By Brian Keogh
Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links has been snapped by the Canadian hotel chain the Sandman Hotel Group.
Canada’s largest family and privately-owned hospitality paid the €50 million guide price, a spokesperson familiar with the deal said.
The north Dublin links had to shelve its bid to host the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open when it went on the market in May.
But it's understood the venue will bid for the Irish Open in 2022 should the 2021 event go to Northern Ireland.
No venue for 2020 has been announced by the European Tour though sponsors Dubai Duty Free have privately expressed their liking for Mount Juliet.
The K Club, which is also in the process of being sold, is another venue near the capital that could rival Mount Juliet.
Dublin hotelier and nursing homes operator Michael Fetherston is the preferred bidder, according to property industry reports with an announcement of a sale below the guide price of €80 million believed to be imminent.
Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
Druids Glen, which has also been sold recently to the Neville Hotel Group, is not in a position to host in 2020.
But plans to upgrade the Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock design and ambitions to host an Irish Open are expected over the next few years.
Portmarnock Links, which was designed by European Golf Design in conjunction with Bernhard Langer, has 134 rooms, restaurants, meeting and banquet space and an award-winning spa and fitness centre.
"We are thrilled to be expanding into Ireland," said Mitch Gaglardi, Managing Director, Northland Properties UK Limited. "It's such a stunning part of the world, and this property is incredibly special.
"We have great respect for the existing team and the long history of the hotel – combined with our own 50-plus years of experience, we see a winning formula."
The former home of the Jameson family, founders of Jameson Irish Whiskey, the resort has undergone a major upgrade in recent years and Director of Golf, Conor Russell, is excited about what lies ahead.
"They are very good people, and they have a very keen interest in golf," he said. "We are looking forward to the future.
"The majority of the investment here has been in the hotel and meeting areas, but while the owners will expand the hotel, their focus is on golf, and there will be significant investment in golf.
"Our golf facilities will become five-star and rival any top-tier resort in the UK and Ireland. We are very happy."