French hospitality giant Accor has signed a deal to manage the four-star Carton House in Co Kildare in a move that will see the historic property refurbished and rebranded.
The property will be called Fairmont Carton House from the end of this year when a full refurbishment is expected to be completed.
The Maynooth property will join the Plaza in New York and the Savoy in London as part of the Fairmont brand. Ownership of the hotel by the Belmullet Hospitality Group, controlled by Irish American businessman John Mullen, is unchanged under the deal.
“Carton House is one of Ireland’s most significant landmarks, and we are excited to have Fairmont, one of the most prestigious hotel brands, to work with us to elevate the hotel to its rightful place in Irish hospitality,” Mr Mullen said.
He got involved in the property in 2017 when it was sold for a reported €57 million. Mr Mullen's parents are from Co Mayo, and he is the founder and chairman of the Philadelphia-based Apple Leisure Group, which includes an international travel business and a resorts division.
He began his travel career with United Airlines and later Lufthansa. In 1969 he opened a small travel agency in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, specialising in group tours.
Carton House, originally built in 1739, will offer 170 bedrooms and suites when the multimillion euro refurbishment is completed, in addition to its two well regarded 18-hole championship golf courses.
"The signing of Fairmont Carton House reflects our expertise in the luxury segment and reinforces our commitment to growing our luxury offering across the UK and Ireland, " said Thomas Dubaere, chief operating officer of Accor Northern Europe.
Across its global portfolio Fairmont has more than 75 hotels. Parent group Accor controls or manages more than 5,000 hotels and residences across 110 countries. The company also controls brands such as Ibis and Novotel.