Farnham Golf and Spa Resort in Cavan likely to appeal to overseas buyers

Co Cavan hotel sold for almost €80m in 2001, but is now on market for offers above €26m

 

The profitable Radisson Farnham Golf & Spa Resort in Cavan is to be offered for sale at a fraction of its original cost. Savills Hotels and Leisure is quoting in excess of €26 million for the 1,200-acre estate which cost close to €80 million to acquire and develop over the past 15 years.

The resort, currently showing a profit of more than €2 million per annum, is to be sold on the instructions of Aiden Murphy of Crowe Howarth who was appointed receiver by Nama. The original funding for the hotel was provided by the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank.

Dublin pharmacist Roy McCabe developed the 158-bedroom hotel and golf course after buying the estate from the family of the 12th Lord Farnham for €6.35 million in 2001. The prestigious property had been owned by the same family since 1664.

While the ongoing management of the hotel by the Radisson Group will be seen as a strong endorsement by investment funds, the fact the resort can be sold free from management and franchise agreements is expected to broaden its appeal internationally.

The resort has one of the largest land holdings of any Irish hotel, spanning 1,250 acres including three lakes which form part of the great network of loughs and islands stretching southwards from Upper Lough Erne.

Location

The location on the edge of Cavan town is a key factor in its success, 90 minutes drive from Dublin and two hours from both Belfast and Galway. Room rates are generally about €140/€150 per night.

The extensive food and beverage offering has also proven a big attraction with the choice of the Botanica Restaurant, Café Vista, Chefs Table and Lobby Bar. Another popular venue is the Wine Goose Cellar Bar located in the original underground cellars of Farnham House.

The hotel has also proven a popular wedding venue, attracting 121 wedding in 2015. For others there is a range of conference and meeting rooms with a capacity of 380 conference style.

The Farnham Estate has managed to blend historic and contemporary design through attractive modern extensions linked to the original house. The estate has also capitalised on hundreds of acres of historic woodlands and countryside, including an 18-hole Jeff Howes designed championship golf course.

Another key business driver is the 40,000 sq ft Heinz Schletterer-designed spa which includes 19 treatment rooms, sauna, aroma baths and laconium. The leisure facilities also includes a fully equipped gym and indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy infinity pool where guests can unwind in a tranquil setting. The enormous size of the estate has also meant that guests will be able to use a 7km walking and cycling trail as well as freshwater fishing on the lakes.

Tom Barrett, head of hotel and leisure at Savills, said he expected interest from both Irish and international buyers in what was “one of the largest and most profitable hotel estates in the country”.