Belfast Telegraph

Smurfit puts former Ryder Cup venue on the market for £72m

Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke
Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke

By Ronald Quinlan

Millionaire businessman Dr Michael Smurfit has put the K Club on the market for €80m (£72m).

Agent Savills Ireland is handling the sale of the sprawling five-star golf resort, which in 2006 served as the venue for the Ryder Cup.

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

Apart from the Ryder Cup, the famous resort hosted the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and 13 European Opens. The original house and estate was 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 River Liffey, which runs through the resort.

Dr Smurfit (81) said in a recent interview with the Sunday Business Post that his advancing years had informed his and his family's decision to sell the K Club now.

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He said: "I will be very sad to see the K Club sold or part of it sold. 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 some €200m (£179m) to develop.

Tom Barrett, director of hotels and leisure at Savills Ireland, which is instructed as agents to sell the property, said: "The K Club is 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."

The resort's dining facilities include The Byerley Turk restaurant and Vintage Crop Cocktail Bar.

Belfast Telegraph