Set two miles outside Kinsale town, the purpose-built hotel and leisure complex has a mix of 70 hotel beds, and a 19 three-bed family holiday lodges, giving a total of up to 128 bedrooms (thus, an average price of under €35,000 per room), and has turned to profitable trading in recent times under BDL Hotel Management, with an average of two weddings per week.
It’s got the greatest guest capacity of Kinsale district’sseveral hotels, as town-centred boutique four-star Actons Hotel has 74 rooms, and the quayside Trident Hotel has 75 rooms. Kinsale also has a number boutique hotels and guesthouses.
Selling agents Denis O’Donoghue and Chris O’Callaghan of Savills Cork say its core leisure business has recovered strongly in the past two years, and add that now “there’s huge growth potential” for whoever talks on this purchase.
After downturn times trading difficulties, it went into receivership in 2012 and is now sold for joint receivers, KPMG’s Kieran Wallace, and Jim Stafford, Friel Stafford, by private treaty. It includes hotel, bar, restaurant, function room/ballroom for 200 guests, and a spa/leisure centre with a 20 metre pool.
Back in the early 2000s, several major hotel/tourism projects were proposed for Munster’s tourism mecca Kinsale, home to gourmet food and art festivals, the Kinsale Sevens rugby, and the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course a few headlands away to the west.
Within a 20 minute spin of Cork airport, it has numerous noted restaurants, boutiques, gift shops and bars, with three marinas, and several sailing centres.
Although even grander golf-related projects were planned, the Gable Holdings developed Carlton Hotel was the most significant to be built and employed 100 when it was opened in ’06 by ex-RTÉ personality Derek Davis, and was managed by Carlton who at the time were on a €150m Irish hotels building spree, including developing a Carlton at Dublin Airport.
Kinsale’s Carlton was built on the heavily wooded site of the former Rathmore House, which itself had been a hotel for a period after a German family Lorsch bought it 1965: the remaining 90 acres of the Rathmore estate are still predominantly woodland with some pasture, and there’s a lapsed planning to rebuild a derelict gate lodge at the grounds’ entrance.
Pitching the entire at €4.25m, Savills’ hotel specialist Denis O’Donoghue says the Kinsale Carlton “is trading profitably and is a popular wedding venue: it was voted best wedding hotel in Co Cork by Southern Brides Magazine in 2014.”
The hotel overlooks Oysterhaven Bay, although perplexingly several of its main public areas were left without views in the current layout.
The 19 three-bedroomed holiday lodges are to the back, called the Garden Suites, and the hotel’s main trade is weddings/functions and leisure.
“This sector has experienced a strong rebound in activity, particularly over the past two years, driven by improving domestic conditions and an increase in tourism numbers,” says Mr O’Donoghue, pointing to a 9% increase in tourism numbers in 2014 over 2013.
And, as Kinsale is an official start/end point of the genius Wild Atlantic Way, there could be scope for the Carlton, in its sheltered Oysterhaven Bay just east of Kinsale setting, to position itself as a mild start to the wilder ways out west.
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