Hotel Hub: The Salthouse Hotel, Ballycastle
Perched above Ballycastle and offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, The Salthouse Hotel represents an investment of £5m by the McGarrity family.
An eco luxury hotel, featuring an innovative design inspired by the local landscape, it brings a unique offer to the North Coast hotel scene.
As well as 24 rooms, the complex includes seven self-catering chalets, spa facilities and The Salthouse Bar and Restaurant serving locally-sourced fare.
Green features include an onsite wind turbine, solar panels, a ‘no single use’ plastics policy and use of water from its own borehole. All 24 bedrooms and suites, meanwhile, offer smart technology controlling lighting, heating and entertainment.
“Trading has been busier than expected,” said Nigel McGarrity, director of The Salthouse. “We opened the restaurant first and rooms were available to book at the start of July, just in time for The 148th Open. The benefits of the Open spread throughout Northern Ireland. Hotels and other tourism businesses have noted a considerable uplift in visitors.”
The Salthouse Spa was on schedule to open mid-August, offering guests a choice of three therapy rooms, an indoor relaxing room featuring heated day beds and a steam room. Outdoor spa facilities include two large hot tubs and an outdoor sauna with views over Rathlin Island.
And “for those seeking the ultimate pamper package, there will also be an outdoor seaweed bath experience,” he says.
McGarrity is supportive of efforts to reduce VAT for the hospitality and tourism sector.
“The hotel and hospitality industry are at a huge disadvantage as we continue to face a 20% VAT rate,” he says. “The Republic of Ireland experience shows how a policy supporting a reduction in VAT can act as a catalyst for growth and create considerable fiscal benefit in the long run.”
HOTEL OPENED: July 2019
OWNERSHIP/REFURBISHMENT HISTORY: The Salthouse, a luxury, 24-bedroom eco hotel, opened in Ballycastle in July 2019. Run by husband and wife team Nigel and Joann McGarrity and their son and daughter, Carl and Emma McGarrity, The Salthouse is one of the most sustainable and ‘smartest’ hotels in Ireland and Europe.
EMPLOYEES: 50 staff, of which approximately 20 are part time
ROOM NUMBERS: 24 en-suite bedrooms
STAR RATING: Not yet graded
STYLE: Perched above the quaint sea-side town of Ballycastle, The Salthouse has a unique atmosphere which is designed to connect guests to the outdoors. With its inspiring scenery, and light and airy spaces, it is the perfect place to unwind and discover coastal calm. Both the interior and the exterior of The Salthouse embraces its stunning location and successfully mixes tradition and nature by using materials associated with the region, namely salt. Almost all of the furniture has been sourced from local suppliers and craftsmen.
GUEST PROFILE: Having only opened in July, the venue is still learning its guest profile. So far, it is attracting many international and European visitors, and has attracted significant interest locally and from the RoI market. For people living in the locality and the surrounding areas, the restaurant and bar has become a firm favourite.
USPs: Get away from it all. Discover your coastal calm close to many of the North Coast’s most visited attractions; eco hotel; sustainability; no single-use plastic; The Salthouse spa; forest walks behind hotel; and sea views and costal activities.
FOOD & BEVERAGE: Food and drink is a key part of an escape and The Salthouse Bar and Restaurant offers ocean view dining, while its menus embrace the essence of its location, using the finest, locally-sourced ingredients such as freshly caught seafood direct from the pier. It also stocks the finest beverages and takes advantage of its unique geographic location, close to so many distilleries.