It wouldn’t be any fun if we just told you which Ireland hotel is (or was … it’s completely safe these days … but still holds the record) the most bombed hotel in Europe, now would it? So, let’s start by laying out a few facts. See if you can guess which Ireland hotel we’re referring to based on these historical tidbits:
- It is located in the Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland.
- It is a four-star hotel with a piano bar and bistro on the first floor.
- This Ireland hotel hosts dignitaries, presidents and celebrities.
- President Bill Clinton stayed there in 1995 and 1998.
- In 1993, an IRA (Irish Republican Army) bombing caused so much damage, the Ireland hotel sold for just 4.4 million pounds.
- In 2008, an extension increased the 51 meter building height from seven floors to twelve (adding 32 rooms.)
If you guessed Hotel Europa, you’re correct. Almost 20 years ago, during “The Troubles,” a three decade stint of political violence between Irish loyalists and nationalists, this Ireland hotel was bombed 28 times. (Some reports say 33 times from 1971 to 1994.)
In fact, several years ago, reports claimed it had been hit so many times that, for a few years, it enjoyed a designation as the most bombed hotel in the world. You’re probably wondering what used to make Hotel Europa such a hot target, right?
For one, it was built in 1971 on the site of the former Great Northern Railway station. From this point (and across the street from the hotel) transportation is available to anywhere in Ireland. Buses run regularly to every destination on the Emerald Isle.
Thanks to the prestigious design, the hotel became an epicenter for anyone and everyone of political importance traveling to Belfast. The Clintons, during their stay, for example, rented 110 rooms in the hotel. (You can still rent the Clinton Suite today if you like.)
Also, the expansive design of Hotel Europa allows for easy hosting of galas, parties and events. In essence, this Ireland hotel makes it easy to arrive in style, stay in style and party in style while you’re in Belfast.
And if you’ve ever been stuck on a road that’s closed thanks to Presidential transport, you immediately understand why the prime location of this hotel makes it a perfect place to set up political camp. Security during transport is easier when your hotel is perfectly located next to a bus and train station.
Further, the hotel boasts (currently, as of the 2008 remodel) 272 rooms, including suites. It’s sheer size allows for any number of guests to visit. During The Troubles we mentioned above, it was also a major journalist home base.
However, we should note again that today the hotel is a completely safe destination. Ireland is more peaceful these days and the hotel, while it continues to be a historical point of interest where politicians enjoy staying, is perfectly safe for families and tourists.
If you’re looking for the perfect Ireland hotel, we suggest you consider luxuriating in the four-star Hotel Europa for a night. It’s incredible political history alone will give you quite the tale to tell friends and family when you return home.
learn more about Ireland Get a FREE Ireland travel guide
Ready to start planning your trip to Ireland?
Our Travel Specialists are ready to help you find the perfect tour!