by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

One of NI’s newest, most sustainable and best hotels, The Salthouse in Ballycastle, has pumped £150,000 into its premises to ensure its guests can relax in the safest of environments when the hospitality sector reopens for outdoor service on April 30 and for full indoor services on May 24 pending confirmation. The hotel, which launched in 2019 after a £5m investment, is a luxury 24-bedroom, eco resort in Ballycastle with breath-taking views of the wild Atlantic Ocean.


It also offers six luxurious three-bedroom eco lodges for those who want complete independence while its bar and restaurant offer the finest local, sustainably sourced produce.

The site is one of the most sustainable in the hospitality sector and operates solely on renewable energy. It has also been built using a mix of local materials. An on-site wind turbine and solar panels have become part of the design of the venue, while all rooms benefit from SMART technology.

Just months after opening, The Salthouse injected a further £400,000 to create an eco-friendly spa facility, which features a steam room, sauna, three treatment rooms, two outdoor hot tubs and two seaweed baths.

Husband and wife team Nigel and Joann McGarrity and their son and daughter, Carl and Emma, run the hotel complex.

And now the team is preparing to launch again after expanding the outdoor provision with the construction of a bespoke offering featuring two self-contained Pagodas, which is set to support a further 30 jobs.

The Salthouse has also built a self-contained outdoor kitchen and bar to enhance the outdoor customer experience which will resume this April 30.

The new outdoor offering represents an investment of £65,000 while a further £50,000 has been spent installing new technology to ensure indoor areas are as safe as possible from the threat of airborne viruses including Covid-19.

The Ilimex UV-C Air Steriliser, of which 20 have been installed in The Salthouse, was created in NI in response to the pandemic and has undergone rigorous tests at Ulster University.

It has proven to uniquely kill 99.9999% of airborne pathogens as well as improving air quality using a combination of sterilisation technologies including UV sources.

CEO of Ilimex Ltd Gerry Corrigan says the devices will “help not just NI but the global economy to co-exist with Covid-19”.

He added: “Air can be infectious for a long time and the technology used by the Ilimex UV-C Air Steriliser ensures sterilisation occurs on the first pass. Our research shows that as a result of using this technology no viable viruses could be detected. It is effective and with such results we believe we are in a position to transform how we live and work during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Salthouse has also invested £30,000 in a Gate Lodge – a new building that will accommodate office space for staff.

Speaking about the investment and the resumption of trade, Carl McGarrity, Director at The Salthouse said: “The Salthouse is in a very favourable position this month to welcome visitors who are keen to enjoy the ambiance and tranquility of our eco-friendly hotel with the knowledge that they are socialising in the safest of environments.

“We are now able to reassure our guests that we have taken the utmost care in ensuring our premises are safe to operate during a pandemic, thanks to our new outdoor space and our Ilimex devices which have proven to kill Covid-19.

“The Salthouse enjoys some of the best views available from Northern Ireland, including the captivating Atlantic Ocean, but it’s also a spacious site with many outdoor accommodation options that will further give our guests peace of mind when they holiday after what has been a very challenging year.

“We believe the Staycation will be the chosen holiday this year and we’re excited to play a role in welcoming domestic visitors as they appreciate the beauty that is on their own doorstep.”

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The Salthouse is run by husband and wife team Nigel and Joann McGarrity and their son and daughter, Carl and Emma McGarrity.

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