Great National Hotels merges with The Hotel Partnership

Great National Hotels merges with The Hotel Partnership


Nicola Rhone, David Byrne, Paul Abson and Len Louis of Great National Hotels and Resorts Group Limited – Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

The Ennis-based company Great National Hotels and Resorts, Ireland’s largest independent hotel chain, has recently announced the completion of its successful merger with one of the United Kingdom’s leading independent group of 4-star hotels, The Hotel Partnership.

The merger brings the Great National Hotels and Resorts group to a combined total of 135 hotels, making it one of the largest independent hotel services companies in Europe with over 8,150 bedrooms.

Following the merger agreement, the new business entity will maintain its two independent brand titles, which are ‘Great National Hotels and Resorts’ and ‘Classic British Hotels’. The deal will see the two organisations combine their technology, marketing and distribution services, offering a full suite of proven ‘best in class’ solutions for independent hotels throughout the UK and Ireland.

Founded in 2010, Great National Hotels and Resorts currently represents over 64 3-star deluxe and 4-star hotels and resorts throughout Ireland and the UK, while the Hotel Partnership was established in 2001 and trades under the brand ‘Classic British Hotels’. The company comprises a collection of 71 mainly 4-star deluxe properties and shortly 5-star properties throughout the UK.

Commenting on the announcement, David Byrne, Great National Hotels and Resorts Chief Executive and co-founder, said; “we are delighted to make this announcement in conjunction with The Hotel Partnership.  Both Len Louis, Chairman, and Nicola Rhone, Managing Director, of  The Hotel Partnership bring their significant experience to the Great National Hotels and Resorts Group board, and will work alongside our own Great National UK Managing Director, Paul Abson, promoting our collective services to existing and prospective hotel clients throughout Ireland and the UK.”

Commenting on the timing of the merger in the context of Brexit, Len Louis said “we see this deal as a real opportunity despite potential Brexit challenges.  We anticipate continued trading challenges for business in both markets but we now have the combined expertise, depth of knowledge, technology-led approach and range of services which will give us a greater competitive edge and real strength in the marketplace, whilst offering the independent hotel sector a truly comprehensive set of revenue-driving solutions.’’

This announcement follows on the back of a second round of investment by Enterprise Ireland into Great National which will co-fund bespoke artificial intelligence revenue management software designed to automate yielding and ultimately reduce third party commissions paid by hotels. Great National is also set to announce further investment in Q3 2018 following a second-round equity release. Funds from this will also be re-invested into the business to further strengthen both brands and to secure future growth. The Great National group remains debt free following this latest phase of expansion.


Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.