CBRE confirm the sale of the historic Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in one of Northern Ireland’s largest ever hospitality transactions
Hastings Hotels has today announced the sale of the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa to US-based Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners – a Nashville-headquartered real estate developer and hotel operator, with over 40 hotels based in the US and UK.
Hastings Hotels – the largest independent hotel operator in Northern Ireland – described the sale as a “positive development”, presenting a timely opportunity to continue investing in its portfolio of six other hotels, including the Grand Central and Europa Hotels in Belfast, and the five-star Culloden Estate and Spa just outside the city.
The Group confirmed that all current roles are to be retained in the sale, and all food, accommodation, wedding and event reservations made with the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa will be honoured by the new owners. Hastings Hotels vouchers and gift cards purchased prior to today can also continue to be redeemed at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa or any other Hastings Hotel.
Maximising upon its proximity to the neighbouring Royal County Down Championship Links golf course, the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa will be operated by AJ Capital Partners under its Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts brand – a collection of bespoke hotels in the world’s most distinguished golfing destinations. Current properties are located in St Andrews, North Berwick and Troon, Scotland.
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.”
AJ Capital Partners CEO and Founder Ben Weprin said: “We are honored to welcome Slieve Donard Resort & Spa to the Marine & Lawn collection. 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.”
Having operated the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa since 1972, Dr Hastings said that Hastings Hotels would always have a “great fondness” for the venue and paid tribute to its employees there.
“Hastings Hotels is exceptionally proud of just how much has been achieved at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa over the past 50 years,” he said. “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.”
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.
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.