Dalata Group invests in central Belfast hotel
The Dalata Group has signalled its intention to expand its footprint in Northern Ireland by announcing the opening of the Clayton Hotel Belfast on the city’s Ormeau Avenue.
The largest hotel operator in Ireland is to open 13 hotels across the UK and Ireland under the Clayton Hotels brand by the end of 2015 in locations including Galway, Dublin and Manchester after purchasing a portfolio of properties from Bewley’s Hotels and Moran Hotels. Among the properties acquired was the Holiday Inn on Ormeau Avenue.
Clayton Hotels is a 4 star brand with a focus on the corporate market – the principal distinction between Clayton Hotels and the more family orientated sister hotel group – Maldron Hotels. The company is investing €27m in the redevelopment and upgrade of both brands across the island.
The acquisition of Clayton Hotel Belfast, a modern, city centre based property with excellent conferencing facilities, is part of Dalata’s strategy to assemble a portfolio of high quality hotels in key city locations. The company intends to embark on an extensive refurbishment project at the hotel.
The hotel will also be investing in staff training and development to bring a people-focused service experience to customers under its ‘your stay, your way’ approach.
Pat McCann, founder and chief executive officer of the Dalata Hotel Group PLC said: “It’s an exciting time for the Dalata team. Our strategy is to leverage the group’s core asset management, hotel operation and development capabilities to grow the business. It is fantastic to see this coming to life with the launch and forthcoming roll out of Clayton Hotels across Ireland and the UK.”
Stephen Redden, general manager of the Clayton Hotel Belfast, said: “The investment by Dalata Group is a real vote of confidence in Belfast’s economic prospects and the resurgence of Northern Ireland’s tourism and hospitality sectors.
“The Dalata Hotel Group is aiming to be in key cities in the UK and Ireland and considers Belfast to be a vital location in their growth strategy. Even with the recent announcements about plans for new hotels there is the feeling that there is still a need for capacity in the area and the sector has room for significant growth. We are entering the market at a particularly competitive time but we are confident that the Clayton Hotel Belfast will bring a new and welcome personality to the hospitality sector,” he added.
“We will be bringing a quirkier offering to the hotel market, with a renewed focus on food and a takeaway style room service and we will be working closely with the corporate market to bring them impressive conferencing and meeting facilities.”
Ann McGregor, CEO of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “It is very encouraging that the Dalata Group has chosen to come to central Belfast and should be seen as a major vote of confidence in the Northern Ireland economy. The Clayton is another strong addition to the corporate hotel market here in Belfast.”
Lindsey Hall, partnership manager for Visit Belfast, said: “To have another leading hotel operator recognise that Belfast city centre is a key tourism location is great news for the city. It comes at a time when there is high demand for rooms and investments like this will enable further growth as more and more business and leisure visitors are attracted to Belfast in the coming years.”