The staycation that feels like abroad – Northern Ireland
The Marine Hotel in Ballycastle on the Causeway Coast re-opens on 4 July ready for beach holidays, golf breaks, yoga, surfing and SUP activities.
Northern Ireland is a relaxing ferry ride or short flight away and no-one travelling from mainland UK has to worry about quarantine or airbridges. With beautiful beaches, great golf courses and family-friendly hotels, it’s a brilliant staycation that feels like abroad. Giant’s Causeway is just one of the local attractions re-opening at the same time.
“It’s fantastic to be able to welcome guests again and offer more than a take-away coffee and webcam view of the beach,” says director Claire Hunter.
The hotel has 41 rooms including interconnecting doubles and family rooms. New practices to ensure safe operation for guests range from online check-in to 100% ‘at seat’ service in the hotel’s restaurant where there will be fewer tables to enable social distancing. Staff will wear masks, and an enhanced cleaning regime will be put in place.
FOOD The menu in Marconi’s Bar and Bistro showcases local produce with an emphasis on superb seafood from baked lemon sole to barbecued mackerel, pub classics and for summer evenings at outdoor tables, tapas sharing platters.
RATES For couples, a two-night break starts at £220 for a double room on B&B basis.
A family of two adults and up to three children under 12 sharing a family room will pay from just £375 for a three-night break or from £1010 for a week this summer.
Golf – Ballycastle Golf Club is a five-minute walk from the hotel. The course offers both challenging links and rolling parkland holes, with views over the coast to Rathlin Island and, on a clear day the Mull of Kintyre. Inclusive golf packages that include a seven nights in a sea view double room and three rounds of golf cost from £1120 for two people this summer.
Yoga – A Reflect and Reconnect retreat starts 31 July. The two-night break is suitable for all levels and emphasises the importance of mindfulness, positive psychology and neuroscience as well as classic yoga techniques. Fully-inclusive from £340 per person.
Surfing/SUP – The hotel partners with Alive Surf School to offer water-sports breaks on the Causeway Coast’s spectacular beaches. Boards and wetsuits may be hired and stored at the hotel. Three sessions of surfing tuition starts at £140 per person.
GETTING THERE Ballycastle is around 60 minutes’ drive from Larne or Belfast ferry ports, and from Belfast’s airports. A return Liverpool/Belfast Stena Line crossing for car plus two adults starts at £322 this summer.
Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, so quarantine is not an issue. (Currently the Republic of Ireland imposes 14 days quarantine for UK arrivals, but this does not apply to Northern Ireland.)
028 2076 2222 www.marinehotelballycastle.com