Up for sale are Cork City’s Gresham Metropole Hotel, dating back to 1897 and the founding home of the Cork Jazz Festival; Killarney’s 160-year-old Malton Hotel, another venerable institution; along with Kilkenny’s more modern Ormonde Hotel.
Cheapest of the trio is the Metropole on Cork’s MacCurtain St, valued by selling agents Savills at €4m, while Killarney’s Malton is the most valuable, at €15m. The value put on the Ormonde is €11.5m.
Between the three hotels, all described as prestigious and profitable, there are 400 hotel beds being offered to the market, which has seen overseas tourism rise by 13.8% since 2010.
A conference yesterday heard Savills Hotels and Leisure director Tom Barrett forecast that €350m worth of hotel property sales would take place this year in Ireland, up from €200m in 2013.
Key sales already made this year include Doonbeg, to Donald Trump, and the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, for €30m.
This latest €30m mix of three hotels is the first such portfolio to be offered in a decade, but can be bought as one lot, or individually. They are being sold as going concerns, with trade not affected.
“After attracting significant interest from domestic and international buyers, the owners of these hotels have decided to market them for sale by private treaty,” Mr Barrett said.
Killarney’s 172-bed Malton Hotel is on 12 acres within the town, with a very strong wedding and function business; and Kilkenny’s Ormonde has 118 beds, and is also a four-star venue.
Established by the Musgrave family in 1897, Cork’s three-star Gresham Metropole has 112 beds, a 20m pool, leisure centre, and function facilities. It was designed by Arthur Hill and is regarded as one of the city’s finest, ornate Victorian-era buildings.
Guests have included Dawn Adams, Gregory Peck, John Huston, John Steinbeck, and Edward VII, who dined on the roof when visiting the 1903 Cork Exhibition.
From 1944 to 1982, it was managed by the legendary hotelier Douglas Vance, who, in the mid-1900s, had to persuade the Musgrave family to get a drinks license as for years it had advertised itself as Ireland’s Finest Unlicensed Hotel.
It has changed hands in 1977, in 1999 to the Ryan Group, and came under the Gresham brand in 2001.