Sheen Falls poised for sale

A second top Ring of Kerry hotel, Sheen Falls Lodge, has found international buyer interest in recent weeks

Kenmare’s five star Sheen Falls Lodge hotel heads towards an as-yet unsigned deal this month in a c €5m sale, according to sources, with staff told in recent days. All inquires regarding a pending new ownership are being directed to a UK address.

The 66-bed luxury hotel, with a small number of guest lodges which brings its room tally to over 80, is being bought on a small portion only of its overall hundreds of acres, which has all been controlled for several decades by the Danish shipping magnate Bent Hoyer.

A number of very up-market holiday homes were developed nearby, jointly with McCarthy Developments in the 2000s, and a number of courtyard holiday homes there may also be included in the sale, local sources say.

Sheen Falls Lodge was quietly on the market and close to a sale during 2012 via Peter O’Meara Savills in Cork, and Kenamre sources this week say it’s being bought by a UK-based luxury family hotel group. No sale details are disclosed, but it is making in the region of €5m. It’s currently closed for a short post-Christmas period, and media calls to the hotel yesterday were referred to a UK email address.

It comes hot on the heels of the c €10m transfer of ownership of the magnificent Parknasilla hotel and lands over the Christmas period, to international buyers, headed up by the uber-reclusive Swiss-Lebanese financier Jacquie (Jacob) Safra. Safra: also known as JE Beaucaire, Safra has owned the neighbouring pristine 60-acre Kenmare Bay Gairinish Island since the 1990s, sold a New York 20,000 sq ft townhouse mansion in 2006 for a then-record $53m.

Safra, and his girlfriend Jean Doumanien, produced and financed several Woody Allen movies in the 1990s before a major falling out with the star. A colleague of Allen — who was at one time a regular Kenmare visitor — quipped about Safra “Can any of us really know Jacquie? He’s surrounded by a wall of immense solvency.”

So too has privacy surrounded Safra’s infrequent Ring of Kerry visits, and he’s unlikely to be front of house at his new €10m-plus purchase via Savills. He’s said to be the lead investor in the group that now controls Parknasilla’s 400 acres.

Due to re-open in early March, Parknasilla is set for a modest three to five year investment programme of upgrades, walled kitchen garden enhancement, etc, under newly appointed managing director, leisure expert Tony Daly of Dream Ireland holiday rentals, with Ruth O’Sullivan as resort manager.

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