No warning as Belfast hotel closes

Published Wednesday, 23 May 2012
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A north Belfast hotel has suddenly closed its doors without notice, after finding itself on the brink of liquidation.

No warning as Belfast hotel closes
A notice appeared on the gates of the Lansdowne Hotel on Monday. (© Pacemaker)

On Monday, a sign outside the Lansdowne Hotel on the Antrim Road said it was closed due to a "health and safety" issue - but another sign refers customers to a firm of chartered accountants specialising in tax and insolvency.

The hotel, which employs 35 people, has been owned by the Wong family's Welcome Group since 2001.

The group was established in 1973 and operates a chain of hotels and Chinese restaurants - owning the Lansdowne Hotel and takeaways in both Belfast and Lisburn.

A number of people who were booked into the hotel have been left mystified by the suddenness of the closure, while concerns arose over bookings for upcoming special occasions like weddings.

But according to the administrators, while liquidation is inevitable, the Wong family have committed to personally refunding in full any deposits that have already been paid.

At least 50 people have already made contact about bookings they had held and more are expected to do so.

A meeting of creditors is due to be held next Friday.

© UTV News
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11 Comments
Noel in Belfast wrote (814 days ago):
Being a Hotelier for over 25 years, I am confident that with proper management this Hotel could easily have generated a profit. The area and history of the landsdowne Hotel is a great , I believe it also received the highest bomb threats Hotel during the troubles and it survived. Having visited the Hotel and a quite walk around when it was still operating, I noticed too many areas that needed improvement in order to sustain clients and make it profitable. And I don't mean just physical improvements, I mean common sense areas like staff training, salesmanship and accountability. The owners basically didn't care in the 11 years they had it , they only took as much cash out of the business as they could and reinvested nothing only token appearance's.
Concerned in Belfast wrote (881 days ago):
It is a really sad occasion to see the Lansdowne Hotel close. Most people living in and around the Antrim Road will have many fond memories of the Lansdowne in the good old days. Unfortunately the Wongs made an absolute sham of running the hotel from the getgo. It was a disgrace in the end. No evidence of them investing millions of pounds. So so sad. Plus,the poor staff, guests and people who had booked weddings. My heartfelt sympathies to everyone.
Dermot in Belfast wrote (882 days ago):
Colin, do you not think that poor management and lack of business sense has played any part in your demise? I seem to recall 6 years ago, suppliers would only deliver to the Hotel on a cash on delivery basis.
cathal in Belfast wrote (882 days ago):
I note the sign states that it was closed due to a Health & Safety Issue. I would be keen to know what the Health & Safety Issue Was. Sorry to see the Hotel Close as it survived the troubles and now in troubles of its own.
colin wong in belfast wrote (882 days ago):
Small medium sized hotels has no chance to keep its doors open anymore, big groups hotels has stormed into greater belfast in the last 15 years. if the like of holday inns or hilton loses a couple of millions £ a year, there's no problem because its only share holders money in the end.
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