Expansion plans for County Antrim spa to create 12 new jobs

A luxurious spa in Ballyclare has announced it is making a £250,000 investment to expand its existing premises and create 12 new jobs. The investment was part supported by Danske Bank.

Dunamoy was created in 2012 by Stacey and Jamie Hamill.  The current facility features four award winning private cottage retreats which contain a living area, fully equipped country kitchen and dining area, bathroom and bedrooms.  The cottages were renovated from 200 year old farm buildings, retaining the original stonework.  The Elemis spa at Dunamoy specialises in luxury treatments and features a 10m spa pool, steam room, solarium, and relaxation areas.  The business has welcomed guests from across Europe, America, Canada and Australasia. 

Stacey Hamill, owner of Dunamoy Cottages, said: “We applied for planning in 2010 and opened our first set of self-catering private cottage retreats in 2012. I undertook extensive market research on what was already on offer locally and looked further afield into the Great Britain and Republic of Ireland markets, understood what was working elsewhere and what our area did not have.

“The cottages were a success from the start but we wanted to offer our customers more to do onsite during their stay.    So, in May 2013 we opened a 4,500 sq ft spa which has helped push the business on to the next level.”

Footfall to the Elemis spa has been continually growing with the owners tapping into both the day spa market and the growing demand for rural retreats and overnight group packages. The cottages have also maintained an average of 80 per cent occupancy rate since opening and are already taking bookings for 2018.

An onsite Tea Room is currently under construction, due to open in June.  This will serve speciality loose leaf teas and coffees, a selection of spa styled breakfast/brunch offerings, a quality afternoon tea service and luxury patisseries.

She continued: “Due to demand over the last two years and taking into consideration continual growth, plans to expand further will feature up to 12 new accommodation units with a courtyard and beautiful rural views, along with a purpose built wellbeing centre for multiple private and corporate wellness activities. 

“We’re aiming to break ground on the new accommodation by the end of the year, opening winter 2018 to capitalise on advance peak bookings of that year.  This expansion means we will also be looking to invest in another 12 staff across a number of areas of the business.”

Looking ahead to the future, she added: “Over the next two years, we want to establish the spa as one of the top leisure destinations in Northern Ireland.  We offer something different and people come here to get away from the stresses of city living.  We are only 13 miles from Belfast.  We are in talks to expand the spa treatments with Elemis and will soon start to offer new and bespoke packages.  We’re on course to achieve our goal and the support of Danske Bank has been key.”

Robert Lynn, Small Business Adviser at Danske Bank commented: “Over the past five years, the Hamills have completed a unique transformation to an old site of rural buildings.   The business is going from strength to strength and they have major growth ambitions.  We are delighted to have been able to support the company through this latest phase of growth and look forward to assisting them further in the future.”

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