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Friday 21 September 2018

€80m K Club golf resort is put on market by 'sad' Smurfit

The K Club hosted the Ryder Cup
The K Club hosted the Ryder Cup

Millionaire businessman Dr Michael Smurfit has put the K Club on the market for €80m.

Agent Savills Ireland is hand-ling the sale of the sprawling five-star golf resort which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006.

Located on the banks of the River Liffey in Straffan, Co Kildare, the K Club sits on a 550-acre estate and comprises a 134-bedroom hotel and two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer.

As well as the Ryder Cup, the resort has hosted the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and 13 European Opens.

The original house and estate were developed in 1832 by the Barton wine family.

Modelled on a French chateau, the property still retains many of its original architectural features, artwork and antiques.

It opened as a luxury hotel in 1991 and was Ireland's first AA Five Red Star Property.

The K Club estate features a Victorian walled garden and fishing on the Liffey which runs through the resort.

The resident ghillies offer fly fishing, and horse riding and clay pigeon shooting are also available along with a range of different country pursuits.

The K Spa, meanwhile, features a secluded outdoor hot tub, aromatic herb garden, seven luxurious treatment rooms, two private suites, a Hamam, a Hydrobath, a Vichy Shower and an exotic Rasul Chamber.

The resort also hosts a range of dining facilities including The Byerley Turk Restaurant and Vintage Crop Cocktail Bar.

The conference and banqueting facilities are extensive, extending to 18 rooms.

Dr Smurfit (81) said in a recent interview that his "advancing years" was one of the reasons behind the decision to sell the K Club.

Interest

"I will be very sad indeed to see the K Club sold or part of it sold," he said.

"I have had very many happy times there with my family and friends. It has been a big part of my life, but I am spending more time overseas these days.

"We have decided to do this because of my advancing years."

The businessman said there had already been significant interest in the K Club, which he added had cost €200m to develop.

Dr Smurfit and property developer Gerry Gannon bought the K Club from Jefferson Smurfit in 2005.

In 2012, Dr Smurfit bought Mr Gannon's 49pc stake in the business for a reported €40m.

Tom Barrett, director at Hotels and Leisure at Savills Ireland, described it as one of the leading hotel and golf resorts in the world.

"As a freehold property, unencumbered by brand or management agreement, it offers vast potential for the next owner," he said.

As well as hitting headlines around the world as the location for the Ryder Cup, the K Club is well-known for hosting some of Ireland's most famous names, including MMA star Conor McGregor.

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