Brand Designs Set To Shake Up Dublin’s Hotels Market
Quite apart from delivering much needed extra rooms, the recent upsurge in development activity in Dublin’s hotels sector is bringing — and promising — a whole bunch of new and interesting brands.
It is something of a departure for the city. “If you go back 10 years there weren’t many branded hotels in Dublin, apart from Hiltons and Radissons,” CBRE Hotels Director John Hughes said.
These days, lots of international brands want a little piece of Dublin for a whole range of reasons, not least because the city had an 83% occupancy rate in 2017, according to Crowe figures. And, according to STR stats, the average daily rate for hotel rooms in the city was €155.75 at the end of Q2, up 9.5% year on year, while revenue per available room was up 9.7% to €139.51.
Among the new brands that have committed to Dublin so far are Marriott International’s Aloft and Moxy, Hyatt Centric, Locke by Saco, Motel One, Wilde, Hard Rock Hotel, Point A, EasyHotel and Hampton by Hilton, while plenty more are still on the look out. Here are the brands set to shake up the scene in 2019.
Due to open in Blackpitts in Dublin 8 in December, the Aloft Dublin will be the first of these new brands to start trading. Owner Marriott describes Aloft Hotels as delivering a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape and being targeted at the always-on next generation of traveller, offering “a tech-forward, vibrant experience and modern style that is different by design”.
What this means is a contemporary look and a focus on music — for example, acoustic gigs in the lounge — and technology. Across the brand’s 150 hotels in more than 20 countries, tech pilots and offerings have included emoji-only room service menus, robotic butlers, in-room streaming services and room entry via the guest’s smartphone or Apple watch.
The eight-storey 202-bed Dublin hotel will be operated by Pembroke Hospitality.
Hard Rock Hotel
Following a complete refurbishment of the former Parliament Hotel in Temple Bar, Ireland’s first Hard Rock Hotel will open in 2020. The 120-room property will be operated by Irish hotel group Tifco.
Tifco and Hard Rock International said the interior will be a “unique music-inspired city escape with priceless memorabilia”.
Some of the brand offerings will include The Sound of Your Stay music programme, which provides records and record player or a Fender guitar, along with amp and headphones; and Rock Om, an in-room yoga experience. The hotel will also have live music every evening.
Ireland will get its first ever Hyatt hotel next year with the opening of the 234-room Hyatt Centric in the Liberties, which is scheduled to happen in May. The hotel will be managed by Hodson Bay Group.
The brand is aimed at “millennial-minded travellers who want to be in the middle of the action”. It promises streamlined modern rooms that deliver everything guests want, including Beekind’s environmentally conscious bath products, Bluetooth-enabled electronics and salon-grade hairdryers.
According to Hyatt Hotel Corp., the Dublin property is being designed to encourage interaction and engagement with large windows, a state-of-the-art gym and social spaces.
Also on its way is budget boutique brand Point A, which has just started work on a 130-room hotel on the corner of Parnell Street and Moore Lane in Dublin 1.
Ranging from around 85 SF to 130 SF, Point A rooms are pretty compact, but the space is well used with under-bed storage for luggage, dropdown tables and handbag hooks.
Point A currently has six hotels in London and one in Glasgow.
During the summer, EasyHotel — which describes itself as being in the ‘super budget’ category — bought a site on Benburb Street and Wood Lane in Dublin 7 with planning permission for 96 rooms. The company is now looking to increase that permission to allow for 130 bedrooms.
EasyHotel already has 10 owned and 24 franchised hotels, as well as a pipeline of 18 properties.
These hotels really are no frills. The model is for room only: as there are no restaurants or bars, breakfast is not provided on-site. Also, the FAQs on the EasyHotel website state that “rooms are cleaned prior to arrival and some hotels provide it free of charge, however, for some hotels you will need to purchase it at an extra cost”.
In the aparthotel space, Saco is currently developing two hipster-friendly Locke properties on the north quays that are both due to open in 2020. First up in July 2020 will be the 120-room Ormonde Locke on the site of the former Zanzibar on Ormonde Quay. It will comprise 160 units — 116 studios, 43 one-beds and one two-bed unit — coworking area, all-day dining, cocktail bar and gym.
Beckett Locke on North Wall Quay will offer similar facilities and 241 units — 138 studios, 72 one-bed and 31 two-bed units.
Meanwhile, a wide range of other brands continue to look for opportunities in Dublin, including Malmaison, Bloc, Yotel, Zoku and Hotel du Vin. And operators that have recently started their search include Jo&Joe, Soho House, Citizen M, The Hoxton, 25hours Hotels and Native.