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Royal Court Hotel 3.0

Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Cliff-top setting overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  • Easy access to the scenic Causeway Coastal Route
  • A 10-minute drive to the Giant's Causeway
  • Next door to the Royal Portrush Golf Club
  • Some rooms have balconies with sea views
  • Free cooked breakfast and regular roast buffets
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Room service available
  • Popular wedding venue

Cons

  • Some interiors are dated and many rooms overlook the car park
  • No spa or health facilities
  • Some complaints of thin walls between rooms
  • Wi-Fi can be spotty 

Bottom Line

The Royal Court Hotel is an unpretentious, mid-range property set just back from cliffs overlooking Northern Ireland's north Atlantic coast. Its location makes it perfect for exploring the picturesque Causeway Coastal Route and there's golf just next door. The 18 rooms are spacious and bright, with some offering sea-view balconies -- though others overlook parking. While popular with locals, food in the restaurant gets mixed reviews and there're no health or spa facilities. Overall, however, the hotel delivers with gorgeous coastal views and the lively atmosphere of a popular social hub. For a more character-filled coastal escape in County Antrim, the Ballygally Castle offers -- you guessed it -- the chance to sleep in a castle for rates that are only marginally higher than the Royal Court.

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Scene

Slightly dated cliff-top hotel popular with locals and wedding parties

This cliff-top property, with its rather grand name, was originally built as a private residence before becoming a retreat center in the mid-20th century and then a hotel. Stepping inside, the lobby -- along with other communal areas -- is characterized by busy patterned carpets and mismatched wallpaper giving it all a rather dated feel. Display cabinets filled with whiskey bottles from the nearby Bushmills Distillery are dotted throughout the hotel, together with antique reproduction paintings and modern seascapes adding further to the jumbled feel of some of the interiors. 

A large, bright dining room looks out over the North Antrim coast while a cozier bar provides snug, booth seating area (and on warmer days meals are eaten on an outdoor terrace overlooking the sea). Clientele are mainly senior travelers, families, and golfers who come for the easy access to the picturesque offerings of the Causeway Coastal Route or for the nearby golfing facilities. The hotel is also very popular with locals, as well as being a regular -- almost weekly -- venue for weddings.

Location

Overlooking Portrush Harbour, 10-minute drive from the Giant’s Causeway

Map of Royal Court Hotel

With its cliff-top setting overlooking Portrush Harbour and the beautiful White Rocks Beach, the setting is about as scenic as it gets. The hotel is in an excellent location for exploring Northern Ireland’s coastline on the Causeway Coastal Route, with the famous Giant’s Causeway a 10-minute drive and Dunluce Castle just three minutes away. Golfers can reach the Royal Portrush Golf Club in three minutes by car. The hotel is accessed via the Portrush to Ballymoney Road, meaning Belfast and its airport can be reached in just over an hour by car.

Rooms

Many rooms with sea views, others overlook the car park

The hotel has just 14 rooms and four suites, all of which are fairly spacious, clean, and individually styled with a mix of modern and traditional decor. Color palettes include grays, purples, and aqua among others, and while the look isn't remarkable, decorative elements like oversized brown velvet headboards in the Family Room that we visited do make a nice impression. Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, electric kettles, irons and ironing boards, and hairdryers. 

Executive Rooms have balconies with sea views stretching as far as the Scottish Isles, but some Standard Rooms overlook the car park. The largest option is the Bushmills Suite, with its four-poster bed, spa bath, separate lounge and dining area with spectacular views over the sea, plus a bathroom with second tub and separate shower. Standard bathrooms are clean and fairly spacious with Taylor of London toiletries, gray tile flooring, and shower/tub combos with clear glass doors. Guests have noted thin walls between some rooms, meaning that noise can be an issue. 

Features

Free cooked breakfast and Sunday roasts overlooking the sea

A full cooked breakfast is included in the room rates and is served in the airy restaurant overlooking the sea. Lunch and dinner are also served, while the carvery (roast buffet) is the restaurant's specialty and is popular with locals as well as guest, particularly on Sundays. Food does get inconsistent marks from previous guests. There's ample free parking and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, but the signal can be weak in spots. The large function room with stunning sea views is also popular with weddings parties, though there are no spa or health facilities on-site.

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Address

233 Ballybogy Road, Portrush BT56 8NF, United Kingdom

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