Fitzwilliam hotels to get €20m boost in major expansion and refurbishment

'Accounts for Ampleforth showed that in 2017, revenues at the company totalled €15.12m.' Stock image
‘Accounts for Ampleforth showed that in 2017, revenues at the company totalled €15.12m.’ Stock image

Businessman Michael Holland is investing €20m in the expansion of his luxury hotels, the Fitzwilliam in Dublin and the Fitzwilliam in Belfast.

Bedrooms and common areas at the five-star Fitzwilliam on St Stephen’s Green will be completely refurbished, with work due to start at the end of 2018.

The hotel will also begin work on an additional 50 new bedrooms on the upper floors, which Dublin City Council has granted planning permission for. Holland’s Ampleforth group also owns the well-known Bailey Bar Cafe just off Grafton Street in Dublin.

Through a separate corporate entity, Holland also owns the five-star, 150-bedroom Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast on Great Victoria Street. A refurbishment has recently been completed and the addition of 23 new rooms will be completed by the end of August. Holland bought the hotel in 2015 for a reported €23m. His management company, Hotel Partners, had been running the hotel since it opened in mid-2009.

Accounts for Ampleforth showed that in 2017, revenues at the company totalled €15.12m. This was a 62pc drop on the €40.23m revenues of 2016, with revenues from ‘discontinued operations’ accounting for €26.1m.

The results revealed that Holland gained €10.47m when he sold his Irish Welcome Tours business. The sale of the business by Holland to Mayfair Equity Partners last year contributed to pre-tax profits at Ampleforth increasing almost threefold to €14.6m for 2017. The firm received an unsolicited report from Mayfair regarding the sale of the tour business.

The directors reports said: “Terms were agreed and the transaction was completed in July 2017.”

According to the directors’ report, “the Dublin hotel market continues to benefit from strong tourist numbers as well as a vibrant corporate market”.

The strength of the hotel business in Dublin resulted in the company enjoying an unrealised gain of €22.97m following the revaluation of the company’s fixed assets. As a results of the sale of the tours business numbers employed at the business fell from 173 to 129. The low-key Holland also owns the Four Star Pizza franchise, which he bought out of examinership in 2011.

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