The lawn of Dun Laoghaire's Royal Marine Hotel & Spa sweeps down to the Victorian harbour where the eponymous British queen Victoria arrived on visits to Dublin. Indeed, the queen is once said to have enjoyed a 16-course breakfast at the hotel when she arrived off the boat at what was then known as Kingstown.
The hotel, which dates back to 1828 - when it was known as the Hayes Hotel - has hosted many a famous face since then. In 1953, Laurel and Hardy stayed there for 33 days while they were performing at the Olympia Theatre, in what would turn out to be their last-ever stage performance together. Frank Sinatra downed a few cocktails at the bar, and Charlie Chaplin also graced the hotel corridors (there's even a suite named after him).
The landmark hotel is owned by the Neville family, which last year bought the five-star Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort in Co Wicklow for €45m. During the Celtic Tiger, the Nevilles bought, re-developed and extended the Royal Marine Hotel. And it is beside the hotel - on land that was once part of its gardens - that the family built Marine Walk, a new development of 26 apartments and penthouses that overlooks the sea. The ground floor of the development is earmarked for retail and commercial units.
The scheme of 26 one, two and three-bed homes quietly launched in 2018, and the bulk were sold to local downsizers and to first-time buyers. There are now five homes at Marine Walk that are still for sale, namely a one-bed apartment spanning 710 sq ft, two two-beds that measure 926 sq ft apiece, and two penthouses, each with 1,346 sq ft and 1,109 sq ft of living space, respectively.
Prices start at €415,000 for the one-bed apartment and at €460,000 for the two-bed versions, while the 1,346-sq ft two-bed penthouse is selling for €795,000. The most expensive home on the market, at €850,000, is the 1,109-sq ft two-bed penthouse, which comes with an expansive terrace that has panoramic views.
Each home has high-performance double-glazed windows and walnut-panelled doors throughout. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors open onto a balcony or terrace, and there is a landscaped communal garden with seating and a children's play area to part of the first-floor roof. Visitors can access each apartment via an audio entry system.
The tiled kitchen in the open-plan kitchen/dining/living room is fitted with custom-designed, contemporary-style units with soft-close doors, a quartz worktop, and integrated appliances such as a ceramic hob, an oven, an extractor unit, and a dishwasher. There is also a main bathroom, a storage area, and an en suite. The en suites and bathrooms are in a contemporary style and have tiling to the walls and floors.
Other interior finishes include white-painted walls, recessed low-voltage downlighters throughout, and brushed-steel light switches and sockets. The A3-rated homes are equipped with Rointe Kyros smart electrical heating with an energy-saving control system called Fuzzy Logic Energy Control.
Marine Walk will especially appeal to sailing enthusiasts, with three internationally renowned yacht clubs - The Royal St. George, The National and The Royal Irish - within yards of the development. Moran Park, with its pathways and water features, link Marine Walk with the harbour. For swimmers, Sandycove Beach and the Forty Foot bathing spot are not too far away.
The immediate environs of Marine Walk have been transformed in recent years. There's the Pavilion Theatre and its eateries, cafes and shops, while the DLR Lexicon, a new central library and cultural centre, was completed in 2015.
Although each apartment at Marine Walk comes with an underground parking space with private storage facilities, there will be little need for a car as Marine Walk is a few minutes' walk from the Dart station, with the journey to the city centre taking about 30 minutes along south county Dublin's scenic coastline. Dun Laoghaire is also served by Dublin Bus routes 07, 07a, 45a, 46a, 59, 63, and 75.
Viewings are by appointment.
Home & Garden
As a Los Angeles-based interior decorator to the stars, Limerick native Brigid McCormack became accustomed to the tastes of Hollywood royalty. Among her commissions was home upstyling for Geraldo Rivera and the decoration of a library for Clint Eastwood.