Red Carnation buys Ashford Castle

Ireland: Boutique hotel collection acquires County Mayo property for €20 million.

Red Carnation Hotels has added Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo, to its collection of boutique properties.

The €20 million purchase price is less than half the €50 million price originally paid by former owner, Galway businessman Gerry Barrett in 2008. Barrett, who operates the G Hotel and the Meyrick Hotel in Galway, placed the resort into receivership in 2011. Since then however, it has been trading at a profit.

The property was once owned by the Guinness family and has played host to the likes of John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, Oscar Wilde, Prince Rainier lll and Princess Grace of Monaco, and John Wayne.

Group founder Beatrice Tollman, said: “We are thrilled to have Ashford Castle as part of our collection and welcome the whole team to the Red Carnation family.  Like the rest of our hotels, Ashford Castle is an iconic property, in a unique location and with a reputation for luxury and excellence, and we are delighted that we will be bringing some of Red Carnation’s signature touches to it.”

Red Carnation Hotels’ managing director Jonathan Raggett said: “We look forward to working with Ashford’s general manager Niall Rochford and his excellent team, and also to seeking the best local talent to grow the workforce. We will be working with local suppliers and partners on a refurbishment programme that will restore this illustrious hotel to its former glory, and build on the fine reputation that the hotel already enjoys.”

Tom Barrett of agents Savills said: “This is an important sale for the Irish hotel industry and is a strong vote of confidence in the future of the industry from a leading international hotel and travel group. Ashford Castle is the jewel in the crown of Irish hospitality. Known throughout the world, it has attracted many high profile visitors.”

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