One year on, since the McKeever Hotel Group added the County Antrim Dunadry Hotel to its portfolio, the Group has announced the completion of the first phase of refurbishment of the hotel, with an investment of £1 million, which includes the Grand Ballroom, the Peacock Lounge and the Linen Suite.
The 80 bedroom hotel with health, leisure and spa facilities has always been in family ownership so although the McKeever Hotel Group was keen to put their stamp on it, they’ve been very sympathetic to the iconic hotel’s history.
Eugene McKeever MBE, managing director of McKeever Hotel Group, explains; “The Dunadry Hotel is a true rarity. It is a wonderful, grand and homely place built on the site of an ancient fort and once home to both paper and linen mills, set alongside the beautiful six mile water river. The hotel is rich with stories from times goneby and has hosted some very memorable events, including the photo of John Hume, David Trimble and Tony Blair in 1998, post the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
“We want to retain and become custodians of that history but we also wanted to bring the hotel, which had become tired, in to the 21st Century. Our aim is to service the needs of the modern traveller or tourist, the business man or woman, those getting married and also those within the community.
“The work completed has come at a cost and to date we’ve spent some £1 million but we are delighted with the result. As a service driven business, we had to ensure the scope of the work was responsible and very carefully thought out.”
Working in collaboration with Northern Ireland’s leading contractors and interiors designer, BM Interior Design, the McKeever Hotel Group has revitalised the Dunadry Hotel to create a unique experience for visitors and customers alike, with the aim to serve the wider community of County Antrim and beyond.
Eugene continues, “A key component to us was to ensure the preservation of the original features of the hotel while enhancing its comfort and functionality. Working collaboratively with the best local contractors and interior designers throughout Northern Ireland, allowed us to ensure top quality work in only a short six month time frame.
“The Grand Ballroom is fit for any function, for that special day of celebration, a wedding, a birthday, or just a great party, seating up to 240 guests. With soft taupes and greys in elongated vertical panels alongside tall mirror panels and exquisite chandliers, our new décor offers a stunning backdrop for any special occasion.
“The updates to the Peacock Lounge not only offer a direct link to the Linen Suite and Mill Race Restaurant, but in itself, is a stunning space for lunches or afternoon tea.
“Warm copper plaid fabric on arm chairs mixed with leathers and muted textured colours of taupes and stone, carfully balance the wonderful glazed outlook to the Dunadry garden, home of our famous Peace Tree and two beautiful Peacocks.”
The launch of phase one of the refurbishment was commemorated through a series of events, welcoming business men and women from throughout Northern Ireland to tour the new facilities and get a first look at the type of events the hotel has the capacity of facilitating.
“I am very proud of the work the entire team has put in over the last six months and I hope the public love it as much as we do.”
The hotel is situated in Dunadry between Templepatrick and Antrim and is one of five hotels that the Group currently own. They successfully own and operate; Corrs Corner Hotel, Newtownabbey; Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim; Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena and Dillons Hotel, Letterkenny.
Eugene McKeever MBE recently received a lifetime achievement awards at the Licensed Catering News Awards in Belfast. The McKeever Hotel Group has been part of the tourism and hospitality market in Northern Ireland for nearly twenty five years and currently employs over 200 staff. The Group is keen to continue to invest in the tourism and hospitality industry in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Pictured are (from left to right) Eugene McKeever, owner, Bridgene McKeever, Marketing Director, Eddie McKeever, Operations Director and Catherine McKeever, owner.