Published Saturday, 31 May 2014
Police and fire crews attended the scene on Thursday night. (© Pacemaker)
A masked man claiming to be from the IRA went into the hotel lobby on Thursday at around 11pm and left an incendiary device in a holdall, issuing a 40-minute warning to staff.
While army bomb experts were working on it, the device exploded.
Although no-one was injured in the blast or the resulting fire, extensive damage was caused to the property.
Following the re-opening, staff at the hotel are now looking forward to a busy Saturday night.
Julie Hastings, the marketing manager of the Hastings Hotels group, said that they are fully booked.
"Having worked overnight, the smoke damage is being cleared and things are starting to get back to normal," she said.
On Sunday morning, the Walled City marathon sets off from outside the hotel. Athletes from all over the world have registered to take part.
Ms Hastings said that some customers had contacted her to confirm they were still arriving as planned, while she had contacted the others.
On Friday, Sir William Hastings, chair of the hotel firm, praised his staff for averting a "major atrocity."
"I am confident this despicable action will not deter the people of this city from their resolve to take the city forward," he said.
© UTV News