THE hotel industry on West Cork’s sublime Beara Peninsula is set for a major shake-up as the four-star Beara Coast hits the market for €1.5m, and a deal is almost sealed on the €2.5m sale of Dunboy Castle.
A key figure in the history of both hotels is Dónal Kelly, managing director of Castletownbere-based Fast Fish Ltd and owner of the Beara Coast. He is also one of four local businessmen who came together in 2000 to buy the Dunboy Castle Estate for €1m. “We paid €1m for a ruin and 40 acres,” he said.
Within two years, legendary hotelier Horst Schulze, founder of the Ritz-Carlton group, had come on board, as well as Dublin-based finance group Cap Partners.
The ruin was superbly restored and 72 modern suites added to the rear. However, the wheels came off the €47m project when the banks collapsed in 2008.
With news now emerging that developer Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan of the Press Up hospitality group are on the cusp of purchasing Dunboy Castle, Mr Kelly said he was “thrilled that the daydream is finally about to become a reality”.
“There are no two ways about it, it will transform the Beara Peninsula,” he said.
Colliers International are agents for both hotel sales. Agent Marcus Magnier said while the deal on Dunboy Castle was “not actually concluded, I expect it to be in the immediate future”.
“It’s a great vote of confidence in Castletownbere. And realistically, having a five-star around the corner won’t do any harm to the Beara Coast,” Mr Magnier said.
Mr Magnier said the 16-bedroom Beara Coast Hotel was "in a superb harbourside location", fully equipped and ready to trade.
Mr Magnier said whoever buys will be getting a bargain: “You couldn’t build half of it now for the money we are talking about [guide price €1.5m]."