A new luxury hotel and spa is on the cards for the seaside town of Ayr following the handover of Belleisle House in Ayr from South Ayrshire Council to John and Senga Campbell, owners of the Dumfries Arms Hotel and Railway Hotel.
Belleisle’s stunning 18th century mansion house, which has been in Council ownership for more than 85 years, is set within acres of beautiful parklands with two adjoining golf courses. It will now undergo major investment with restorative and development work to create one of Scotland’s top luxury hotels – the new Belleisle Mansion Hotel & Spa.
Featuring 70 guest suites, the new hotel – subject to the relevant planning permissions – will have its own spa and 20 metre indoor swimming pool as well as a ballroom with capacity for up to 400 guests.
The first phase of the extensive development work being taken forward by the Campbells will focus on the renovation of the original main building to create a new reception and lounge, two new restaurants and bar, 15 guest suites (including a penthouse bridal suite) and the new state-of the art spa. These facilities, which can be complemented by the use of a marquee, are expected to be open to the public by summer 2014.
John Campbell said: “This is a fantastic opportunity and a landmark moment not just for us as business owners, but for Ayr and Ayrshire as a whole. I am committed to developing a high-quality hotel and spa that will attract both domestic and overseas visitors and breathe new life into this magnificent building and make the most of the fantastic setting.”
Alongside this, the Council is currently working with local community groups on a bid for lottery monies to fund a range of improvements that will enhance the estate and complement the transformation of Belleisle House, including footpath works, landscaping, play equipment and signage.
Councillor Robin Reid, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “I am delighted that, following negotiations, a positive future for Belleisle House is once again on the cards. The plans to restore and develop the facility as a major venue are very exciting and offer a fantastic outcome for both local communities as well as visitors to this wonderful part of the world. It’s the start of the next era for the wider Belleisle estate and I look forward to seeing the end result.”
Councillor Bill Grant, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, added: “We are committed to the regeneration of Belleisle Estate and the transfer of ownership of Belleisle House is the start of that journey. Belleisle is already one of the most popular attractions in South Ayrshire, but we want it to be so much more and we have ambitious plans to make it one of the best parks in the country with enhanced facilities and ‘Green Flag’ status. I have no doubt we can achieve this with continued effort and positive partnership working.”
The current gatehouse at Belleisle will be refurbished later this year and will become the marketing suite for the new hotel, which will be managed by Louis MacCallum. Louis said: “We’re already receiving enquiries about weddings and events, so it’s clear Belleisle Mansion Hotel & Spa is going to become a real destination of choice.”