On the northeast coast of Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
Near family-friendly tourist attractions, including the Rathlin Island Ferry
Range of room types, some with balconies and sea views
All rooms include coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs
On-site restaurant with pub fare and gluten-free options
Four event spaces that hold up to 600 people
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Bland decor in rooms and common areas
No fitness or business center
Located on the coast at the northeastern tip of Ireland, the three-pearl Marine Hotel Ballycastle has some of the island's most stunning water views. Its 31 rooms range in size from Singles to Suites and have comfortable beds, a decent amount of floorspace, and plenty of dark-wood furniture; some also have balconies with sea views. There's also an on-site restaurant and event spaces for weddings and business meetings. Travelers may want to also consider staying at a local B&B such as the Glenmore House, which has more homey interiors, countryside views, and slightly lower room rates.
Mid-scale hotel with standard decor occasionally accented with quaint Irish details
From the outside, the Marine Hotel Ballycastle resembles a condominium complex, with an A-frame shingle roof and pale-green exterior walls. Some parts of the property look dated, while other details suggest a connection to Irish folk design. The doors leading to the lobby are topped with flowery stained-glass accent windows. Inside, a wood-and-brass desk shares the reception area with a pub-style restaurant, Marconi's Bar & Bistro. Sculpted molding frames some of the eatery's walls, and there's a black-and-white checkerboard floor and furniture with funky purple upholstery. There's also an event space with cream-colored walls with stained-wood frames on the doorways, plus white cloth draped from the ceiling in a spiral design. Hallways have cream-colored walls and doors painted in red or green.
The Marine Hotel Ballycastle is located on the northeastern tip of Ireland, right on the coast and within walking distance of plenty of attractions; there are also grassy fields with outdoor exercise equipment around the hotel. Ballycastle Beach is a three-minute walk away. Raithlin Ferry docks is a four-minute walk from the hotel and takes passengers on a 90-minute ride to the only inhabited island off of Northern Ireland, which has a large bird population including puffins. Ballycastle Golf Club, which was founded in 1890, is a five-minute walk from the hotel. Old Bushmills Distillery, known throughout the world for its Irish whiskey, is in County Antrim along the northern coast, about a 20-minute drive away. For large groups, a representative from Bushmills can visit the hotel and organize tastings. Belfast International Airport is about 65 minutes away by car.
Lovely rooms and suites with wooden floors, some with balconies with sea views
In early 2015, about half of this hotel's 31 rooms were renovated, so guests may want to book one of these spruced-up spaces if given the option. Units range from Singles to Suites, all with comfortable white linens accented with bright throws and cushions, simple wooden furniture, and dark-wood floors. Suites have nicer-quality furnishings, including four-poster beds and separate seating areas with leather couches. All rooms have coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs, and some have balconies with sea views. Bathrooms have tiled walls and floors plus shower/tub combos, while Suite bathrooms feature double sinks, separate walk-in showers, and jetted tubs.
Pub restaurant with gluten-free options, multiple event spaces, and free Wi-Fi
While Marine Hotel Ballycastle doesn't have a lot of amenities, the property is a popular destination location for weddings and business meetings. The on-site restaurant, Marconi's Bistro & Bar, serves continental pub fare and gluten-free dishes along with Irish whiskey, stouts, and other drinks. Breakfast gets mixed reviews and is offered for a fee. Four meeting rooms are available, with some more appropriate for boardroom discussions and others better-suited to large celebrations. Some guests may be disappointed by the lack of a business or fitness center, although public exercise equipment can be found in the park a couple of minutes' walk from the hotel. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.
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