Cardiff's newest and largest hotel has officially opened its doors.
The Maldron Hotel boasts 216 rooms over 12 floors, eight meeting rooms and an elegant black lobby which is set to welcome thousands of guests to Cardiff.
The three-star hotel is described as a superior city centre establishment and was developed by Rush Developers and built by McAleer and Rushe.
The contemporary building is on the site of the former Central Hotel and is the first of the chain to be built in the UK.
The £25m St Mary Street building has created around 100 jobs and provides spectacular views over Cardiff.
Maldron is a leading luxury chain in Ireland and says it chose Cardiff because of its continuous improvement in business, leisure and tourism. Pat McCann, chief executive of Dalata Hotel Group, Maldron Hotel’s parent company, said: “Cardiff is an exciting place to be and I’ve seen a big development in the city since I first started working in it over 15 years ago.
“There’s an air of vibrancy which I’m confident our team, led by general manager Emma Dalton, will contribute to as Cardiff continues to establish itself as a business, leisure and tourist destination.
“We’ll look to offering business and leisure guests the competitive pricing and outstanding service that has seen us quickly grow to become Ireland’s largest hotel group.”
The Welsh capital currently attracts 18.6m visitors a year, up 98% on 1998 figures, according to Cardiff & Co, which promotes Cardiff across the UK and abroad.
Richard Thomas, managing director for Cardiff & Co, said: “The decision by Dalata Hotel Group to open its first Maldron Hotel in the UK in Cardiff reflects very positively on the city.
“Cardiff is one of the most popular locations in the UK for conferences and has hosted some of sport’s biggest competitions – from FA Cup finals to the Ashes and more recently accommodating the army of fans attending the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor.
“This further investment in the capital’s hotel infrastructure, increasing the city region’s bed capacity, strengthens Cardiff’s offering.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones was on hand to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony.