TV host gets €12m hotel for €2.25m
KERRY hotelier John Brennan is about to practice what he's been preaching on the TV show 'At Your Service', after splashing out around €2.25m on a hotel near his famous Park Hotel in Kenmare.
In one of the few hotels to be bought in more than a year, Mr Brennan and his wife Gwen have bought the Dromquinna Manor Hotel.
Dromquinna was sold by AIB and had a €12m price tag at the height of the boom. The Brennans saw off competing overseas bids. Paul Collins, of agents CBRE, said there were firm offers from US, UK, European and Middle Eastern bidders, most of them wanting to convert it into a private home.
"The deal will provide a shot in the arm for the Irish market as it is one of the very few hotels to change hands in the last year," Mr Collins said.
At present, there are more than 70 hotels in receivership although many of them are still being operated by the receivers and have not been offered for sale.
Mr Brennan is understood to have used proceeds from his controversial D4 Hotel legal action against developer Sean Dunne to help finance the purchase of Dromquinna.
This legal action arose after a dispute over the ownership of the name D4 Hotels, the internet domain d4hotels.com, which relates to three Ballsbridge hotels that Mr Dunne bought for €370m in 2007.
Mr Brennan clinched the Dromquinna deal while in the middle of filming the fourth series of 'At Your Service', which he presents with his brother Francis, who is the co-owner of the Park Hotel, which is just four miles from the Dromquinna.
Mr Brennan plans to open the hotel for business in April 2012.