Shaw’s Bridge and here at Holiday Inn Express.

“We are ready to welcome the next generation of traveller to our fantastic, newly revamped, Holiday Inn Express, and I want to personally thank the team for their loyalty and dedication which has allowed us to get to this point in our journey.”

Gary Purdy, operations director at McCue Fit, said: “We were delighted to be involved in the upgrade of the lobby at Holiday Inn Express. We recently completed the Open Lobby at the Holiday Inn in Belfast, also owned by Andras Hotels, so this is a vote of confidence in our expertise. Having worked with major hotel brands across the UK for the past couple of decades it is pleasing to be working closer to home on this project.”

Andras Hotels has a 39-year history in Belfast. It currently operates six internationally branded hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Ibis Queens Quarter, Ibis City Centre and Hampton by Hilton as well as serviced Cordia apartments, totalling over 1,000 beds in the city.

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