Beech Hill Hotel sold for undisclosed sum
One of Northern Ireland's best known country house hotels, which has played host to former US Presidents to rock stars, has been sold for an undisclosed sum.
Beech Hill Country House Hotel in Londonderry has been acquired by Republic business The House Collection, bringing an end to decades of ownership by two families.
The manor house hotel and its 32-acre grounds outside Derry was taken over by US Marines during the Second World War.
Bill Clinton ranked the hotel as his favourite place to stay in Ireland, while rock group U2 and crooner Ed Sheeran have also checked in.
It had been owned by the O'Kane and Donnelly families since 1991, with owner and manager Patsy O'Kane the face of the venue for the last 25 years.
She said: "It fills me with sadness to leave the Beech Hill, its wonderful team, its fascinating guests and its loyal customers.
"However, the time has come for a new chapter in my life and I'm looking forward to having more time for myself and my family.
"These are very different times with very different challenges and the Beech Hill needs new energy to ensure it continues to flourish. Finding people who shared our vision was not easy - when they were found, we knew it was time for a changing of the guard."
Barry Kemp, director at The House Collection, said he was delighted to announce the acquisition.
He said: "The Beech Hill is a truly iconic country house and, while the property may be entering a new chapter, our ambitions are to build on the firm foundations laid by the O'Kane and Donnelly families."
Mr Kemp paid tribute to Patsy and her hard work.
"To many guests and visitors over the last 26 years, Patsy O'Kane was the Beech Hill."
He said it will remain business as usual for all customers and guests. Meanwhile, Bishop's Gate boutique hotel, also in Derry, has been named the AA Hotel of the Year in Northern Ireland.