independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Multi-million sale of two luxury hotels shows 'worst behind us'

A hoteliers' group has said the sale of two renowned hotels is an indication that "the worst is behind us" for the industry.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) says the sale of the five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare for €5m and the four-star Parknasilla Hotel in Sneem in Co Kerry for over €10m indicates, at last, that there is "movement in the industry".

Michael Rosney, who owns Killeen Heights Hotel in Killarney and is a member of the council of the Irish Hotels Federation, says that because the hotels will be in private ownership it "evens the playing field" for other operators.

"It has been very frustrating for people who are struggling to survive to be up against hotels that are bank- or NAMA-controlled and are offering breaks and deals they simply can't compete with," Mr Rosney said.

The Parknasilla resort on the Ring of Kerry was bought by Swiss-Lebanese financier Jacquie (Jacob) Safra and is due to re-open in March.

The hotel was previously owned by developer Bernard McNamara, who bought it six years previously for almost €40m.

Subsequently, a further €30m was spent on upgrading facilities at the hotel, which included construction of 62 self-catering lodges on its grounds.

The sale of the Sheen Falls Lodge to a UK-based luxury family hotel group is said to be nearing conclusion.

The IHF estimates there is still a 15,000-bed surplus in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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