AJ Capital buys Northern Ireland hotel to expand golf resort brand

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
Slieve Donard Resort and Spa. (Slieve Donard)

Insight Comment
AJ Capital must really like what it sees in the UK and Ireland. Not only is it growing its Graduate Hotels brand over here but it also quickly established a new name in golf resorts.

Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners has bought Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland for an undisclosed amount. 

The sellers are Hastings Hotels, the largest independent hotel operator in Northern Ireland, which has operated the property since 1972. 

The 181-key hotel will be the first Marine and Lawn Hotels and Resorts property in Northern Ireland and the fourth hotel in the collection. Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, which is located next to Royal County Down Golf Club, will join Marine and 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.

The hotel will continue to operate in its current form through summer 2022. Renovations to the property will begin in October 2022 and culminate in the spring of 2023.
AJ Capital additionally owns and operates Graduate Hotels, which recently launched The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels in Oxford, England and Graduate Cambridge in Cambridge, England.

What They Said

Ben Weprin, AJ Capital Partners, CEO and founder, said: “We are honored to welcome Slieve Donard Resort and Spa to the Marine and Lawn collection. 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.”

Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, said: “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.”

“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.”