Penthouse with views over Dun Laoghaire pier on the market for €675k
Top apartment in a once legendary hotel is now for sale
Dun Laoghaire long ago lost its 'other' hotel. Every town has 'the' hotel - the shining corporate-run palace to which they chauffeur the mother-in-law in hushed tones on an occasional Sunday afternoon for high tea - with wholemeal scones hand rolled on thighs of the health gods, standing napkins, stiff-lipped staff and lingering churchly silences.
Where foreign maids in prescribed mono vestments lie on their backs to scrub the undersides of tables and scour their way daily with toothbrushes through channels of guest room shower grout.
Then there's the 'other' hotel -the family-owned pile they fall into to watch the match, to release the children and eat food prepared by both the departing and incoming chef. The 'other' hotel is where the barman knows the cut of your gib and might just keep your custom beer mug behind the counter. Where the piano guy hits duds but is uncanny at cranking up a sing song.
Dun Laoghaire's 'other' hotel was always The Pierre. Last run by the Rosenkranzs - a fastidious west of Ireland family with Austrian roots - this is where Dun Laoghaire locals came to hide and relax, where salted yachtsmen landlubbed for a sup and where rugby travellers from the UK enrolled with hardened loyalty over decades coming to Lansdowne Road, to be mothered by a conscientious manager by day and enthralled by night by a dapper raconteur barkeep who knew every Monty Python monologue.
Facing straight on to the East Pier, The Pierre was a proper ready-salted seaside hotel of old, complete with a full complement of live-in guests so taken with the place that it was their permanent home.
Sadly for all but the current residents, during the boom years - when we lost so many of our 'other' hotels - the Pierre was bought up and transformed into a block of apartments.
But its memory lives on - for example, the most recently established Blackrock estate agent, Janet Carroll, encountered an unexpected wave of dewy-eyed nostalgia among the locals who turned up to view a bay-windowed apartment she was selling in The Pierre block, which was once a part of the hotel's popular nightclub where so many local love stories began.
"Believe it or not, I encountered no less than three women of a certain age who pointed at the bay window and proudly announced: "I snogged Bob Geldof right there!"
That apartment is now sold. But Carroll today has the daddy of all The Pierre apartments to sell - one of the two modern penthouses recently built on the roof of the former eminent Victorian seaside hotel.
The apartment is svelte but the views are truly mighty. From its balconies you can see straight down the East Pier dead in front of you - Dun Laoghaire's hive of happenings on sunny weekend days.
You also have a sea vista from Killiney Hill on one side, to 'the forty foot' swimming spot at Sandycove on the other. Measuring almost 1,000 sq ft, the size of an average city family home, it has an entrance hall with oak timber floor and a skylight overhead.
There's a living room/kitchen with hardwood oak flooring which comes with contemporary designer units as well as a built-in fridge/freezer, dishwasher, oven, hob, coffee machine and microwave. The main bathroom goes to the south balcony and the ensuite is styled as a wet room.
Nearby amenities include the Crunch Fitness Centre, the People's Park with Sunday farmer's market, a cinema and the Pavilion Theatre.
The former hotel has a high tech high speed elevator system, a communal roof terrace garden and an underground car park with a "car lift." But no more Monty Python.
The Pierre, Victoria Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Asking price: €675,000
Agent: Janet Carroll (01) 2882020