Tuesday 16 January 2018

Room at the inns for international investors

The hotel is now to be known as the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin
The hotel is now to be known as the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin
The Berkeley Court Hotel.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Hotels that sprung up all over the country during the last decade are a legacy of the property boom. Their construction was fuelled by tax breaks rather than customer demand – one reason why so many were built in areas where trade was unsustainable.

Even hotels built along what Mr McCann calls 'the M50 corridor' haven't yet felt the same kind of lift in business that those in the city centre have.

Dublin's traditional city-centre trade, however, is leading the way in an improving trend for hotels, and other urban areas around the country have also fared better this year.

But Mr McCann warned that one swallow doesn't make a summer, and it would take another two to three years of the type of trade witnessed so far this year before the hotel sector can be judged to be back on its feet.

But with some prime Dublin hotels having been put on the market at knockdown prices compared to their boom-time valuations, international investors are now reckoning that they can generate some strong yields here.

Dublin's Burlington Hotel was sold last year for €67m to private equity group Blackstone, which also owns the Hilton brand. The Morrison Hotel was bought by Russia's richest businesswoman, Elena Baturina for €22m last year.

Last week it emerged that Blackstone is also in talks to buy a 25pc stake in the former Berkeley Court and Jurys Doyle hotels in Ballsbridge, formerly controlled by Sean Dunne. Blackstone is reportedly buying the stake from Icelandic bank Kaupthing. The hotels are operated by the Dalata group on behalf of Kaupthing, Ulster Bank and Rabobank.

Irish Independent

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