Tapping into local tourism in the West of the city

NEW ROLE: Sales manager at the Balmoral Hotel on the Blacks Road, Malachy Carabine NEW ROLE: Sales manager at the Balmoral Hotel on the Blacks Road, Malachy Carabine
By Brónach Ní Thuama

THE BALMORAL Hotel continues to go from strength to strength. West Belfast’s only hotel finds itself so busy that it now employs a sales manager.
Step forward Shaws Road and Rossa man Malachy Carabine. Malachy has over 25 years experience in the hospitality industry and he looks forward to bringing his vast knowledge into his new role.
He took time out of his busy schedule to speak with the Andersonstown News and tell us what exactly his job entails.
“I see myself as an ambassador for the hotel. I’m here to promote and to source new business, basically I’m here to sell the hotel.
“If you haven’t been in the hotel in a while it’s really worth a visit. There has been so much work carried out that you need to see it for yourself.
“This is a new Balmoral, not the old one that everyone remembers. At the minute we have a full restoration project going on in all the bathrooms, there’s a lot of money being invested into the hotel to ensure that we get everything right for our customers. We love hosting conferences, annual dinners, sporting events and the like.
“We want to create our own unique Balmoral brand. What we are doing now is a rebranding. We are moving forward as a company and we are keen for people to see that. There’s nothing pretentious about the hotel but at the same time we firmly believe in providing a top quality experience.”
Malachy added: “We now have Stix and Stones restaurant in the hotel and it couldn’t be going better, people are loving this new dining experience. It’s a great brand to marry with the hotel – both complement each other.
“We have a pre-theatre menu available. Christmas lunches and dinners are coming up which we will have some fantastic offers for. We will have our local school choirs in singing carols beside our new tree, we are really looking forward to it.”
The Balmoral is famous for hosting weddings and Malachy said they would love to expand on family traditions.
“We want to create family traditions here and get repeat business. We would love it if people had their weddings here, anniversary meals, christenings and communions.”
Discussing the recent record-breaking tourism figures for West Belfast, Malachy said: “There have been lots of times when we have reached full occupancy within the hotel recently and that speaks volumes. Other times we have only had a handful of rooms left to sell.
“We have noticed an upsurge in tourism in West Belfast and we want to connect with our local tourism hotspots and work in conjunction with them. We want this to be a tourist experience.
“There’s a new driving range beside us with the most up to date technology. We are going to team up with them and encourage golf societies to stay with us when they are in Belfast. If all goes well we will be able to offer discount with the driving range so they can get their practice before their round of golf.”
As well as all of this the Balmoral Hotel are now offering a five course Sunday carvery for £17.95 (adults) and £9.95 (children under-12). This will be available from this Sunday between 1pm-5pm
Malachy said: “The future of the hotel is looking really well, we had the Balmoral Masterchef here during Féile and it was a great success, we are feeling really positive and want to continue offering a first class experience for our tourists as well as the people of West Belfast.”

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