UK: Hastings Hotels has announced the sale of Slieve Donard Resort and Spa to Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners.
Hastings Hotels has described the sale as a “positive development” as the group plans to invest in its portfolio of six other hotels. These include the Grand Central and Europa Hotels in Belfast, and the five-star Culloden Estate and Spa outside the city.
All current roles at Slieve Donard will be retained as part of the sale, and all food, accommodation, wedding and event reservations will be honoured to the new owners. The hotel will join AJ Capital’s Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts brand.
Hastings Hotels managing director, Howard Hastings said: “AJ Capital Partners’ acquisition of the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is encouraging news for hospitality and tourism in Northern Ireland and, in particular, for the burgeoning golf tourism industry here – which has been an important driver of local tourism in recent years and shows significant growth potential in the future.
“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 Resort and Spa 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.”
Having operated the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa since 1972, Dr Hastings said: “Hastings Hotels is exceptionally proud of just how much has been achieved at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa over the past 50 years. That it should attract investment from such a highly regarded international hotel operator is testament to its reputation for exceptional quality and service, only made possible by its outstanding team of employees – many of whom have served here for decades.
“We take pride in being Northern Ireland’s leading collection of hotels and it is very much business as usual at our six properties. As one of the province’s largest employers, we will continue to invest in our hotels and our employees and look forward to offering our guests the very best in service and hospitality that they know to expect from Hastings Hotels.”
AJ Capital Partners CEO and founder Ben Weprin said: “We are honoured to welcome Slieve Donard Resort and Spa to the Marine & Lawn collection. It’s a tremendous responsibility and honour 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.”
Hastings Hotels was advised on the transaction by Arthur Cox of CBRE Hotels and PwC. AJ Capital Partners was advised by A&L Goodbody, PwC and Travers Smith.