Focus Hotels take over management of Holiday Inn Express in Derry City

English operator has already signed up to run the Martin Property Group’s new five-star Belfast hotel

Night time capture of the Holiday Inn Express on Derry's Strand Road.
The Holiday Inn Express in Derry City is now under the management of Focus Hotels.

An English hotel operator set to run the new five-star Bedford Hotel in Belfast has taken over the running of the Holiday Inn Express in Derry City.

Focus Hotel said it has already signed the management contract for the 119-bed hotel on Strand Road.

It marks the company’s first entry into the hotel market on the island of Ireland.

It’s understood the three-star Holiday Inn Express is owned by brothers Larry and Brendan Duddy Junior.

Focus Hotels’ portfolio include one dozen locations in England and Scotland.

The company was announced as the operator of the new Bedford Hotel in Belfast, set to open next year.

Derry’s Martin Property Group is developing the hotel after buying the Scottish Mutual Building out of administration for £5.5 million in December 2022.

The listed-building was previously the site of a failed bid by Liverpool developer Lawrence Kenwright to redevelop it into a George Best themed hotel.

Focus Hotels said the management deals signed in Derry and Belfast are part of its plans to expand its portfolio in Northern Ireland.

The company’s chief executive, Devin Grosse, said: “This is a fantastic hotel that provides an ideal base for exploring the history and vibrance of the city.

“It is a joy to welcome the Holiday Inn Express Derry to the Focus portfolio and we are excited to play a part in the property’s growth and development.”

A spokesperson for the hotel’s ownership group said: “We are delighted to be working with Focus and can already see the professional approach and dedication of their whole team.

“Under Focus’ leadership, we anticipate great strides of progress within the hotel and significant overall improvement in our guests’ experience.”