US-based operator Sonder confirmed for new £20m Belfast aparthotel

Artistic impression of Lotus Property's new aparthotel 'The Well'.
Artistic impression of Lotus Property's new aparthotel 'The Well'.

US-based hospitality group Sonder has been announced as the operator of a new £20 million aparthotel under development in the centre of Belfast.

Banbridge-based Lotus Property bought Beaufort House on Wellington Place in February 2020 after HMRC moved down the street into its new flagship building Erskine House.

The company, which owns The Boulevard and The Junction shopping outlets, secured planning permission earlier this year to redevelop the office building into a 113-bed scheme, which will be known as The Well.

Lotus has now confirmed Sonder’s UK subsidiary will operate the aparthotel.

Originally set up in Montreal in 2014, Sonder is now based in San Francisco, and specialises in short-term rentals and aparthotels in 40 cities across North America, Europe and Dubai.

The Well redevelopment will also include a street level 3,100 sq ft unit, which is currently on the market with commercial property agent Finch. 

Lotus said it expects the space to attract a food and beverage operator.

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Work on the aparthotel is due to commence in early 2024 with a view to launching in 2025.

“This is an exciting venture for us,” said Lotus Property’s managing director, Alastair Coulson.

“The Well is in a prime location on Belfast’s Wellington Place and we believe Sonder’s award-winning design credentials and reputation will complement the city’s already thriving hotel sector,” he said.

“It is a perfect time for further investment and development in Belfast’s accommodation offering to support tourism growth and ensure we’re remaining competitive against other cities in our bid to attract national and international visitors.”

Sonder’s director of real Estate, Alix McAlinden, said: “We’re excited to continue expanding our presence in EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa ] in a vibrant new location with a well-established landlord partner.

“Belfast is fast becoming a globally recognised destination for food, culture, commerce, shopping and the arts and is a perfect market for Sonder to continue redefining the guest experience through technology and design."