Slieve Donard hotel snapped up by US investor in €47m deal

Nashville-based AJ Capital Partners acquiring five-star resort from Hastings Hotels

The Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Co Down, is to be acquired by US-based AJ Capital Partners in a deal valued at £40 million (€47 million).

The five-star hotel, which is located in Newcastle, about 30 minutes from Belfast, had been owned by the Hastings family since 1972.

The buyer is a Nashville-headquartered real estate developer and hotel operator with more than 40 hotels across the US and Britain, including St Andrews in Scotland.

"AJ Capital Partners's acquisition of the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is encouraging news for hospitality and tourism in Northern Ireland and, in particular, for the burgeoning golf tourism industry here – which has been an important driver of local tourism in recent years and shows significant growth potential in the future," said Hastings Hotels managing director Howard Hastings.


The Slieve Donard will be operated by AJ Capital Partners under its Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts brand, the firm said.

‘Timeless asset’

"It's a tremendous responsibility and honour to be the next steward of this timeless asset," said Ben Weprin, chief executive of AJ Capital.

“The Hastings family has held that distinction for nearly 50 years and we plan to carry and uphold the tradition and spirit of this iconic property and connect it with our existing assets to create a collection unparalleled in the golf world,” he added.

Hastings Hotels, which co-owns the five-star Merrion in Dublin, recorded pretax losses of £16.55 million (€19.25 million) last year as the impact of Covid-19 took its toll on the hospitality sector. Recently filed accounts show revenues almost halved from £49.37 million to £25.12 million in 2020.

The group also owns the Europa, the Grand Central hotel and the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist