Saturday 10 December 2016

The Jurys is out as hotel on Dublin's quays to get a €7m Hilton rebrand

Published 20/11/2015 | 02:30

The Jurys Inn Custom House hotel will be a Hilton Garden Inn
The Jurys Inn Custom House hotel will be a Hilton Garden Inn

The boss of hotel group Amaris Hospitality, which includes the Jurys Inn brand, has ruled out making a play for the Gresham Hotel in Dublin when it comes on the market shortly.

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John Brennan said the rumoured €60m price tag that might be attached to the Gresham when Nama puts it up for sale would not make it an asset Amaris would be interested in.

Mr Brennan was speaking to the Irish Independent as Amaris, which is owned by US private equity group Lone Star, announced it will rebrand the Jurys Inn Custom House, close to the Convention Centre in Dublin, as a Hilton Garden Inn.

It's the first time that Hilton's Garden Inn brand is making an appearance in the Irish market. The rebranding and refurbishment of the 239-bedroom Jurys Inn property will cost €7m. The project will involve adding a gym, as well as room upgrades.

Under an agreement with Hilton Worldwide, Amaris is also rebranding two hotels in Scotland. The three rebrands are part of a wider €140m capital investment programme.

Amaris was created this year soon after Lone Star paid close to €1bn to buy the Jurys Inn group from investors. Amaris includes 89 hotel properties acquired via four different portfolios by Lone Star. It is one of the largest hotel owners and managers in the UK.

Mr Brennan said the Custom House rebranding will differentiate the property from two other Jurys Inn hotels in the city.

"We have always said that Amaris would be a multi-brand platform," he said. "As part of that, we were able to open an additional eight Jurys Inn hotels in the UK.

"We also said we would look to see what hotels might benefit from a rebranding. In the case of Custom House, it is a property that will significantly benefit from the Hilton brand. Tourism and corporate demand in Ireland is increasingly international and the Hilton name is recognised globally." He said the global distribution network at Hilton also helps the property to target business abroad.

"Couple that with the investment we're going to make in the hotel, and potentially expanding it in due course, this gives us an opportunity to significantly improve the performance of the hotel," Mr Brennan added.

He said business in Dublin continues to be very strong. But he said that some projections that it needs another 5,000 hotel rooms within five years could be overstated.

"It strikes us as being a high-side estimate," he said. "But a growing capital city like Dublin always needs to have an increasing level of hotel product. But what's important is that it needs to be at a measured pace."

A €10m plan to expand the Jurys Inn Custom House hotel by adding up to 85 extra bedrooms has been objected to by the company behind the nearby CHQ building.

Irish Independent

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