Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners has continued its UK expansion with the acquisition of the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Newcastle, County Down, from Hastings Hotels, which has operated the property since 1972.
The price was undisclosed however the deal has been reported to have been worth £40m.
Adjacent to the Royal County Down Golf Club, the 181-bedroom hotel will be the group's first Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts property in Northern Ireland and the fourth hotel in the collection, which launched this summer with the Rusacks St Andrews in St Andrews; Marine North Berwick in North Berwick, East Lothian; and Marine Troon, South Ayrshire.
The hotel will continue to operate in its current form through summer 2022. Renovations to the property including to guest rooms, food and beverage and meeting and event spaces will begin in October 2022 and culminate in the spring of 2023.
AJ Capital Partners chief executive and founder Ben Weprin said: "It's a tremendous responsibility and honor to be the next steward of this timeless asset. The Hastings family has held that distinction for nearly 50 years and we plan to carry and uphold the tradition and spirit of this iconic property and connect it with our existing assets to create a collection unparalleled in the golf world."
The property offers four food and beverage venues, 11 meeting and conference rooms, a ballroom and a two-floor spa, which includes a swimming pool, fitness studio, steam room and 14 treatment rooms.
Slieve Donard has hosted several prominent golf events, including the British Amateur Championship, the Curtis Cup, the Walker Cup and, most recently, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, added: "This investment is a strong sign of confidence in the local market by a major international hotel operator with exciting ambitions for the Slieve Donard in the coming years. I have every confidence that AJ Capital Partners will be sympathetic to the heritage of the hotel and that, under their leadership, it will continue to flourish and maintain its reputation as an iconic destination in Northern Ireland."
All roles are to be retained in the sale. Hastings Hotels was advised on the transaction by Arthur Cox, CBRE Hotels and PwC. Bank of Ireland was advised by Pinsent Masons. AJ Capital Partners was advised by A&L Goodbody, PwC and Travers Smith.
Paul Collins, head of hotels, Ireland at CBRE said: "The Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is a trophy asset and is the largest hotel in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast. We are delighted to be involved in the sale of this prestigious property."
Hastings Hotels' portfolio still includes the Culloden Estate & Spa, Ballygally Castle, the Grand Central Hotel Belfast, Stormont hotel, Everglades hotel and the Europa hotel.