HAVING last sold for the equivalent of ‘small potatoes,’ and after a costly €1.5m plus rolling refurb, Youghal’s beach-fronting Walter Raleigh Hotel — named for Youghal’s most famous resident Walter Raleigh, of tobacco and potato popularising renown — is back for sale, it is increasingly profitable and now carries a €2.5 million price tag.
Coincidentally, that €2.5m price guide, via agent John Hughes of CBRE, is close to what the historic period era hotel with 110-year trading history previously changed hands for back in 2005, when bought by a US buyer Richard Voke, who’d previously owned Kenamre’s Landsdown Arms.
Prior to that, it had been owned by East Cork hotelier and builder Eddie and Mary Murphy, who reopened it as a hotel in the 1990s and did refurb work and built up the function side of the business. They then sold on to Mr Voke at the height of Celtic Tiger times and prices, when the seaside town of Youghal was the focus of considerable house building activity.
However, when the Celtic Tiger bit the dust, fortures reversed and The Walter Raleigh was put back up for sale by CBRE in 2102 with a €450,000 price tag. It sold in 2013, for a reported €400,000, and was bought by property developers and business and food marketing duo Grace and Nick Ryan, who started an extensive programme of upgrades to four-star hotel standards, and who grew turnover substantial.
CBRE’s John Hughes says it has had a very thorough, painstaking refurb to four-star standards, and not just in its 40 bedrooms, but also in back of house, and he praises owner Nick Ryan’s attention to detail in the work carried out.
“It’s trading very well now, and is increasingly profitable, says the CBRE director of the large property, with function room, the Adelphi, for 300 as well as Tea Room, the Walter bar and restaurant, and formal Blackwater restaurant.
“With very little similar competition in this general area, the Walter Raleigh Hotel has exciting potential to further develop to be the premier hotel in East Cork and a choice for weddings, functions and as a prime holiday destination. The hotel is expected to achieve in excess of €2.5m,” Mr Hughes.adds.
The location is on the Cork end of the long, water-fronting walled and tourist town with a permanent population of 8,000, near miles of sandy beaches stretching past Redbarn, along the N25 Atlantic Corridor route and — given Youghal’s rich history and preserved buildings – is a key point along Ireland’s Ancient East, as well as being by the mouth of the famed Blackwater river.
The town is bypassed from the N25, which carries high volumes of tourist and commercial traffic on the Euroroute from Rosslare, through Waterford and on to Cork, which is 50 kms away, with Waterford city 40 kms to the west.
Meanwhile, closeby, a €6m investment is proposed for Youghal’s former Loreto Convent and school, by a Kildare based company, Redbarn Construction whose principals were previously associated with Millennium Park near Naas.
The plans, discussed with Cork County Council and set to go for planning shortly, include 40 luxury apartments for the site, which had been for sale for a sub€1m sum, comprising 50,000 sq ft of building, on 4.2 acres.