Business

Irish hospitality group iNua to launch Voco Belfast after acquiring Radisson Blu hotel in city's Gasworks

Hotel to be relaunched in early 2024 as Voco Belfast

The Radisson Blu hotel in Belfast's Gasworks has been acquired by the Cork-based hotel group iNua.
The Radisson Blu hotel in Belfast's Gasworks has been acquired by the Cork-based hotel group iNua. The Radisson Blu hotel in Belfast's Gasworks has been acquired by the Cork-based hotel group iNua.

IRISH hotel group iNua has acquired the Radisson Blu Hotel in Belfast, The Irish News understands.

The deal for the four-star 120-bedroom hotel in the Gasworks’ estate comes three years after it was placed on the market with a £16 million asking price, in a listing which included an adjacent office building.

It’s understood the 60,000 sq ft Lighthouse office building, which was previously occupied by the Department for Communities, remains on the market.

The 2020 listing valued the hotel in the region of £10m.

The iNua group is believed to have completed the purchase of the hotel and is now on site, representing its first entry into the Northern Ireland market.

The Cork-based hotel chain is owned by Sean O'Driscoll and Paul Fitzgerald, who led a management buyout in early 2020.

Mr O’Driscoll is chief executive of the iNua Collection, while Mr Fitzgerald is chief executive of the group’s new services business, Cliste Hospitality.

The hotel group is thought to be preparing a £3 million renovation and rebrand of the Belfast venue, which was opened in September 2004 by Tony Devlin and David Donnelly.

The 20-year management agreement with Radisson Blu is due to expire next year.

The hotel, which had traded as Inislyn Limited, has reported pre-tax losses of around £1.36m in the three years since the 2020 pandemic.

The iNua group has already lined up a new InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) brand.

It’s expected to become the first Voco Hotel in Northern Ireland.

Launched in 2018, Voco is IHG’s fastest growing hotel brand, passing 55 locations in 25 countries earlier this year, including nine in the UK.

Another 51 are in the pipeline, with the hotel group targeting 200 locations by 2028.

IHG described Voco Belfast as “a significant milestone in the brand’s expansion”, adding that the hotel is scheduled to open its doors in early 2024 in partnership with Cliste Hospitality.

IHG’s more familiar brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

The Radisson Blu hotel and the Lighthouse Building next door were placed on the market in 2020 with a £16m asking price.
The Radisson Blu hotel and the Lighthouse Building next door were placed on the market in 2020 with a £16m asking price. The Radisson Blu hotel and the Lighthouse Building next door were placed on the market in 2020 with a £16m asking price.

The Radisson Blu hotel features seven meeting rooms, capable of hosting 300 delegates.

It’s also home the The Gasworks restaurant, which has 110 covers and The Gasworks bar, which has 80.

The iNua portfolio of four and five star hotels includes the Hillgrove in Monaghan, Muckross Park in Killarney and the Hibernian in Kilkenny.

It also runs Radisson Blu hotels in Cork, Limerick, Athlone and Sligo, as well as Tullamore Court, Springfield Hotel (Leixlip), Fairways Hotel, The Gateway Hotel (Dundalk), Ariel House (Dublin) and Dublin One.

The Irish News first revealed last month how the Cork-based hotel group had launched a recruitment drive for a new Belfast-based people and culture manager in order to develop a new northern workforce.