27/06/2008

Belfast's 'Coolest Hotel' Sold To Co Down Developer

An award-winning hotel, dubbed as 'Belfast's coolest hotel' by the 'style authorities' at the Sunday Times, has been sold to a Co Down property mogul.

Current owners Nicholas and Paul Hill - who also own the Ballymena-based Galgorm Resort - sold Ten Square Hotel to Drumaness-born millionaire property developer John Miskelly for an undisclosed sum.

It is understood the deal will see a major expansion, with the bedroom numbers being increased from 23 to more than 100, and the current staffing level of 75 more than doubling.

Mr Miskelly, a private investor - and avid Liverpool football supporter - was even linked to a possible takeover of the club in 2007.

It has been reported he plans to buy the adjacent properties to the hotel in order to allow for its expansion.

He owns a list of properties, including a chain of convenience stores, nursing homes and a medical supplies distribution company as well as Clarence Chambers buildings and Scottish Amicable, both in Belfast city centre.

The Hill brothers have decided to focus their attention on the Galgorm Resort and Spa, which recently received a £10 million makeover.

"The past eight year were exciting and we believe that Ten Square played a role in the revitalisation of Belfast City Centre," Nicholas Hill told the News Letter.

"We have now decided to focus our attention on Galgorm Resort and Spa. It is a prestigious complex which has already won awards and we are determined that it should maintain its position as one of the top leisure hotels on the island of Ireland."

Ten Square, hailed as being "one of the chicest boutique hotels in Ireland" by the Sunday Times, was opened in 2000 and has built up a strong reputation among locals, tourists and celebrities, even earning the accolade of one of the 'sexiest hotels in the world' by Cosmopolitan Magazine.

(JM)

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