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Dublin’s Hotels And Hostels Market Heats Up As Azora Buys Jacobs Inn

Azora has acquired Jacobs Inn Dublin as the hostel market expands in the city.

Investors and hotel operators are targeting Dublin’s value sector and “lean luxury” market as the city looks to capitalise on growing tourist numbers.

The most recent of several new openings and investments came at the end of April, when Madrid-based European real estate investment manager Azora completed the acquisition of two hostels in Dublin and Barcelona on behalf of its Azora European Hotel & Lodging Fund through a transaction with a fund managed by BlackRock.

The Jacobs Inn Dublin is operated by Siggis Capital, and the assets were sold unencumbered and will be operated by Latroupe, the boutique hostel operator owned by AEHL. Latroupe was created in 2021 and manages a hostel portfolio comprising three assets in Madrid, Bilbao and Brussels, with plans to open in further European cities.

All assets operated by Latroupe are located in the city centre and “combine 4-star hotel service with the vibrancy and social environment typical of a premium hostel,” the company said in a release.

Since its formation in 2011, Azora has invested around €3B in the hospitality sector, acquiring more than 100 hotels and 26,000 hotel rooms, targeting high-quality hotels, urban hostels and businesses requiring management and repositioning, the company said. It launched Azora European Hotel & Lodging in 2021 with €815M in capital. 

In October, local operator Clink Hotels opened the 11-floor, 630-bed Clink i Lár hostel in Dublin’s city centre, the biggest space of its kind in the city. Founded by Dubliners Anne and Shelley Dolan, the chain of hostels opened its first location in London in 1997, then Amsterdam in 2015 before debuting in Dublin.

Motel One also opened its first Irish hotel on Middle Abbey Street last year, as did the budget, 51-bedroom microhotel REZz in the Hely Building on Dame Lane, which recently came to market via JLL on behalf of building owner Eir for about €10M.

Several boutique hotel chains have also targeted Dublin, with lean luxury hotel chain The Ruby Group announcing last year that it will open a second Dublin site on Middle Abbey Street by the end of 2025, set to consist of 257 rooms and a rooftop bar, in collaboration with Dublin-based Fitzwilliam Real Estate.

“The Dublin hotel market has proven to be very resilient, even in times of crisis, with ongoing high demand from national and international business and leisure travellers,” Ruby Group Development Director Julian Mörs said in a statement announcing the news.     

Leonardo Hotels has also opened its first Irish property under its boutique brand, NYX hotels. The 175-room NYX Hotel Dublin overlooks the Grand Canal at Portobello Harbour in south Dublin.

Related Topics: Azora Capital, Ruby Hotels, Motel One