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Royal British Legion sells its Portrush respite hotel


Bennet House in Portrush

Bennet House in Portrush

Bennet House in Portrush

Bennet House in Portrush, Northern Ireland's only break centre for military veterans, has been sold by the Royal British Legion.

It was brought to the market at a price of £525,000 as part of a portfolio of four properties after the RBL decided to close its respite hotels around the UK in order to provide greater resources for its increasing casework.

Veterans held a vigil there in 2019 to protest against the closure, with around 200 people in attendance.

Located on the seafront and with 15 en suite rooms, it was used by members of the ex-armed forces community.

It offered a social area, roof terrace, games room and visiting therapists, as well as organising outings to nearby tourist attractions.

The sale price was not disclosed.

The new owner is Landsdowne Holdings Limited, a locally-based company that will be refurbishing the four-storey Victorian property. It will continue as a hotel.

Robert Smithson, senior surveyor in the hotels agency team at Colliers, who acted on behalf of the RBL, said: "With its prominent location on the seafront at Portrush and superb views of the North Atlantic Ocean, Bennet House is an ideal hotel for the growing numbers of holidaymakers choosing to have a 'staycation' in the UK.

"It attracted considerable interest from prospective purchasers with competitive bidding taking place, reflecting current high market demand for prime properties in popular tourist areas.

"Such hotels are expected to see excellent booking levels this year, given the high demand that was experienced between national lockdowns in 2020.

"Portrush has long been a popular tourist destination because of its three sandy beaches.

"Other local attractions include Bushmills Distillery, the spectacular coastal landscape of Giant's Causeway and Royal Portrush Golf Club, currently the only golf club outside of Great Britain to have hosted the Open Championship."

Landsdowne Holdings Limited said it aimed to provide a "much needed post-lockdown escape".

It added: "As the new owners, we are very excited to be welcoming the next chapter of this exceptional property.

"Reopening in summer 2021 as Elephant Rock, we will be offering a boutique hotel experience, with beautifully appointed guestrooms, a stunning speakeasy-style cocktail lounge and a casual street food dining concept."

Belfast Telegraph

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