Ballygally Castle Hotel closes for renovations

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Ballygally Castle Hotel has closed for six months while it undergoes an extensive £3 million renovation programme.

The historic Coast Road venue, owned by Hastings Hotels, will see eight of its current bedrooms removed and replaced with 18 new ‘five-star coastal view’ bedrooms, including six family and inter-connecting rooms.

The River Room, which currently accommodates events for up to 120 people, will also be redesigned and extended to cater for an additional 100 people.

The scheme follows a £1m investment by Hastings Hotels in the five-star Culloden Estate and Spa earlier this year. Both upgrades are part of the group’s ongoing investment programme in its six hotels in Northern Ireland.

Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, said: “We are very excited about this massive investment in Ballygally Castle.”

Mr Hastings added: “Ballygally Castle is a charming retreat located on the stunning Antrim Coast.

“In recent years we have experienced an increase in weekend breaks, weddings and leisure tours to the Castle and we believe this £3m investment will help us continue to appeal to this growing market.

“The north coast continues to attract an increasing amount of visitors every year and the fact that the hotel lies at the foot of the stunning Causeway Coastal Route is something we are aiming to make the most of.”

While the renovations are being carried out, staff currently employed at Ballygally Castle will be relocated to the five other Hastings hotels in Northern Ireland, which include the Europa Hotel, Culloden Estate and Spa, Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Hastings Stormont and the Everglades Hotel.

“Once the work is complete, we will carry out a full training programme for existing and new employees before we reopen,” Mr Hastings said.

Built in 1625 by James Shaw and his wife Isabella Shaw, Ballygally Castle was transformed into a hotel in the 1950s.

It has since acquired a reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in the province. The most famous ghost reportedly roaming the halls is the former resident, Lady Isabella herself.

Mr Hastings said: “We look forward to welcoming our guests when we reopen the doors in April 2014.