Billionaire John Malone is becoming Ireland's hotel king

Cable billionaire John Malone is the largest landowner in the U.S. Now, he's becoming one of the biggest real-estate holders in Ireland.

Malone announced this week that he was buying the prestigious Limerick Strand Hotel in Limerick, Ireland, for more than $25 million. The hotel, a profitable four-star property built in 2007, has views of the River Shannon and 184 rooms.


The Limerick Strand Hotel is shown near the banks of the River Shannon in Limerick, Ireland.
Limerick Strand Hotel
The Limerick Strand Hotel is shown near the banks of the River Shannon in Limerick, Ireland.

The deal is Malone's fourth hotel purchase in Ireland and marks the resurrection of the Celtic Tiger's hotel section after the financial crisis. Malone has purchased three Dublin properties—the Hilton in Charlemont Place, Trinity City Hotel and the Westin Hotel—that brings his total investment in Irish hotels to more than $150 million.

As tourism and hotel bookings have improved, hotel values have climbed about 20 percent in downtown Dublin since September 2011, more than any other part of the Irish property market, according to brokers CBRE and Savills.

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Yet Malone's interest isn't purely commercial, it's also emotional, given his Irish ancestry. Last year, he bought the 400-acre Humewood Castle estate in Wicklow for an estimated $10 million.

"I actually do believe that there may be a genetic element in wanting to own the land you're on," he once told Fortune.

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