Homey rooms with details such as exposed wood beams and clawfoot tubs
Coaching inn on-site since 1608; historic main building dates back to 1820s
Treatment room for massages, facials, and other spa services
Library behind a hidden door
Theater with Thursday night screenings
Free Wi-Fi and quality free breakfast buffet
No fitness center
Parking lot mars river view
Limited room service hours
The quaint Bushmills Inn in Antrim is quintessentially Irish in every respect: There are fireplaces burning peat or wood throughout the property, a fantastic restaurant serving locally sourced cuisine, Irish music performed certain nights at the Gas Bar, which is lit by traditional gaslight, and 41 cozy, cottage-style rooms. The inn has a rich history dating back to 1608, when a coach house and stables stood here, and the actual main inn building dates to the 1820s; the historic character has been carefully and thoughtfully preserved throughout. Views of the river are marred by the parking lot sitting right in front of it, but most guests are impressed enough by the inn's warmth and coziness that they find little to complain about.
Bushmills Inn has served many different functions over the years -- including stints as a boarding house and bicycle factory -- but it began as a 17th century coaching inn, and was reopened as an inn once again in 1987. With cozy nooks lit up by peat fires and many traditional details throughout -- a gas-lit bar, rich woods, homey furniture -- guests may feel as though they have stepped back in time.
The main building dates to the 1820s, and a modern extension of the property -- containing many rooms and a second reception area -- was designed in keeping with the inn's historic character. Rooms have homey cottage style, and some have cozy extras such as four-poster beds, sleeping lofts, and freestanding tubs.
The inn's bar and restaurant are both destinations in their own right: The restaurant serves excellent local gourmet fare, and the gas-lit bar has live music certain evenings.
In the tiny town of Bushmills, near popular sights such as the Bushmills Distillery, Giant's Causeway, and Dunlace Castle
Bushmills Inn is located right in the tiny town of Bushmills, within walking distance of The Old Bushmills Distillery and a short drive to popular sights such as Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. There's almost nothing to see in the town itself (aside from the distillery), but it's a convenient home base for the region.
Accommodations at the Bushmills Inn have homey country style that varies from room to room. Guests can expect features such as exposed wood beams, floral prints, partial wood paneling, four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs, and sleeping lofts. Some rooms have views of the river, but the parking lot sits right in front of it.
The Garden View Suite I stayed in had charming details such as a repurposed front door with mail slot used as the bathroom door; a clawfoot tub; and painted green wood accents in the bathroom. Classic Family Rooms can easily sleep a family of four, and have a sleeping loft area with two single beds accessed by ladder.
Coffee/tea making facilities; most rooms have mini-fridges
Sitting areas and dressing rooms
Slippers and bathrobes
One American-style electrical socket in many rooms
Views of the river (and parking lot), garden, or courtyard
A restaurant serving excellent gourmet Irish cuisine, and a cozy gas-lit bar
The Bushmills Inn restaurant is one of the best restaurants in the region, and serves gourmet cuisine using local ingredients. The beef comes from Northern Ireland, the pheasant from a nearby estate, and the fish is from local waters. The menu changes seasonally, but the tasty fillet steak is a staple; mine was perfectly medium rare and beautifully presented. My companion's hake filet was fresh and served in a rich sauce akin to a lobster bisque. No Irish menu is complete without potatoes, and here you can order them mashed, roasted, or fried.
The breakfast buffet is solid, and includes cereals, yogurts, meats, cheeses, and fruit. Hot dishes can be ordered as well.
The aptly named Gas Bar is a cozy space with a fireplace and a snug back room with red button leather couch. There's an extensive whiskey selection as well as a menu for cocktails and bar nibbles. Live music is offered on Saturdays, and traditional Irish music is offered Wednesdays from April to September.