Two old Victorian townhouses that have been beautifully transformed into a stunning boutique hotel overlooking Bangor’s Marina, Belfast Lough, the Irish Sea, and on to Scotland (on a clear day). A perfect retreat from everyday hustle and bustle. Friendly staff, gorgeous rooms and great food will make your stay a memorable one.
Only 15 minutes from Belfast City Airport and linked directly by rail to Belfast, Londonderry and Dublin, Bangor is the ideal base to explore the north of the Emerald Isle.
With North Down being the home of Rory McIlroy it is no surprise that there are fourteen superb golf courses within a ten mile radius. In addition Bangor is home to two of Northern Ireland’s largest sailing clubs and has a yacht racing heritage second only to Cowes. You will also find scuba diving, fishing, wildfowl and birdlife, castles, country houses, folk museums, historic sites, traditional music, genuine Irish pubs and the tranquil beauty and Ulster Scots heritage of County Down, Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula.
The land the hotel stands on was originally bought from Robert E. Ward of Bangor Castle on Nov. 1st, 1890, to be the site for a hotel; however, the actual initial building was was built by Doctor Robert Lee Moore as his surgery and residence, and remained in his family for well over half a century. Initially it was two houses, the smaller one being sold to help fund the build, however, after a few years Dr Moore managed to buy the other building and turn Redcliff into his home. The property finally became the Redcliff Hotel in the mid 1940's.
During World War 11, American Officers were billeted in half the building and it was purported that the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces, General Eisenhower, visited them at these premises prior to bidding farewell to the fleet, anchored off Bangor Bay, on its way to D-Day Operations on June 6, 1944. The North Pier opposite the hotel was renamed the "Eisenhower Pier" with Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter attending the official ceremonies for renaming the pier and commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Allies' victory(VE Day) of World War II.
The hotel was renamed the Sands by the Gillespie family in 1979 and then, in 1997 it was named the Bangor Bay Inn by Jim Gillespie. In 2008 it then became the Salty Dog ~ after the name given to old seaman with their wealth of stories from the world's oceans and seas. A fitting name given the places that people have gone to from this ancient town of saints and scholars.
With 2013 seeing the 400th anniversary of Bangor's Royal Charter, as well as the opening of the Bangor Aurora and the arrival of competitors from all over the globe for the World Police and Fire Games it looks like there will be many more stories to tell!