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HISTORY of the Europa Hotel Belfast


Built on the site of the Great Northern Railway Station, the Europa Hotel dates back to 1971. During the troubles, it became the hang-out for journalists from all over the world, with the hotel itself often making the headlines. It officially joined Hastings Hotels in August 1993 and after a major refurbishment, re-opened its doors in February 1994.

The first official event was the Flax Trust Ball, a gala evening for 500 local and international dignitaries. Then, in 1995, President Clinton and the First Lady, Hillary Clinton checked in. This visit boosted confidence in Belfast’s flagship hotel and launched the profile of the Europa Hotel worldwide. In fact, the suite the famous couple stayed in was renamed the Clinton Suite.

VIPs aplenty still make it their choice as they arrive in peacetime Belfast to attend political meetings, do business, appear on television programmes or perform at the Opera House.

This towering hotel is a legendary landmark, a natural place for visitors to stay and there are plans to make it even better in this important anniversary year”, promises Dr Hastings who sees the Europa as a keystone of his empire.

He fondly tips his hat to the late celebrated manager, Harper Brown and the era of the Penthouse Poppets, the Whip and Saddle restaurant and the Paradise Lost Night Club.

“Harper was as charming to the humble delivery boy with the morning papers as he was to the VIP guest in the best suite,” he says. “James McGinn, presently General Manager of the Europa, is just as attentive!”

A book on the history of the hotel is now on sale – please contact the Concierge.