One of the country’s premier hotels, the five-star Castlemartyr Resort in East Cork, is planning a multi-million euro redevelopment as it celebrates its 10th birthday.
The hotel owners have applied to Cork County Council for permission for a number of alterations and extensions to what was originally a 17th century manor house and is a protected structure.
These include the demolition of its two-storey gym, to be replaced with a wedding-and-conference centre, and the creation of a 61-space car park.
The owners want to extend the Knight’s Bar and Franchini’s Restaurant, as well as the spa area.
They are also proposing to build a new bar, function room, and roof terrace, and to make modifications to the function room and to create new conference facilities on the first floor.
Parking spaces will be added to the north and west of the main entrance.
The hotel’s group business development director, Neil Drinkwater, said detailed costing for the project has not been finalised.
Because the building is a protected structure, Mr Drinkwater said that they “have been working closely with the council, and our architects, to formalise a development to build on the success and guest experience at the resort”.
“If successful with our planning, we will formalise the build strategy, but the timetable of this is dependent on how successful our planning application is,” Mr Drinkwater added.
The 103-bedroom hotel also has self-catering accommodation and boasts a Ron Kirby-designed golf course.
On the grounds are the ruins of an 800-year-old castle and there could be undiscovered archaeology in the area.
The castle was built in 1210 by The Knights Templar, who were one of the most famous of the Christian military orders under the leadership of Richard Earl de Clare, more commonly known as Strongbow.
Over the years, the land was owned by Walter Raleigh and by Richard Boyle, the first Earl of Cork.
Boyle constructed the 17th century manor house, which has been painstakingly restored to its original grandeur by the hotel owners.
Other historical features on the site include the unique Templar Cross, which composes the centerpiece of the Castlemartyr’s Golf Club coat of arms.
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