Northern Ireland-based Hastings Hotels has announced the completion of a five-year renovation project at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. 

The €17.5m ($18.74m) refurbishment comprised enhancements to the hotel’s 272 bedrooms, the Lobby Bar, the Piano Restaurant, and the second-floor meeting rooms. 

Additionally, the 12th-floor penthouse has been redesigned. 

Hastings Hotels chairman Howard Hastings said: “We are thrilled to unveil the culmination of our €17.5m investment in the Europa Hotel. This project not only modernises the hotel’s facilities but also honours its rich heritage as a Belfast icon.” 

 “It is no mean feat to completely renovate a hotel, especially when it’s one of the busiest hotels in Northern Ireland.”

To commemorate the renovation, the hotel group commissioned a piece of artwork by artist Colin Davidson.  

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The piece, titled The 71, is noted to be an abstract representation of the red double-decker 71 bus, which holds sentimental value for both the artist and the Hastings family. 

Opened in 1971 at the site of the former Great Northern Railway Station, the Europa Hotel was acquired by Hastings Hotels in 1993. 

Under the direction of the late William Hastings, the hotel underwent a refurbishment worth approximately €9.3m, before it reopened its doors in 1994. 

The property’s location currently provides guests access to nearby attractions such as Victoria Square, Titanic Quarter, Botanic Gardens, Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory, and more. 

Hastings Hotels group includes six properties such as the Culloden Estate and Spa, Stormont Hotel, The Grand Central Hotel, Everglades Hotel, and Ballygally Castle.