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Royal British Legion sells £525k County Antrim hotel

Bennet House hotel, on Portrush seafront in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is under new ownership, after being sold by the Royal British Legion (RBL).

The new owners are Landsdowne Holdings Limited, a locally-based company which will be refurbishing the four-storey Victorian property and then continuing to run it as a hotel.

Bennet House offers 15 en-suite bedrooms and extensive public areas which have been furnished to a high quality, including a dining room; lounge; atrium; activities room; roof terrace; salon; guest laundry room and games room.

Bennet House was previously a RBL Break Centre, providing respite holidays for military veterans. It was brought to the market at an individual price of £525k as part of a portfolio of four properties, after the RBL decided to close its break centre hotels around the UK in order to provide greater resources for its increasing casework. The sale price is undisclosed.

Robert Smithson, senior surveyor in the Hotels Agency team at Colliers, 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 Giants Causeway and Royal Portrush Golf Club – currently the only golf club outside of Great Britain to have hosted the Open Championship.”

A spokesperson for Landsdowne Holdings Ltd commented, “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.

“With the expected increase in the demand for staycations, we aim to provide that much needed post-lockdown escape, where guests can unwind and enjoy the many things that our beautiful north coast has to offer.”