Ballycastle’s biggest hotel has unveiled its newly refurbished premises following a significant investment with support from First Trust Bank.
The completion of ‘Phase One’ of a £1 million expansion programme has seen the Marine Hotel renovate all 33 rooms – including 15 of its seafront bedrooms – and its seafood restaurant, Marconi’s Bar & Bistro. The renovations also include the refurbishment of the hotel’s function room which can now hold up to 400 guests. The second stage of the expansion will see the hotel add 12 new executive bedrooms and an additional event space, as well as upgrading the exterior of the hotel in-keeping with its new modern interior.
The Marine Hotel was bought out of receivership in 2013 by experienced local business partners Colum McLornan and Claire Hunter. Since coming under their ownership, the Marine Hotel has created 36 new jobs – contributing over £2 million to the local economy in wages – and will create at least 10 additional positions once the second phase of the expansion is completed next year ahead of the Open Golf tournament in July 2019.
Marine Hotel co-owner Claire Hunter explains their success is down to putting a modern twist on traditional charms and harnessing the appeal of the local seafront area. She said;
“In recent years events like the Giro D’Italia and productions like Game of Thrones have really put Northern Ireland’s thriving hospitality and tourism industry on a global stage. We are keen for Ballycastle to be part of this and through the Marine Hotel we can offer guests access to Northern Ireland’s unique features; the rugged coastline, delicious food in comfortable, charismatic surroundings amongst friendly locals. Our aim is for Ballycastle to be a must-stop destination and for people who visit to linger longer – taking in the scenery and hospitality we have to offer. We are proud to play a key role contributing to the local economy with the creation of almost 50 new jobs in total since we opened in 2013 and we will continue to collaborate with other local businesses to distinguish Ballycastle as a hotspot for visitors.”
Speaking about the expansion, Stephen Comer, Senior Business Manager, First Trust Bank added;
“The Marine Hotel under Colum and Claire’s expert ownership, exemplifies three essential ingredients for success in tourism – demand, destination and desire. With a focus on quality, provenance and customer service, the hotel caters to a wide variety of visitors – from those looking for an idyllic wedding to staycationers, adventurers and oversee visitors exploring our local sites such as the Giant’s Causeway, Rathlin Island and popular golf courses. Its position as one of the most popular hotels in the area is also helping boost the growth of other businesses in Ballycastle and the Marine Hotel is now the main driver of ‘Ballycastle as a Destination’. We look forward to supporting the business as it moves into phase two of its expansion programme.”