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A CO Antrim hotel has been awarded four-star status following a £350,000 refurbishment.

The Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae has received the grading from Tourism NI, after the major revamp, completed in December.

The makeover to the hotel, included work to the ground floor reception, bar and restaurant area as well as all 25 bedrooms.

Bayview Hotel general manager, Steven Kane said the four-star grading is recognition for the hard work and investment put into the hotel to create an "exceptional setting" for all guests.

"We have enjoyed working closely with the quality advisors at Tourism NI over the past two years, who have offered invaluable support throughout the process. I am extremely thankful to have such a dedicated team at the Bayview Hotel who work tirelessly to provide high standards of customer service and hospitality to all our guests," Mr Kane said.


Samantha Corr, acting quality and standards manager at Tourism NI added:

“The Bayview Hotel is significant to the tourism offering as it provides the ideal location for visitors to relax as well as explore the popular visitor attractions nearby.

"It's a very exciting time for the hotel, with its recent makeover and indeed for the tourism industry in Northern Ireland as a whole. The Kane family and the whole team at Bayview Hotel have put in an enormous amount of work to achieve this award and I commend their efforts.”

The Bayview Hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the picturesque harbour village of Portballintrae. The hotel and neighbouring accommodation providers are preparing for an influx of visitors for The Open, taking place at Royal Portrush Golf Club from July 18 to 21.


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We have christened our Junior Suites and named them after historical events and landmarks associated with the village of Portballintrae.


Junior Suite – “Lissanduff”

Lissanduff or the ‘Dark Fort’ as it’s known locally, consists of two sets of concentric circles (raths).  The site dates from the early Bronze Age and is a very important archaeological site in Ireland.  The main rath would have been a large standard enclosure used as a fortified home for people and animals, these were built in defensive locations to offer maximum protection from raiders.  The farthest set of concentric banks are more intriguing, they are oval in shape and have a water spring in the centre.  Archaeologists have discovered that non-porous clay was used to line the banks of the oval in order to create a deep pool of water, which would have been used for water rituals.

To fully understand the significance behind this site we must first understand the environment of the time.  The Bronze Age spread to Ireland around 2000BC when settlers from Europe arrived.  The culture of these people merged with that of the native Neolithic and so began the Irish Bronze Age.  The landscape here would have been very different from today, forests would have covered much of the lowland areas, the dune system and river would have existed as a natural boundary, created by the outflow from a receding ice sheet which covered the area some 10,000 years BC.  The view to the ocean at that time would have been much the same as it is today.

Although stone implements were still used, bronze revolutionised tools and weapons and as the skills developed more and more sophisticated decorative bronze items were produced and the first workings of gold appeared.  Why a water ritual site here? No one can categorically say why, however, we know that similar sites excavated have produced valued items of a similar style and look.

At this time there were three major influences upon life, belief and culture.  These were the sun, fire and water.  Water in particular held a significant mystery and importance, not only was it life sustaining it was the only physical material that could reflect your image.  In a time of no mirrors and when people had very little idea of what they looked like this would have been quite significant in importance.

In traditional early Irish mythology the other world could be reached by water through a pool, a lake or the sea.  This idea of water as a gateway between worlds is linked with boundary-symbolism.  To pass an axe or other valued item through this reflective portal, let it go and then withdraw your hand back to your world would have been a significant and symbolic action.  Water to this day still has a symbolic link through religions, baptism and holy wells.  Another significant factor to consider about Lissanduff is that it is located on the boundary of the western extreme of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada and the end of the Ballaghmore, the great road which ran from Tara to the northern coast of Ireland.


Junior Suite – “Lacada”

The dramatic cliffs of the Antrim coast tower over the site of one of the richest shipwrecks ever discovered in our coastal waters.  It was here at Lacada Point that in June 1967 a diver and treasure hunter, Robert Stenuit, located the traces of what proved to be the wreck of the Spanish Armada galleass, Girona, a craft that had sunk on 28th October 1588.  Many of the artefacts were kept securely in the safe of the Bayview Hotel.

Over the next two years, Stenuit amassed over 12,000 artefacts from the wreck, and in 1972 they were purchased as an entire collection by the Ulster Museum, where they are now displayed.  The bay where the wreck was found is still known locally as 'Port na Spaniagh'.

The Girona was one of 130 ships that set sail from Lisbon in 1588.  After defeat in the English Channel the expedition was aborted, and the fleet attempted to return home via Scotland and Ireland.  However, the scattered ships were battered by storms, and between 15th and 28th September, 28 ships were wrecked on the Irish coast.

The Girona was actually sailing northwards back to Scotland, crammed with 1,300 men on board, when it struck the razor sharp rocks off Lacada Point.  It seems likely that the repaired rudder failed, and the ship was literally cut into two by the rocks. Only nine sailors survived and were able to climb the massive cliffs to safety at nearby Dunluce Castle.

The most spectacular finds from the wreck were the 45 pieces of gold jewellery belonging to the commander and officers.These included six gold chains (one of which was 8 feet long), crosses and military decorations, finger rings and 12 portrait cameos of Byzantine Caesars. One ring has a hand holding a heart, with the Spanish phrase: 'I have nothing more to give you.' The site is the only protected wreck in Northern Ireland waters.


Junior Suite – “The Watch House”

During the 1600s, Portballintrae had its own Customs House which served the village and the town and castle of Dunluce.  The harbour was the nearest safe anchorage and landing place which serviced the growing settlement and its commerce.  Dunluce grew into a thriving location for goods and several Scottish merchants settled here.  The flow of commerce must have been high to justify the building and operation of a Customs facility.  The graveyard at St. Cuthbert’s has several identifiable headstones of merchant families from Scotland including one dating to 1610.

The present Bayview Hotel stands on the site of an older Bayview Hotel which had a small one storey building on the end known as The Watch House.This was the original customs house and coastguard building prior to the new station being built in 1874 which still stands today on Beach Road.  Its prominent location overlooking the bay and harbour meant this was the perfect location for the original customs & coastguard building prior to a larger building being required.  The Watch House was added to the former Bayview Hotel and prior to demolition in 1998 it was used as a restaurant within the hotel.




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The Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae will add 20 bedrooms to its offering by the summer of 2019, bringing the total number of rooms at the hotel to 45.

According to the hotel’s managing director, Trevor Kane, a recent boom in tourism in Northern Ireland has played a huge part in the decision to expand the property, with occupancy at the Bayview Hotel maintaining 83% throughout the year.

He said that television shows like Game of Thrones have helped contribute to the rise in popularity of the area and that adding more bedrooms will help encourage people to commit to a longer stay.

Kane said: “It’s no secret that the popularity of this area has grown in recent years. The current occupancy rate of the Bayview maintains a steady 83 per cent – well above Northern Ireland’s average – and at peak holiday season, hotel rooms on the North Coast are in notoriously short supply.

“Television shows like Game of Thrones, as well as a busy sports calendar, have contributed to this, but we have also been lucky to benefit from repeat business from excellent customers who keep coming back to us time and time again. This firmly established demand has given us the opportunity to invest and extend.

“Adding these new rooms will not only provide a vital boost to the local economy but will also encourage more tourists to visit and spend a longer stay on the North Coast, rather than just passing through.”

After securing a loan from Barclays, the hotel’s local banking partner since 2015, Bayview Hotel will now focus on the bedrooms expansion, before introducing a new restaurant underneath the building.

Christopher Murray, relationship director, Barclays Northern Ireland, said: “Our partnership with the Bayview fits perfectly with Barclays’ desire to support SMEs in Northern Ireland. We are seeing the steady growth of the hotel tourism and hospitality sector locally and the resulting potential for the hotel is a great opportunity for them.”

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The Bayview Hotel is proud to become the first hotel in Northern Ireland to install destination charging points for Tesla Electric Vehicles.


This is part of our bid to reduce our carbon footprint and to enable and encourage EV owners to access more of Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, without having to worry about where the nearest charging point is.


We have installed 2 Tesla charging points and one EV charging point where guests can park overnight and whilst recharging themselves with an overnight stay can also rest easy that their EV's will be fully charged in the morning, allowing the road trip to continue! 


Trends are always evolving and with the UK government announcing a ban on the sale of new petrol & diesel vehicles by 2040 the car industry will change drastically including how we as drivers travel.  Other European countries have similar announcements in place with introductions announced prior to the UK 2040 timescale.


Travel and Tourism is increasing, with visitors using all modes of transport to enjoy this part of the world, we feel it is vital that we do not restrict any traveler and hope that the installation of these charging ports will encourage and connect people from all over to visit Northern Ireland, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.    


Of course, this announcement will have many unanswered questions but one thing is for sure, that we will see an increase in both hybrid & electric vehicles on our roads in the forthcoming years.


For more information on destination charging points please click here.





Jun 11

4-Star grading from TourismNI

Oct 10

Junior Suites & History

"Ideal stop when touring the coast"

TripAdvisor Review

Happy Customer (TripAdvisor)

"Magnificent seafront location with panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean."

 Happy Customer 

Happy Customer (TripAdvisor)

"Close to the Giants Causeway this hotel had gorgeous views of the bay and would be a great base for anyone touring the area. Would I recommend it? YES!"

TripAdvisor Customer

Happy Customer (TripAdvisor)

"The room was clean and fresh and the bed was the most comfortable we have slept in."

TripAdvisor Customer- October 2015 

Test (test)