Saturday 24 March 2018

VIDEO: Take a sneak peek inside Ireland's first hotel for students

While the Montrose has an extensive waiting list, one student talks openly about her accommodation worries

Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

The Montrose hotel is close to finishing a rather extensive makeover. The building is set to repoen next month as Ireland's first hotel for students.

Around 160 students, most attending UCD, will check in to the hotel for the academic year. The new residents will move into cluster flats, which will be shared between five to eight people, with communal living, kitchen and dining areas.

Bedrooms will either be classic rooms or superior rooms, which will all have en suite bathrooms. The Montrose is being managed by Ziggurat Student Living and property manager Georgina Wade is looking forward to throwing open the doors for the hotel's new guests.

"I think it's going to be great. We've been advertising since March and our classic rooms were the first to go," she said.

Classic rooms cost €180 a week to rent, while classic upper floor rooms cost €191-199 a week, and superior rooms cost €230. Top floor rooms and penthouse rooms have yet to be released for rent.

"We have a waiting list now and the waiting list gets bigger every day. At the moment it's about 100 to 150. It's quite large. There's a lot of interest," Ms Wade said.

The former hotel's close location to the UCD campus means that it's a prime rental spot.

"We took on the Montrose because it was empty and it has good potential. It's a solution for students."

Despite having so many students in such close quarters, there will be strict guidelines in place for residents and managers don't envisage it being a party hot spot.

"That's something that we hope isn't going to happen. They're all adults and they're going to enjoy themselves, but there's going to be rules and regulations that they have to follow. We hope that there won't be any disturbances," Ms Wade said.

Like the people on the Montrose's waiting list, there are still many students bound for college who have still to sort out their accommodation. One of those is final year student at Trinity College Megan Guthrie, who is increasingly worried about the lack of viable accommodation for students in the capital.

"I couldn't sleep last night after I had this horrible nightmare that I was living out of my suitcase in the Maths Department," she said.

The Clare native has been travelling from Ennis most days in her desperate search for accommodation in her price range.

"It's three hours in the bus first thing, so I have to limit the amount of times I come up. It takes three and a half hours. We'll go out and view houses and hope it'll be okay and if it isn't we come back and we do it again.

"This evening I'll go home, because I have nowhere to stay up here, unless I stay with my friends and I can't keep sponging off them, because I've been doing it around three or four times already," she said.

"If I don't find anything today, I'll have to come back up again later this week and start over."

Trinity's Students' Union have been dealing with hundreds of students already who are in need of housing for the academic year. The university's accommodation drop-in service is in its third week now. In the first five days officials dealt with around 200 students, according to the Students' Union's Welfare Officer Ian Mooney.

"This is a massive increase on the year before. There have been a lot of email queries and a lot of people dropping in and a lot of phone calls of worried Irish mammies, but we're handling it so far," he said.

"The top tip would be to stay calm and don't panic. There is still time to find accommodation and there are a lot of support services there if you need them."

Irish Independent

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