THE Avoca Hotel in Newcastle, Co. Down, has been restored for £2.5million and saved 35 jobs.
The 15-room, family-run hotel on the seaside town’s Central Promenade has been managed by the O’Hare family since June 2018.
Work started in February 2020 has helped revitalize the unique character of the 200 year old property.
The renovation project, supported by Diageo and Ulster Bank, was designed by Paul Haffey Design with S J Walsh & Sons was appointed as the main contractor alongside Hillen Architects.
The modernization of all bedrooms and bathrooms has been completed along with the refurbishment of the reception and bar areas.
The Wild Hare Bar now features teak worktops designed by O’Hagan & O’Hare’s Chemist in Newry, which dates back to 1890 and was originally owned by a direct relative of the hotel owners.
The interior walls have also been restored to the original brickwork whilst antiques, fireplaces and other furnishings have been sourced from other historic buildings across Ireland and Britain.
“We are absolutely thrilled to finally get to this point where we can present our beloved guests with the stunning, newly refreshed and restored Avoca,” said Jack O’Hare.
“This hotel has always been family run and has played a huge role in Newcastle’s local economy, hospitality and tourism sector.
“It was very important to us to preserve the unique character, heritage and history of the building and we have had some nice surprises during the restoration,” says the hotelier.
“We discovered on the property an old Victorian elevator from 1860, as well as a well-preserved 1901 ‘Moonlight Calendar’ booklet which gave cyclists advice on how to cycle on dark, unlit streets.
“The quality and craftsmanship, meticulously restored down to the smallest detail, is second to none and I would like to thank each and every one of our partners for making our vision a reality.
“By our interior designers, Paul Haffey Design and contractors, S.J. Walsh & Sons to Hillen Architects, PD Savage Structural Engineers, PM Lighting to furniture by Nugent & Gibney – the finished design exceeded all of our expectations.”