Fodor's Expert Review Titanic Hotel

8 Queens Rd., Belfast, Co. Down, BT3 9DT, Northern Ireland Fodor's Choice

The former drawing office headquarters of Harland & Wolff shipyard where the RMS Titanic plans were created has been repurposed with panache and is now a stylish hotel that honors its nautical heritage. The long, three-story office block in brick and red sandstone—one of Northern Ireland's most historic buildings and the oldest remaining structure of the shipbuilding industry—was built in stages between 1906 and 1922; it closed in 1989 and stood derelict for three decades before re-opening as a hotel. Bedrooms, in elegant creams and grays, range from standard doubles to a superior suite and come with Art Deco furniture and nautical themes such as hanging ship's lanterns, riveted door panels, and maritime artwork. The beds are dressed in Egyptian cotton with natural-fiber pillows. Rooms have stunning views of either the new Titanic Building, which fills your window or, on the other side, the shipyard's giant yellow cranes. Dining options include the Wolff Grill, or Drawing Office, as well as the Titanic Bar and Grill, where you can enjoy a Titanic Caesar salad (£10) or White Star chicken burger (£12.50). In the long main bar, alongside yucca plants and eight specially commissioned paintings of liners on the walls by the celebrated local artist Colin Davidson, you can drink in the atmosphere created through striking skylights as you sip a Millvina Dean cocktail (£11.50), named in honor of the last survivor of the sinking, who died in 2009. The bar is lined with cream and blue tiles—exactly the same as those that adorned the doomed liner's swimming pool—incredibly, a batch left over turned up 100 years later and was put to use. Look out, too, for the exquisite replica model of the liner in a glass cabinet at one end of the bar. In the ornate Presentation Room on the first floor, where plans were shown to clients and that overlooks the drawing office, visitors are free to wander around and admire the artifacts and furnishings. The building exudes the legacy of Belfast’s industrial heritage—even the telephone exchange, which received the first communication of Titanic hitting the iceberg, has been retained. A guided Discovery Tour from Titanic Belfast incorporates a walk through the hotel's public areas, but you may wish to come back and spend more time; if so, allow at least an hour to absorb the immaculate conservation work. Ask at hotel reception for the free art and heritage self-guided trail leaflet that outlines the history of the building.

PROS

  • award-winning restaurant
  • very good value two-night packages and midweek rates
  • museum-worthy artifacts on display

CONS

  • slightly inconvenient location
  • bleak post-industrial surroundings
  • hallways are a little dark

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
HistoricalNew
Sophisticated
Central
Design
$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 028-9508–2000

HOTEL DETAILS

119 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

What’s Nearby