Galgorm Collection has acquired the Old Inn Crawfordsburn, County Down, in a multimillion-pound deal with plans to build a £1m spa at the property.
Former owner Danny Rice put the hotel on the market after deciding to retire. The 33-bedroom hotel dates to 1614 and was named AA Hotel of the Year Northern Ireland in 2017/18.
The hotel also has two wedding suites and a 78-cover Lewis restaurant, named after local author CS Lewis who had links to the building. As part of its investment, Galgorm Collection plans to develop a boutique spa at the rear of the site with an infinity pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and private cabanas.
The company confirmed that all existing team members will be retained and the hotel will reopen as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Colin Johnston, Galgorm Collection's managing director, said: "We're thrilled to add the Old Inn and its fantastic team to our collection and take this iconic property forward into a new era for tourism and hospitality. We are confident we will be in a position to reopen the restaurant and bar mid-to-late May, based on the easing of government restrictions. Reservations for future stays can be made from 19 April and we look forward to safely welcoming guests back to enjoy a fantastic stay."
Galgorm Collection owns and operates the Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort as well as the Castle Kitchen & Bar at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena. In Belfast, it operates restaurants Fratelli's on Great Victoria Street and Café Parisien.
Last year, the group confirmed the purchase and refurbishment of its latest hospitality venture, the Rabbit, located in Templepatrick at the site of the former Templeton hotel, which is due to open on 18 June.
Pictured: Charlotte McClean, Andy Johnston and Colin Johnston