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£2.5M Restoration For Newcastle’s Avoca Hotel

By Conor Farrelly

The Avoca Hotel in Newcastle, Co. Down, has undergone a £2.5 million (€2.88 million) restoration to return the unique character of the 200-year-old property.

The 15-bedroom family-run hotel, located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, has retained its history whilst introducing a modern décor throughout, securing 35 jobs in the process.

The Avoca Hotel Renovations

Run by the O’Hare family since June 2018, work commenced on the property in February 2020 and continued throughout Covid in, supported by Diageo and Ulster Bank.

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All works were carried out by local contractors; designed by Paul Haffey Design with S J Walsh & Sons appointed as the main contractor alongside Hillen Architects.

Built in the 1800s from Mourne granite and local stone, the Avoca Hotel, enjoys undisturbed views of the Irish Sea.

All of the bedrooms have been modernised, with soft furnishings, deep-filled beds, and salvaged flooring.

New bathrooms have been installed throughout the property and the reception and bar areas have also been restored.

The main bar and the Wild Hare, are complete with salvaged teak countertops, sourced from a traditional Chemist shop in Newry dating back from 1890 - O’Hagan & O’Hare’s - whose original owner was a direct relative.

The interior walls were stripped back to original brick work, and antiques, fireplaces, and other furnishings were sourced from other historic buildings throughout Ireland and the UK as well as a restoration of the Parkey flooring.

Jack O'Hare Comment

Speaking about the restoration, Jack O’Hare said, "We are absolutely thrilled to finally get to this point where we are unveiling the stunning newly refreshed and restored Avoca to our much-loved guests.

"This hotel has always been family-run and has played a huge part in the local economy, hospitality and tourism sector of Newcastle. We work in partnership with other hotels to support the wedding market accommodation sector as well as serving a great pint of Guinness and pot of mussels to our locals by our open log fires

"It was hugely important to us that we retained the unique character, heritage and history of the building, and we got some lovely surprises during the process of the restoration. We uncovered an old Victorian lift in the property, which dated back to 1860 as well as a well-preserved “Moonlight Calendar” booklet dating back to 1901, which was advice to cyclists for riding your bike back in dark unlit streets.

"The quality and craftsmanship which has been painstakingly restored into every last detail, is second-to-none, and I want to thank each and every one of our partners who have made our vision a reality. From our interior designers, Paul Haffey Design and contractors, S J Walsh & Sons to Hillen Architects, PD Savage Structural Engineers, PM Lighting to Nugent & Gibney furniture – the finished design has exceeded all of our expectations."

© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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