The property has been acquired from Hastings Hotels, the largest independent hotel operator in Northern Ireland, who has proudly operated the property since 1972.
Positioned adjacent to the world-renowned Royal County Down Golf Club, the 181-key hotel will be the first Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts property in Northern Ireland and the fourth hotel in the collection. Slieve Donard Resort & Spa will join Marine & Lawn properties launched in summer 2021, including Rusacks St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland; Marine North Berwick in North Berwick, Scotland; and Marine Troon in Troon, Scotland.
“We are honored to welcome Slieve Donard Resort & Spa to the Marine & Lawn collection,” says AJ Capital Partners, CEO and founder Ben Weprin. “It’s a tremendous responsibility and honor to be the next steward of this timeless asset. 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.”
The property offers four food and beverage venues, 11 meeting and conference rooms, a ballroom and a two-floor spa, which includes a swimming pool, vitality pool, fitness studio, steam room, relaxation room, and 14 treatment rooms.
Slieve Donard is located 30 miles south of Belfast and 90 miles north of Dublin. Regarded as one of the most iconic hotels in Northern Ireland, it has served as host to several prominent golf events, including The British Amateur Championship, The Curtis Cup, The Walker Cup and, most recently, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The hotel will continue to operate in its current form through summer 2022, before renovations to the property begin in October 2022 and culminate in the spring of 2023. Upon reopening, the reimagined Slieve Donard will offer decor inspired by the narratives of the destination’s rich past, including updated guest rooms and renovated food and beverage and meeting and event spaces.
“AJ Capital Partners’ 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,” says Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels.
“This investment is a strong sign of confidence in the local market by a major international hotel operator with exciting ambitions for the Slieve Donard in the coming years. I have every confidence that AJ Capital Partners will be sympathetic to the heritage of the hotel and that, under their leadership, it will continue to flourish and maintain its reputation as an iconic destination in Northern Ireland.”