Portrush listed building to house new £11m Hilton hotel

An artist's impression of the exterior of The Marcus Portrush
An artist's impression of the exterior of The Marcus Portrush

A listed building in Portrush at the heart of a long-running planning saga will be converted into a new £11m Hilton-branded hotel, managed by the team behind Belfast's Crowne Plaza.

The Marcus Hotel, part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection, run by Andras House, will open its doors in 2025 restoring the building that sits on Main Street/Atlantic Avenue and creating up to 70 jobs.

It will feature 83 rooms, a cafe, restaurant and bar.

The site has been at the centre of a planning battle for around five years with the Historic Environment Division objecting to works on the site which was formerly the Londonderry Hotel.

But today, news has emerged that The Marcus Hotel Portrush is now in progress and set to bring back visitors to the street.

Those behind the project said the opening will coincide with The Open golf tournament also taking place in 2025 in the town.

It is expected that The Marcus will create opportunities for local businesses and jobs within the community.

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Predictions from Andras House economic statement reveal that the opening of the hotel will boost the local economy by £1.6 million, and visitor spending by £1.1 million annually.

The Marcus is part of the Tapestry Collection by the Hilton brand and will be the only site in the town by the international brand.

It will join a portfolio of more than 100 Tapestry Collection sites globally.

An artist's impression of The Marcus Portrush bar
An artist's impression of The Marcus Portrush bar

It is hoped the brand will appeal to international guests familiar with the Hilton name, and who want to enjoy nearby attractions including Bushmills Whiskey Distillery and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Giant’s Causeway.

Having served as a hotel and artisan bakery for more than 85 years between 1895 and the 1980s, the renovation project will return the site of this listed building to its former glory. The colour scheme, Andras House said, will reflect the coastline and landscape while the design will “celebrate the history of Portrush, a Victorian tourist resort and retain features, including the building’s original mosaic signage”.

Graham Dodd, managing director, development UK and Ireland at Hilton, said: “Northern Ireland has seen a significant jump in tourism in recent years, with travellers coming from all over the world to experience the charm of this captivating country. Portrush continues to experience growing demand for high-quality accommodation that provides an authentic experience rooted in local culture, making it the perfect location for Northern Ireland’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel.”

Rajesh Rana, director at Andras House, said: “I am very pleased to be commencing this exciting and high-profile project. We understand the importance of this building to the town of Portrush, with so much history and fond memories created here over the years, our architects and designers have responded by coming up with developing a scheme that will complement the old with the new. We will start work in September 2023, and this investment of £11 million will undoubtedly be a flagship project for the area.”

Janice Gault, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hotel Federation who had been championing the approval of a hotel on the site added: “The Marcus Hotel Portrush, Tapestry Collection by Hilton will bring contemporary branded hotel accommodation to Portrush and will attract international visitors to the north coast area.

"The Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, with one million visitors in 2019. This project will allow more guests to stay in the Council area, increasing visitor spend and investment locally.”

Andras House is the north’s largest hotel group with nine properties here. The company, which was funded by entrepreneur Lord Rana in 1981, opened the first Hampton by Hilton on the island of Ireland in 2018.