THE ROMANCE OF THE RAILWAY ERA
Hastings Hotels purchased the Slieve Donard, an old railway hotel, in 1972. After much investment over the years, many now regard the Slieve Donard as the “Gleneagles” of Northern Ireland.
It was originally built by the Belfast and County Down Railway,as an ‘end of line’ luxury holiday destination. Construction started in 1896 and was completed and officially opened on 24th June 1898 at a cost of ￡44,000. It was one of the most majestic hotels of its time and was almost self-sufficient with its own bakery, vegetable gardens, pigs, laundry and innovatively a power plant, which also provided electricity for the railway station.
The Slieve Donard typified the ideas of Victorian grandeur and luxury with its Drawing Room, Grand Coffee Room, Reading and Writing Room, Smoking Room, Billiard Room and Hairdressing Rooms – you can’t help but conjure up scenes of great style and decadence. ‘One’ could even partake of sea water baths, douche, spray, needle and Turkish baths all provided by an electric pump straight from the sea.
To this day, the romance of the railway era is retained. Come. And experience a truly special journey.