Davenport owner Noel O’Callaghan sells his only US hotel

Group plans to focus on ‘existing markets’ after offloading 75-bed Maryland property

Hotelier Noel O’Callaghan, whose Dublin properties include the Davenport Hotel, has sold his hotel in Maryland, US. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Hotelier Noel O’Callaghan, whose Dublin properties include the Davenport Hotel, has sold his hotel in Maryland, US. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Noel O’Callaghan, a hotelier whose group includes the Davenport and the Alexander in Dublin, has sold his only US hotel in Annapolis, Maryland.

The O’Callaghan Group confirmed last night that it sold the hotel on October 1st. The group, which recently opened a new hotel in England, said it plans to concentrate on its “existing markets”. It declined to comment further.

Mr O’Callaghan sold the hotel for an undisclosed sum to OTO Development, an investment group from South Carolina. The 75-bedroom hotel, located 30 miles east of Washington DC, will be closed for renovations until 2018.

The Irish hotel group opened the hotel in 2001 on a site purchased for $1.5 million by Mr O’Callaghan a few years earlier. It originally operated as a Holiday Inn, before it was switched to the O’Callaghan group brand name.

The Annapolis hotel has traded well for Mr O’Callaghan over the years. But it was thought to be in need of significant capital investment for renovations prior to its sale, although the local hotel market is said to be booming so it may have paid off had Mr O’Callaghan held onto it.

Just before the last financial crash, he had also been planning to redevelop a second US hotel on a site in downtown Boston, but he abandoned that plan to refocus on the Irish market.

The O’Callaghan group now comprises six hotels, with a focus on the mid-range of the market. In addition to the adjacent Alexander and Davenport properties in Dublin, Mr O’Callaghan also owns the nearby Mont Clare hotel and the Stephen’s Green hotel in the city, as well as the Elliot hotel in Gibraltar.

Earlier this year, he made his debut in the UK market, with the newly-developed 150-bedroom Tamburlaine hotel in Cambridge, 60 miles north of central London.

Mr O’Callaghan, who is an uncle of Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, is notoriously media-shy and has not spoken publicly about his business interests for many years. Along with his nephew, however, he is also a very prominent figure in the world of horse racing.

He owns the Mountarmstrong stud in Tipperary, while Dark Angel is currently among his best-known horses. He also owned the winner of the 2014 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, Anthem Alexander.