The Europa Hotel is built on the site of the former Great Northern Railway Company’s Belfast Terminus. The hotel was opened in July 1971 as Belfast’s then tallest building and first hotel in the city to offer en-suites for all bedrooms.
The building is closely linked to Belfast’s recent history as the meeting point for many journalists during the Troubles, and itself being the target of over 40 bomb attacks. Following a series of bombings, the building was in need of substantial refurbishment. Taking on the challenge in 1993 was Howard Hastings, who continues to own the hotel today through the Hastings Hotel Group. Hastings purchased the building and appointed Robinson McIlwaine Architects to over-see the transformation of the hotel, just in time for the ceasefire and visit of former US President Bill Clinton in 1995. The hotel was extended in 1999 and now provides over 200 rooms and is one of Northern Ireland’s largest hotels.