Crest motto- “lead with the sword and as God as your companion”
The Charlemont Arms Hotel has thrived throughout the centuries, it was originally home to a Dr Atkinson, but by the 1760’s it had became a hostelry “The Caulfield Arms.” In 1763 it was renamed when the fourth Viscount Caulfield was created Earl of Charlemont.
It is notable that in the heyday of the Irish Volunteers, that there was a Charlemont Arms in every town of note, but now there is probably not another left surviving in Ireland, something of which the current proprietors are very proud.
Records in the city show that in 1852 John Hughes was made proprietor, and it remained in his ownership until 1892 when a J.H. Mann was listed as its owner. Two years later it appeared as ‘Mann’s Hotel and Hydropathic Establishment’, offering facilities with Turkish, plunge and other baths.
From 1906-1933 the hotel had a number of different proprietors until 1934 when it was passed into the ownership of Robert and Elizabeth Forster. Their son Robin and his wife Gretta were also at the forefront of the family business for many years and now the third generation are involved with the running of the hotel.
The Forster Family have made a significant investment in the hotel throughout their time of ownership. From 1976-1979 the hotel was largely rebuilt due to bomb damage, and in May 1999, the hotel carried out major renovations to incorporate two derelict buildings adjacent.
These renovations benefited the hotel greatly as they created a further 18 bedrooms increasing the total number to 30 as well as a larger foyer and reception area. A new restaurant/wine bar known as Turners was also added during the renovations.
The refurbishment brought the hotel up to a Northern Ireland Tourist Board 2 star standard. The Forster family intend to maintain the standards they have already achieved and strive to set new ones.
*The hotel was an important posting house in earlier times, with a fine reputation for service and was the chosen hostelry for the legal profession. It has also been referred to as a Commercial Hotel, as it was a popular stopover point for the Belfast Trade Representatives.