Irish firm in pole position to buy Bill Cullen hotel

iNua Hospitality has already bought two Radisson Blu hotels in the past year

The Irish hotel investment company iNua Hospitality is believed to be

the front runner to buy Muckross Park Hotel and Spa in Killarney, Co Kerry, owned by businessman Bill Cullen and his partner Jackie Lavin. Kirsty Rothwell of selling agents DTZ Sherry FitzGerald is handling negotiations on the sale of the hotel which has been priced at €6.5 million.

iNua has bought two Radisson Blu hotels in the past year – one at Little Island in Cork for €8m and another in Limerick for €3.5m.

ACC Bank, owed €9.2 million when the five-star Muckross Park Hotel went into receivership, appointed Declan Taite of Duff & Phelps to dispose of the property. Accounts filed in August, 2012, showed that Mr Cullen, who fronted TV3's The Apprentice, ploughed almost €10 million into the hotel.


The business showed a profit of around €100,000 in the year to when the couple lost control of it, March 2013. They told the High Court they were shocked by the “aggressive actions” of ACC which had moved against the hotel with no warnings. Since taking over the hotel in March, 2013, the receiver has increased the turnover to more than €5 million and the trading surplus to about €200,000.

The hotel is located in a spectacular setting in the Killarney National Park. It is the oldest hotel in Killarney, dating back to 1795 and has been extended and upgraded in recent years to cater for an increasing number of Irish and overseas guests. It has 68 bedrooms and 12 self-catering apartments. A further block in shell and core condition will provide an additional six self-catering units.

The hotel has won a range of awards this year alone, including the TripAdvisor Top 15 Luxury Hotel in Ireland; World Luxury Spa Award for Cloisters Spa; Best Gastro Pub in Munster and the AA Rosette for Yew Tree Restaurant. It was also named the Munster Wedding Venue of the year in 2012. It can seat up to 250 guests at a wedding reception.

Last July, another Killarney hotel, the Aghadoe Heights owned by property developer Jerry O’Reilly was sold to a client of Davy for over €6 million.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times