Tuesday 22 October 2019

How the other half rents: What sort of home rents in Dublin for €20k a month?

Brexit boosts demand for lets with outdoor swimming pools, home cinemas, bars, private lifts, views and spas writes Celine Naughton

The exterior of Embassy House on Burlington Road, Dublin 4
The exterior of Embassy House on Burlington Road, Dublin 4
The kitchen at Embassy House
An atrium floods the hallway and staircase with light
A reception room at Embassy House
The entrance hallway at Embassy House
One of the bathrooms at Embassy House
The master bedroom at Embassy House comes with a domed, painted ceiling
Sorrento Road has a swimming pool and covered seating area
One of the reception rooms at Clyde Road in Ballsbridge
The cinema room at Tinakilly
One of the reception rooms at Tinakilly
The bar at Tinakilly House
The penthouse at Capital Dock with views across the city

Celine Naughton

The latest daft.ie figures show that rents rose by 10pc last year with renters complaining as the average monthly figure nationwide hits €1,347. But we forget that there is another world of rentals in Ireland, in which a privileged few are more than willing to pay up to €20,000 a month and more to stay in luxury pads around Dublin, soon to be the only English-speaking capital in Europe post-Brexit.

This is the quietly, quietly low key world of top end executive rentals, where the cost of living in a single home can make up the entire purchase price of a D1 apartment over just 12 months.

With high-flyers from home and abroad looking for premium properties in the tech and finance hub of the docklands, the south Dublin enclaves of D2, D4 and Dalkey, and parts of neighbouring Wicklow, Ireland's east coast is now home to what are some of the most expensive prime rentals in the world. And according to Ciara Shaffrey of relocation service Settle In, there is no shortage of takers.

"After two years of uncertainty over Brexit, companies are moving here," she says.

The cinema room at Tinakilly
The cinema room at Tinakilly

"Some are doing it under the radar so as not to upset global operations, but the wait-and-see period is over. Aircraft leasing companies, pharmaceuticals, finance, tech companies are spending big money to grow their business here, and they're bringing their best talent to make it happen."

And it's not only foreign hotshots who have big bucks to rent plush pads.

The agents we spoke to reported an increase in the number of Irish people willing to pay a premium for luxury accommodation in the right location too. Often they are professionals waiting on a bought property to be renovated or transient executives who require a home that doubles for corporate meets and home entertainment. So what do you get for a monthly rent that's the equivalent of the price of a car?

Here are six of the best ritzy rentals to let:

Embassy House 'The Pink Palace', Burlington Road, Dublin 4 - €20,000 a month Back on the rental market today, developer Johnny Ronan's Embassy House on Burlington Road may forever be known as the 'Pink Palace,' even if it has changed its colour in recent times.

The lavish Venetian-style palazzo (above) has hit the headlines as often as its flamboyant owner, not least for the legendary parties held there during the Celtic Tiger years. Since then it's been home to movie stars and ambassadors. Hollywood actress Andie McDowell stayed there while filming Maeve Binchy's Tara Road in 2005, and it later served for some years as the official residence of the United Arab Emirates ambassador.

The master bedroom at Embassy House comes with a domed, painted ceiling
The master bedroom at Embassy House comes with a domed, painted ceiling

Now, with planning permission for full embassy use, it's already attracting interest in diplomatic circles. Even before today's launch, at least two embassies have expressed an interest in taking up residence there.

Everything about Embassy House reflects the larger-than-life personality of its owner. Rooms are big, dramatic affairs with ornate features like the handmade balustrade on the sweeping stairs, ceiling plasterwork, wall arches and intricately painted doors.

The six-bedroom detached house is spread over 7,000 square feet. At garden level, there's a kitchen, living room, two ensuite double bedrooms, a guest wc and a study. The grand entrance foyer on the ground floor leads into a reception room, a dining room that can seat 16, and a drawing room. On the first floor are four bedrooms, three ensuite, two with dressing rooms, and another study.

Facing the Double Tree Hotel (formerly the Burlington), Embassy House is a few minutes' walk to Stephen's Green in one direction and Donnybrook village in the other.

Letting agent: David Devine, Herbert and Lansdowne. Tel: 01 532 9000 or 086 387 0470

The Penthouse, Capital Dock - €20,000 a month

An atrium floods the hallway and staircase with light
An atrium floods the hallway and staircase with light

At 259 feet up, Capital Dock's is the highest penthouse in the Republic of Ireland, where rents go from €2,400 a month for a one-bed apartment right up to a sky-high €20,000 for a double-height, two-bedroom 22nd floor penthouse with unrivalled views of the Liffey, Dublin Bay and the surrounding cityscape below in what is now the Republic's tallest building. The open-plan living area has exposed brick and floor-to-ceiling windows, a kitchen that would put Masterchef in the shade, and folding doors leading to a winter garden with views across to the Aviva Stadium and the Dublin Mountains. On floors 20 and 21 are two apartments with carbon-copy layouts, albeit with regular height ceilings, each renting for €10,000 a month.

Included in your rent at Capital Dock are so many amenities that you'd barely need to go out the door if you didn't have to. There's a seven-day concierge service, a gym, a 15-seater cinema, games/pool room, a business hub with meeting rooms, work stations and conference facilities, two communal lounges and a chef's kitchen/dining suite that residents can use for private dinner parties.

Developed by Kennedy Wilson in partnership with NAMA, the glass-and-red brick building stands at the end of Sir Rogerson's Quay, where the neighbouring office space has been taken up by global investment bank JP Morgan and jobs website Indeed. A new road linking the docklands to Ringsend will make a commute to the airport possible in 15 minutes.

"That's an important consideration for executives working for global companies," says Ali Rohan, head of Kennedy Wilson Ireland. "Of the 30 leases already signed, half are from Ireland and the UK, and our first residents, who came from Singapore, moved in last week."

The property has access to outside public spaces under construction on Capital Dock including a garden, playground, cafés and restaurants. Electric cars are available to rent should one want to venture further afield.

Letting agent: Emma McLoughlin, Kennedy Wilson. Tel: 01 907 3777

The penthouse at Capital Dock with views across the city
The penthouse at Capital Dock with views across the city

Ischia, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin - €7,000 a week (€28,000/€30,000 per month)

Eddie Irvine switched gears when he turned from Formula One racing to property development in 2002. Of his current portfolio of over 50 properties worldwide, one called Casa Ischia in Miami rents for an eye-watering $180,000 a month. Closer to home, Ischia, the Dalkey house he bought in 2005 seems almost a steal by comparison at just €7,000 a week.

Recent guests include American multi-millionaire and sailor Lloyd Thornburg who stayed there while competing in the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland yacht race and, more recently, American artists Peter McGough and David McDermott who came for a month and loved the five-bed house so much, they've signed a lease for a year.

Leisure amenities include a sauna, plunge pool, games room, bar and snooker table. Outside there's a timber deck with floodlit heated swimming pool, seating area and barbecue, and if you feel like venturing out in the evenings you can stroll to Dalkey village and have a pint in Finnegan's, Bono's local.

Letting agent: Clare Connolly Tel: 086 161 8471

Galileo Penthouse, Number One Ballsbridge

- €4,750 a week

On Shelbourne Road in Dublin 4, the Galileo penthouse in The Residences, Number One Ballsbridge is a four-bedroom apartment occupying the entire ninth floor with private lift, 2,400 sq ft of living space and all the frills you might expect for an annual rent of €250,000, not least its own 1,750 sq ft roof terrace with loungers, dining areas and some of the best views over the city. At 525 sq ft, the master bedroom is bigger than many two bed apartments with walk-in wardrobes and ensuite bathroom and dual wash hand basins. Residents can relax in the onsite spa and leisure club with infinity and thermal pool, and catch up with friends or colleagues in the orangerie with seating areas.

Built by the Comer Group, there's a fully equipped business lounge, 24-hour security and maintenance, and seven-day concierge service.

Letting agents: The Comer Group. See daft.ie

Clyde Road Ballsbridge -

€15,000 a month

A five-bedroom, 4,500 sq ft Victorian house on Clyde Road, Ballsbridge is being let, unfurnished, for €15,000 a month, as its owners are emigrating for some years.

The house has had a total refit by Lyons Kelly architects who opened up the ground floor to create a kitchen and dining area/conservatory, sitting room, wine cellar and a double bedroom with ensuite suitable for a nanny/au pair.

The first floor has a drawing room, formal dining room, bar and study/office. The master bedroom on the second floor has a 'Narnia wardrobe' featuring blue-framed glass doors lined with hand-painted wallpaper leading into a dressing room and ensuite bathroom. There are three more double bedrooms on this floor, and a wet room with bath. The Ballsbridge address is considered a big bonus by foreign executives, who see it as Dublin's Mayfair.

According to letting agents Bespoke, this is an ideal fit for an ambassador or company executive who needs to do formal entertaining while having private family space. Letting agent: Bespoke Estate Agents. Tel: 661 9670 Luxury Lodge Tinakilly, Co Wicklow -

€12,900 a month While techies love the Dublin docklands, in neighbouring Co Wicklow, renowned for its film industry, actors and directors shooting on location often set up base at Luxury Lodge Tinakilly. While being "sworn to secrecy" about their identity, Joe Gavin of Five Star International says the usual suspects are Hollywood A-listers renting for three months to a year. The lodge has seven double bedrooms, five bathrooms, a cinema, integrated sound system, bar and outdoor hot tub.

"We also work with finance companies and private equity firms with big budgets who want the best for their senior executives while setting up offices in Dublin," says Gavin.

"Our traffic has doubled in the last six months." Letting agent: Joe Gavin, Five Star International. Tel: 085 777 7771

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