Plans for NI’s ‘first’ £57m world class wellness resort

The development will include a 150 bedroom hotel, spa, pool and restaurant facilities with potential to create up to 350-full time jobs

By Claire Cartmill
Friday, 1st April 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 9:12 am

Pre-application community consultation is underway for the proposed build of a £57m 4/5 star world class wellness resort for Bushmills, in a first for Northern Ireland.

The development, with major tourism and economic benefits for the area will include a 150 bedroom hotel, spa, pool and restaurant facilities with potential to create up to 350-full time jobs.

The hotel will be complemented by a range of modern eco-lodges to accommodate a diverse range of visitors.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The announcement follows a Pre-Application Notification (PAN) submitted to Causeway Coast and Glens Council last week.

The proposal, the developers say, could help to significantly address accommodation shortages in the area, attract more visitors and increase their length of stay.

Currently, Causeway Coast and Glens Council hotel beds account for only 2% of all overnight stays in Northern Ireland, yet has over 40% of all visitors.

The location of the new Bushmills Resort, just outside the County Antrim village is planned on land at the existing site of Halliday’s Car Dealership, 206 Straid Road.

It is close to the popular Bushmills Whiskey Distillery and within easy reach of all other amenities and visitor attractions including the Giant’s Causeway; a UNESCO World Heritage Site; although sits outside sensitive areas.

According to the developer, if approved, it would be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland to cater for an increased interest in health and wellness tourism and is ideally situated to provide an escape for people seeking to regenerate their wellbeing, get active, relax and reconnect.

Globally, wellness travel accounts for 18% of total tourism with many seeking a healthier lifestyle.

Lexy Halliday, partner and developer said Bushmills Resort would rival some of the world’s best health and wellness destinations in terms of quality, sustainability and accessibility.

Mr Halliday explained: “Our vision is built on a number of pillars. We want to maximise the potential of the site and location through the creation of a unique and diverse resort of appeal to domestic and international visitors.

“One that promotes health and wellness, not just for tourists but for the local community too.

“Our aim is encourage people to get out there and get active, walk, cycle, surf, swim, soak in the beauty and breathe the clean air; then return to an environment where wellness is integrated into the fabric and heart of our design. A seamless transition from outside to indoors.

“Individuals, couples and families will be able to enjoy luxury spa experiences, indoor and outdoor pools, courtyards, landscaped gardens and lodges in a variety of hilltop, lakeside and woodland settings.”

The consultations got underway yesterday (Thursday) and are part of Bushmills Resort’s broader Engagement Strategy to work openly and transparently with local stakeholders.

There will be a further consultation on Thursday, April 28 between 1pm and 5.30pm with a presentation at 4pm in the Arcadia, Portrush East Strand prior to the submission of an outline planning application.

The project team includes Holder Mathias Architects and Planning and Regeneration experts, Carlin Planning Ltd.