Well-known locally for its iconic yellow façade and location in proximity to Killyleagh Castle, the seven bedroom Dufferin Coaching Inn has acted as an iconic building in the community for over 200 years, serving first as an Ulster Bank and later being converted into a stunning guest house and reception space.
The Inn has grown from strength to strength over the last ten years under the ownership of former nurse turned hotelier Leontine Haines, who has constantly strived to improve the offering of her business. During this time, Leontine has welcomed over 5,000 guests from across the globe, and received numerous prestigious accolades including three-star Guest House status with Tourism Northern Ireland, the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and most recently a place in the 2015 McKenna’s Guide to the 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland – one of only five accommodations from Northern Ireland to make the list.
Reflecting on her small business’s big successes, Owner and Operator Leontine Haines said, “Our accommodation has become a firm favourite with guests ranging from filmmakers to businesspeople and tourists who pass through Killyleagh and its surrounding areas, and I am delighted that this has been recognised through our listing in McKenna’s Guide.”
“Our recent investment in Dufferin Hall has enabled us to update our facilities to be more in line with today’s visitor’s tastes and requirements while at the same time keeping the look and feel of our quaint accommodation,” adds Leontine. “It’s easy for a historic building to feel dated, but at Dufferin Coaching Inn we make an extra effort to ensure guests are treated to a comfortable, light, and unique home from home.”
With tourist footfall booming in County Down thanks to tours centred around iconic Game of Thrones locations, the thriving golf tourism trade, and more and more locals choosing ‘staycations’ to local beauty spots, future trade is looking positive for the two-century-old guesthouse and event space. In 2013 over 450,000 trips were made by visitors to Newry, Mourne and Down, making the area the third most popular spot in Northern Ireland for visitors behind only the Causeway Coast and Belfast City.
“We’re incredibly lucky to be positioned where we are in Killyleagh,” added Leontine. “Not only are we on the door step of the stunning Mournes but we’re also just a stone’s throw from other beauty spots including Strangford Lough, North Down and Downpatrick, and Belfast is just a quick 15 minute car journey from our guesthouse, meaning guests can have the best of both worlds when visiting Northern Ireland, basing themselves in our picturesque countryside but not missing out on everything the city has to offer.”
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Ulster Life Magazine: October 2015