‘Bishop’s Gate’ to open shortly

Tourism in Derry is expected to received a significant shot in the arm with the announcement that the city’s latest hotel is soon to open its doors to guests.

Fittingly named “Bishop’s Gate” due to its location, the new 31 bedroom boutique hotel has been provided by the industrious Inner City Buildings Preservation Trust, an organisation under the umbrella of the Inner City Trust.

Indeed, the impressive new hotel is now considered the flagship feature for Bishop Street and the surrounding area.

Constructed on the site of the former Northern Counties Building, the boutique hotel is almost ready to do business and prior to the official opening announcement, a total of 14 managerial positions have been advertised inside our “recruitment section” in today’s “Journal.”

And opting to keep faith with everything local, hotelier, Ciaran O’Neill, has returned to his roots to take over the Hotel Operator’s role at the “Bishop’s Gate” establishment.

Commenting on the news this week, the Inner City Trust’s CEO, Mrs. Helen Quigley, heaped praise on the construction of the new facility, insisting that the Inner City Trust’s latest venture would continue the renaissance in the Bishop Street and surrounding areas.

“The Bishop’s Gate Boutique Hotel will complement the work already completed by the Inner City Trust in that area,” she said.

“Recent additions such as the Garden of Reflection, which is also located on Bishop Street, will help breed confidence to others considering options to trade in this particular area. These are all new features which, we believe, will prove to be attractive as we strive to entice even more investors back into our city centre,” added Mrs. Quigley.

“I can also state that we have received a superb response from tourism organisations and we’re confident more visitors will be attracted to our city centre and jobs have also been created.

“The hotel has begun advertising for various managers and we’re delighted to announce that a former manager at both the Da Vinci’s Hotel and, more recently, the City Hotel, Ciaran O’Neill, has secured the Hotel Operator’s position.”

It’s been a very interesting week for the new manager as Mr. O’Neill has also been appointed the new President of the Northern Ireland Hotels’ Federation following a function in Belfast on Wednesday of this week.

And commenting on his return to Derry, Ciaran said he was delighted.

“I’m really looking forward to the next 12 months. Being nominated and then selected to be President of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation is a great honour. The hospitality sector in Northern Ireland has experienced significant investment and development over the course of the last five years and there are significant opportunities to grow and expand our offering.

“Personally, I’ve recognised this and it’s part of the reason that I decided to return home to Derry to take up the role of Hotel Operator at Bishop’s Gate Hotel. For the last two years I worked as Regional Vice President of Operations for Interstate Hotels, which is the largest independent management company in the world. I was responsible for looking after Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“However, the Bishop’s Gate Hotel project provides a unique opportunity to create a boutique hotel where the customer experience is a focal point at every step of the journey. As a local person I genuinely feel honoured to be appointed as the Operator by inner City Trust to bring this project to life,” he said.