Black Rock Hotels has opened a new boutique hotel on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland after redeveloping a site that earlier housed The Smugglers Inn, with the support of Ulster Bank.

Entrepreneur Adrian Fullan, the owner of the hospitality group, has rebranded the property to Gray’s at Bushmills.

This is said to be in tribute to his late grandmother, Ellen Gray.

Fullan said: “I am delighted to begin this new venture with the support of Davina and the team at Ulster Bank. The bank recognised the value of what we’re proposing for the business and how our plans can be real economic drivers for the area.

“This is a significant new chapter for Black Rock Hotels as we expand our footprint and we’re looking forward to unlocking the full potential of the newly rebranded Gray’s at Bushmills.”

Ulster Bank senior relationship manager Davina Kerr said: “We’re very pleased to help Adrian acquire this long-established business. Tourism is vitally important to the local economy in Northern Ireland and Adrian’s vision, along with his proven expertise in the hospitality industry, will no doubt make a significant contribution to the tourism offering in the area for domestic and international visitors alike.”

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In addition, the venue provides intimate, all-inclusive wedding packages offering exclusivity for newlyweds between March and October. 

The hotel’s location offers easy access to the Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, and local golf courses.

Currently operating with almost 40 employees, the business anticipates growth in its headcount as it expands its hospitality offerings.