Valor Hospitality has been appointed to manage a new luxury hotel and spa, The Dunluce Lodge in Portrush.
The new build hotel overlooking the famous fourth fairway at Royal Portrush Golf Club, will be the first of its kind in the area.
With 35 rooms available, it will offer five-star luxury and bring significant economic benefit, with an emphasis to recruit a team of local professionals for the project and on completion, approximately 80 people will be employed.
The nine-acre site, which was originally privately owned, is due to open in 2023 and has received both political and local support, as well as backing from 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke, who also resides in Portrush, Tourism NI and Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
The inspiration behind the plans for The Dunluce Lodge is to replicate the original house on the site and blend into the landscape. The Dunluce Lodge comes on the heels of one of Valor Hospitality’s most recent management agreements, the renowned Scores Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland further expanding the brand’s global portfolio.
This development will be the first of its kind in the north coast region with no other five-star hotel existing within a 60-mile radius.
The idea for The Dunluce Lodge was devised by the U.S. owners, Jonathan Harper and Robert Covington who established investors for the project through the Links Capital Collection.
With more than 80 hotels in the Valor international portfolio, the company brings a wealth of global experience to the project and will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the property.
Food and beverage will be at the core of excellence the property offers and Valor will engage the services of its partner and UK head of culinary - renowned Scottish chef, Roy Brett, owner and operator of the multi-award winning Ondine Oyster and Grill restaurant in Edinburgh. Roy will be instrumental in assisting in the design and development of the restaurant, whilst sourcing an Irish head chef to take charge.
Euan McGlashan, CEO of Valor Hospitality has also announced the recent appointment of Wilma Erskine, OBE, BEM, former manager of Royal Portrush Golf Club for some 35 years, as the brand ambassador for the company.
Wilma’s knowledge of the golf and hospitality industry is a perfect fit for Valor, as this will be the first project for the company in Northern Ireland. Wilma is well known in golfing circles, both in the UK and USA, and has a great commitment and enthusiasm to see the legacy of the 148th Open being achieved.
Brian McCarthy, managing director of UK and Europe at Valor Hospitality, said: “We’re very excited about our plans for The Dunluce Lodge, not only for what it means for Valor’s growth, but also the opportunities it will bring to The Royal Portrush Golf Club and local area. With its five-star status, this resort will attract visitors from all over, and with our experience in managing luxury resorts around the globe, including golf projects in South Africa and in the U.S., we are more than ready to apply our expertise to our first development in Northern Ireland.
“In 2021, Valor’s UK portfolio doubled in size, marking a real stake in the ground for our growth ambitions going forward. As we expand further, it’s particularly special to be working on a project such as this, where we have been involved since its inception and we’re looking forward to seeing the development progress.”
The appointed architects at The Dunluce Lodge are Maxwell and Company, Inverness, who are specialists in designing luxury resorts, castles and hotels such as the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, Glenborrodale Castle and Inverlochy Castle Hotel, with the lead architect being James Maxwell.
Sustainability is at the heart of this project, and a key feature of the Valor brand. The project has been designed to meet building regulations that achieve the government’s nearly zero energy performance target. A decentralised energy supply system based on energy from renewable sources will also be employed for the spa, and the landscape design principles are based on the creation of improved biodiversity and regeneration.