Global Edition

Fota Island Resort on the Market

2.49am 29th May 2012 - Property - This story was updated on Friday, June 8th, 2012

Fota Island

Colliers International and Cohalan Downing are instructed by PricewaterhouseCoopers acting as Receivers to bring one of Ireland’s foremost golf resorts,  namely the Fota Island Resort to the market.

The 500 acre resort, with its championship golf course which hosted 2001 and 2002 Irish Open Championships, is located approximately 15km east of Cork City just south of the N25 Cork/Rosslare Euro Route, and encompasses a 131 bedroom 5 star hotel, 27 hole championship golf course, substantial club house, a world class golf academy and 59 substantial holiday lodges.

The Hotel is set on a site of 4.61 hectares within the resort and is finished to a very high standard with restaurants, bars, spa, hydrotherapy and leisure centre, meeting rooms, pre-function room and substantial back of house facilities.

The Fota Island  estate which totals about 700 acres was originally the property of the Smith-Barry family who were descendants of Philip de Berri, who was granted the lands in 1185 by Henry II. In the 1820s John Smith-Barry commissioned Sir Richard Morrison to convert the hunting lodge in Fota to an elegant residence.

The entire estate was bought by University College Cork in 1975 and was subsequently subdivided. The Fota Wildlife Park, one of Ireland’s top 10 visitor attractions with over 390,000 visitors in 2011, was opened in 1983 and boasts more than 70 species of exotic wildlife in open natural surroundings. The Irish Heritage Trust took possession of the house and have undertaken an extensive restoration programme and the internationally acclaimed arboretum and gardens were transferred to the care of the Office of Public Works in 1997. These are a major tourist attraction in their own right.

The bulk of the estate totalling about 500 acres now comprises the Fota Island Resort.

The entire offering is in three distinct sections.

  • A modern 5 Star FáilteIrelandaccredited hotel, built in 2006 to a very high standard. The accommodation includes 2 restaurants, bars, conferencing facilities, a ballroom (cap 300), 131 bedrooms including 8 suites and a state of the art leisure centre and spa with 18 metre pool.
  • The 18 hole golf course at Fota Island Resort which occupies approximately 80 hectares was opened in 1993 and was subsequently redesigned by Jeff Howes to European championship standards. The course hosted the Irish Open in 2001 and 2002, and the European Tour Seniors Irish Open in 2006. A new 9 hole course was developed in 2006 and occupies approximately 27 hectares. The 27 hole layout now provides a choice of 3 challenging courses, the par 71Deer Park, par 72 Belvelly and par 73 Barryscourt. The modern clubhouse which was remodelled recently is designed to cater for the needs of the club membership, whilst at the same time facilitating smaller events.
  • Planning permission was granted in 2003 which allowed for the construction of 281, three and four bedroom holiday lodges, arranged in detached, semidetached and terraced formats. A condition of the planning is that the lodges shall not be used for permanent or principal residence and that occupation of any lodge by the owner, relative of owner or tenant for more than 6 months in any calendar year is prohibited.  120 houses were built with 61 being sold and 59 remain substantially completed, some available for immediate occupation, some requiring minor finishing works.

Marcus Magnier of Colliers International commented: “The sale of Fota Island is an extremely high profile instruction and is already attracting a good deal of domestic and international interest.

“This is one of the most important and well known resort properties to be offered to the market and will represent a true test of the strength of the quality hotel and leisure market. Fota stands out not just for its pedigree but as it is a well-run trading entity, turning in a healthy profit. We will be marketing the property internationally and are encouraged by initial expressions of interest from major Irish and overseas hotel operators.

“Despite having being placed in administration the business continues to generate a turnover of in excess of €10m pa and we are anticipating offers in excess of €20m for the entire offering.”

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