Marking a heritage spanning over 150 years, one of Ballymena’s best-loved hotel venues has recently unveiled £2million of refurbishments to its reception, McAllister’s Whiskey Lounge and Clock Tower Suite.

While the pandemic has created trading difficulties for many local businesses, the Tullyglass Hotel’s Managing Director Gus McConville had the confidence and foresight to use the forced closure to further invest in the hotel, getting it ready to welcome returning guests and tourists, including investing in the new McAllister’s Whiskey Lounge.

Mr McConville said: “Tullyglass is a central part of the history of hospitality and commerce in the Ballymena area. We decided to use the closure during the pandemic to polish up what is a hidden gem when it comes to tourism in the country and beyond.”

“Our recent refurbishments reflect and celebrate our history while incorporating the style of 21st-century leisure travel. We deem it important to use local suppliers for the quality ingredients used in the kitchens, to craftspeople who have skilfully and sympathetically extended the original building to what it is today.”

“We have always invested both time and money into this hotel over the three decades my family has owned it. Post-pandemic we are coming back stronger and full of optimism for the future.”

The investment has been spent upgrading the hotel’s reception area with a bright marble front desk, wooden flooring and a new comfortable area where guests can relax. The newly renovated lounge is realised in a mixture of rustic, bright and dark tones to create a lounge suitable for fine dining, afternoon tea, lunch dates, family days out or an evening of drinks. Comfortable and relaxing, this new look comes with a redesigned food and drink menu.

The complete reimagining and theming of McAllister’s Whiskey Lounge reflects the turn of the 20th-century ownership of Tullyglass House by James McAllister, from 1910 to 1953. He established a whiskey distillery in Ballymena and built several McAllister brands, achieving sales throughout Europe and as far afield as North America. One bottle was even found in the wreck of The Titanic!

The new decor of McAllister’s Whiskey Lounge is inspired by Northern Ireland’s heritage, including the Giant’s Causeway, which is reflected in the hexagonal tables, copper detailing on the bar as a nod to the old McAllister’s distillery and the use of linen wallpapers, harking back to the days when Northern Ireland supplied much of the linen used throughout the world.

The family-run hotel has created a well-considered ambience for enjoying an afternoon with your family to relaxing with friends over a glass of McAllister’s Irish whiskey by night. A carefully curated collection of many different Irish whiskeys and other beloved drinks are displayed behind the bar in the new lounge. This modern celebration of J.McAllister & Sons whiskey reflects the rebirth of the brand now being experienced by a whole new generation of connoisseurs. 

Mr McConville concluded: “These renovations ensure a very positive future for the Tullyglass Hotel. Our well-trained and helpful team are consistently praised in online reviews, and we now have interiors that match that world-class guest experience. 

“We are proud to invite guests, old and new, to come and have a look around as we are confident that even the most discerning will be impressed with the investment and the many improvements that we have made.”

Love Belfast
Love Belfast
Belfast guide to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concerts, events, hotels, entertainment, special offers, news, gossip, travel, festivals and culture. https://lovebelfast.co.uk

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