Bushmills Inn Heritage
In the village that is home to the world’s oldest distillery, between the Giant’s Causeway and Royal Portrush Golf Club, this multi-award-winning hotel & restaurant has been outstandingly successful in recreating its origins as an old Coaching Inn and Mill House.
The hotel excels in providing a relaxing environment for couples, a small group of friends - very often a golfing party. Apart from luncheon groups (often overseas guests visiting the Giant’s Causeway) the hotel declines large parties and weddings as they can take over, rather than absorb, the inherently warm, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere of the hotel.
Since its re-opening in 1987, the Bushmills Inn has come to epitomise the true spirit of Ulster hospitality and is regularly featured by travel writers and television presenters from all over the world.
It all started in 1608
The oldest part of the Coaching Inn, behind the Main Street frontage, could date back close in time to 1608 when ‘ Old Bushmills’ was granted the world’s first ever licence to distil whiskey. It was however in the 1820’s when the main hotel was built as part of a major redevelopment of the town.
The inn quickly became a haven for saddle-sore visitors on their way to the Giant’s Causeway - it was here they would stop to sample the whiskey that made this charming village internationally famous.
In the early 1890’s, and with the arrival of a tram link to the Causeway, the hotel fell into rapid decline. Over the next century the Inn was variously used as a private dwelling, a factory for making bikes, and even a ‘residence’ for chickens on the top floor!
Redeveloped to its former glory
It was only in 1987 that extensive development works were undertaken by the previous owner and for its imaginative restoration the hotel was honoured with the British Airways Tourism Award for Projects. Ten years later 22 additional bedrooms were incorporated in the adjoining Mill House on the banks of the River Bush and a new entrance was created alongside the river from the Dunluce Road. In 2009 a further large scale development was undertaken which brought the hotel to its current status of 41 oversized bedrooms and luxurious suites and included a new residents reception, courtyard garden, state of the art conference facilities, cinema and garden room extension to the restaurant.
In year 2000 the hotel was again honoured with the British Airways Tourism Award but this time for Best Hotel and in 2003 was voted Golf Hotel of the Year by the Irish Golf Tour Operators Association. Most recently the hotel has been awarded four stars by Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the AA as well as an AA Rosette for the restaurant. In June the hotel was awarded NITB Hotel of the Year 2010.