Extension at Carrick pub inspires opening of £400k luxury guesthouse
A Co Antrim entrepreneur has opened a luxury guesthouse in Carrickfergus with plans to extend the property even further.
Jack Creighton launched Walter's Place, which has seven luxury en suite rooms, after a £400,000 investment.
Mr Creighton, owner of neighbouring bar Ownies, first bought the rundown property to extend the bar's kitchen. But he soon decided to embark on a project funded by Ulster Bank to turn the rest of the building into luxury accommodation.
"It became clear very early on that there was a real need for additional luxury accommodation in the Carrick area," he said.
"We've been providing a comfortable space to dine and drink at Ownies bar for the past 17 years, so the development of guest accommodation was a natural progression."
He added: "It was important to create something different too. Options in the area for high-end accommodation are limited, so we were determined Walter's Place would be memorable and this is reflected in its design.
"We're providing all the charm expected from a high-end boutique hotel at a competitive price point to guests looking that bit of added luxury from an out-of-city venue."
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The venue has already been enjoying occupancy rates of 7o%-80%. Rooms cost £70 per night.
Planning permission is now being sought to extend Walter's Place by developing another property on the same road.
Carrickfergus is hoping for increased tourist visitors as the Department for Communities carries out a £1m project to replace the castle roof.
Gemma Jordan, senior relationship manager at Ulster Bank, said the venue had "raised the bar" for luxury accommodation in Carrick.
"Its location on one of the main arterial routes in and out of Belfast is a positive selling point and since opening has proved an instant hit with tourists looking for a memorable and luxury stay, but most importantly one that is also affordable," he said.
Luxury guesthouses have been a growing niche in the tourism market here.
Earlier this year, Macrete boss Richard Hogg and his wife opened up luxury guest accommodation in Dungiven. And two years ago, the five-star Blackrock Guesthouse in Portrush opened its doors.