Historic resort changes hands in one of Northern Ireland’s largest-ever hospitality deals

Hastings Hotels has 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.
 
CBRE brokered the deal. Financial details were not made public. However, Irish press reports put the deal price at £40 mln (€47 mln).
 
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' 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.'
 
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.