Two hotels have changed hands in the past two weeks after a period of stagnation in the hospitality industry in Dublin.
A Tough Time for Hoteliers
At the beginning of 2020, there was planning permission in place for almost 100 new hotels, apart-hotels, and other forms of accommodation in Dublin city and surrounds. Then the Covid-19 pandemic arrived and the city is now littered with dozens of half-built and dark hotels.
It has been a tough year for the many hotel groups that have invested in Ireland’s hospitality industry. In 2019 the tourism and business travel market was buoyant. There were 9.7m visitors to Ireland and tourism spending was €9.5 billion.
The Moxy Hotel
The first signs that things might be about to improve for the emerging hotel market are the sale of the Moxy Hotel on the corner of Marlborough Street and Sackville Place in Dublin for €35 million. The hotel has been acquired by MHL Hotel Collection, from the Spitzer family’s Midwest Holding Group.
The 157-bed Moxy Dublin City hotel opened in November 2019 and has hardly traded since. It is the young hip brand of the Marriott Hotel Group and was expected to appeal to the younger and millennial generations.
The Moxy Dublin City will be its third Marriott-branded hotel alongside the five-star Westin Dublin and Powerscourt Hotel and Resort Spa. The name will stay the same.
Paul Higgins of MHL said, “we are optimistic for the future of Dublin, though there may be bumps on the way. The sooner tourism returns the better. Dublin does not have the staycation availability like other parts of the country.”
Other hotels in the MHL Collection include the Intercontinental in Ballsbridge, the Morgan, in Temple Bar, The Spencer in the IFSC, Glenlo Abbey, and The Galmont in Galway, Limerick Strand Hotel and it brings to 12 the number of hotels in the collection.
The Moxy is adjoining the Clerys Quarter, where the development of retail, office, leisure, food, and beverage market is under construction. The 213-bedroom hotel, The Clery, is due to open in the next year.
The Morrison Hotel
The sale of the 145-bedroom Morrison Hotel on Ormond Quay is believed to have turned a big profit for the Russian investor Yelena Baturina. The hotel was the first to be purchased from NAMA in 2012 for a price of €22 million. During the past nine years €10m has been invested in the Morrison.
With its prime location overlooking the River Liffey, the Morrison was put up for sale last year with CBRE with a price tag of €80 million. The sale price paid by UK-based Zetland Capital is believed to be around €65 million.
The Morrison was Dublin’s first boutique hotel developed by publican Hugh O’Regan formerly of the Thomas Reid Holdings group. The interiors were designed by John Rocha, the fashion designer. His style still appears through the hotel. The hotel is operated as a four-star property by Doubletree by Hilton.