The £20m Merrow Hotel and Spa in Portstewart, Northern Ireland has been granted planning permission with work expected to start early spring.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has approved plans for the four-star, 118-bedrom hotel in Londonderry, which is being developed by C&V Developments and and will be operated by Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts.
The development is expected to create more than 100 hotel jobs on completion and will also feature a luxury spa with sea views, a leisure club with a 20m pool, a glass sauna and infinity pool, a steam room, a gym and studio, two bars and restaurants, conference space, meeting rooms and nine chalets serviced by the hotel.
The hotel would be adjacent to the start and finish line of the North West 200 motorcycling race and would become the official home of the race, with the event offices located within the grounds.
Mervyn Whyte, race director of the North West 200, said the project team plans to develop an administration facility, exhibition space and heritage centre “to ensure that all the great stories that have unfolded over the many years of racing can be displayed and shared for many years to come”.
Vivienne Gilholm of C&V Developments said experts collaborated on the design to ensure it will be a “destination hotel… sympathetic to its surroundings”.
Ben Wilson of Wilson McMullen Architects said the design concept is a “low-lying”, predominantly three-storey building inspired by the sea views, “a building that is of its time and its place, without being ostentatious”.
Interstate Europe’s managing director for the UK, Nicholas Northam, said that with tourist numbers on the rise in the area the addition of high-end accommodation and leisure facilities “would bring major benefits – both to visitors to Portstewart and the local community”.
Janice Gault, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, added that it would “add a new dimension” to the area’s accommodation offering and should “appeal to and attract” additional visitors.
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