On the edge of Castletownbere and beautifully located overlooking the harbour, nearby islands and the handsome Slieve Miskish Mountains, the Cametringane Hotel had lain empty and unloved for years - and then, in 2015, hoteliers Mark Golden and Mark Johnston purchased the old building and began a new chapter for the town.
Formerly of The Old Imperial Hotel in Youghal, where they had gained some experience of renovating an old property, the two Marks saw great potential in the area and in the hotel. As one of Ireland's biggest fishing ports, Castletownere has a substantial year round population - and the hotel would provide a much needed local amenity, as well as a base for visitors to a wonderfully scenic and unspoilt area offering an exceptional range of things to see and do.
So they wasted no time in setting to and, by the end of the year, renovations had been completed and they were able to open the renamed Beara Coast Hotel before Christmas.
Now, the sixteen bedrooms in this friendly hotel have all been refurbished in a fresh contemporary style. Many rooms have balconies from which to enjoy the fine views and all have en suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities and TV.
Mark Johnston is a well known chef (a former Head Chef at Park Hotel Kenmare), so there's a strong emphasis on food at the hotel, both in the fine dining restaurant - which is open at weekends - and the bar, where a varied menu is offered every day. A carefully selected wine list includes some treat bottles for special occasions and about ten wines offered by the glass, from about €5.50.
The Beara Coast is sure to be popular for weddings, and - like some other hotels in beautiful but seasonally restricted areas - it would also be an especially interesting venue for an off season conference.
The surrounding area is truly magical and there is so much to do - the Ring of Beara is famed for its beauty and just a few of its many attractions include Dursey Cable Car and Dursey Island, Bere Island, the colourful villages of Eyeries and Allihies, Allihies Coppermine Museum, Mill Cove Art Gallery and Sculpture Gardens and the Sarah Walker Gallery. Then, of course, there are masses of outdoor activities to enjoy - and the wonderful MacCarthy's Bar (world famous but still just itself) is just a five minute walk away, in the centre of Castletownbere.
This is a magical part of the country, and of the world, and it's great to have a busy, vibrant hotel in the town once again. The Beara Coast Hotel is a huge asset to the area, and it deserves success.