Bantry hotels snapped up as Wild Atlantic Way changes the pace

Is the Wild Atlantic Way holding sway over Bantry town, lifting its hotels before it? The selling agents of the Maritime Hotel, developed at a reported cost of €30m and now offered at just €1.5m, expect so, such is the pace of change on the West Cork town’s accommodation front.

The Westlodge Hotel is now in new ownership after a change of hands in recent weeks; the Bantry Bay Hotel is set to re-open after two years closure, and the proposed sale of the four-star Maritime Hotel, Murnane and O’Shea’s town centrepiece, managed by the Gleneagles Group from Killarney and likely to be among its bidders, is set to make waves.

First change of hands is the famed Bantry Bay Hotel, which was owned for decades by the O’Callaghan family.

It is due to reopen this weekend under the control of the O’Donovan family, who own the very successful Brick Oven restaurant and Mariners’ Bar.

Also changed hands is the Westlodge Hotel, on 26 acres on the edge/approach to Bantry town and harbour. It went to the open market in April of 2014 guiding €2m via DTZ Sherry FitzGerald.

After several stalled sales it has now been bought by a consortium with some local investor links, for an unconfirmed sub €1.5m sum according to sources.

The buying group is headed up by ex-AIB banker Donal Kelleher from Bandon, who previously worked with the Barry Harte group.

Considerable further expenditure/upgrades are anticipated at the three-star 100-bed hotel with nine self-catering cottages, leisure centre, etc. It’s been 40 years in business.

Meanwhile, new to market and set to create a stir at its €1.5 m guide is the Maritime Hotel, developed by local firm Murnane and O’Shea with very considerable site costs, including an underground 80-space car park.

It officially opened in 2007 as a four-star hotel, operated under a management agreement by the Killarney O’Donoghue family’s Gleneagles Group, the same year Glenaglestook on management of Sligo town’s 116-bed Glasshouse Hotel.

Now Savill’s Cork office’s Denis O’Donoghue is appointed to sell the Bantry hotel by the harbour and pier and anticipated marina.

It has 110 bedrooms, restaurant, ballroom and leisure centre. Its function rooms have been used for a variety of events, including as a venue for the West Cork Literary Festival.

The hotel fronts the N71, in the heart of the town which is a key point on the 2,500 km Wild Atlantic Way, and the overall development includes a medical centre currently occupied by the HSE, and a doctor’s surgery which have a combined income of over €100,000 pa.

“Bantry is a natural anchor point for tourists wishing to explore local attractions such as the Beara and Kenmare peninsulas, Mizen Head, Bere Island, the Sheeps Head Way and south County Kerry,” says Denis O’Donoghue of Savills.

Employment other than in tourism includes sectors such as agriculture, marine and shellfish farms, and the oil reserve stores on Whiddy Island.

Mr O’Donoghue says the hotel is run under a management agreement, and is trading well catering primarily for leisure guests.

Details: Savills 021-4271371


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