The tallest commercial building in Ireland is to be transformed into a hotel.

The 22-storey Windsor House in Belfast has been acquired by Hastings Hotels for £6.5 million.

Planning permission to convert the office block into a hotel of “major city international quality” will be submitted within a few weeks, according to the company which has six hotels in Northern Ireland and one in Dublin.

The building has dominated the Belfast City centre skyline since it was built in 1974.

When completed, the hotel will see the creation of 150 new jobs in the hospitality sector.

No details were available on the number of rooms to be created or the cost of the conversion project.

Hastings Hotels said: “Windsor House is in an excellent location and a new hotel will fulfil the requirement for much needed city centre bedrooms in Belfast.

“Tourism in Northern Ireland continues to thrive and it is ideal timing to extend our portfolio of hotels with more high profile events coming to the city as well as an increase in business tourism which will be helped by the opening of the £29.5 million expansion of the Belfast Waterfront next year.

“With our philosophy of continuous reinvestment, Hastings Hotels will also continue to extend, enhance and invest in its existing six Northern Ireland hotels, and in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin.”