Hotel articles

€60m Ticket on Westin

The five-star Westin Hotel and adjoining AIB bank branch on Dublin’s Westmoreland Street and College Green will be offered for sale from today at a guide price of €60 million.

At this level the investment will show a return of more than 7.7 per cent. Investors are likely to bid for the hotel because it is leased on a long-term basis for at least another 12 years.

The two properties were held as a investment by Treasury Holdings until it was wound up in 2011 with debts of €2.7 billion.

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Holiday Inn Express for Dublin

InterContinental Hotels Group , one of the world’s largest hotel companies, has announced the signing of three more Holiday Inn Express hotels in Dublin, Grimsb


y and Middlesborough. The Holiday Inn Express brand is leading the company’s growth in this priority market.

Holiday Inn Express Dublin – City Centre will open in Spring 2016.  The 198-room conversion property will operate under a franchise agreement with existing IHG owner Findlater House Ltd.  The hotel will be located in the heart of Dublin’s shopping district on O’Connell Street and is well positioned to attract a healthy mix of business and leisure travellers.

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Hotels Secure Creditor Protection

Two hotels in Naas employing more than 260 people received emergency High Court protection from their creditors yesterday evening, following an application from their owners who feared the National Assets Management Agency was about to appoint receivers.

Craigfort Taverns, which trades as the four-star Killashee House Hotel in the town, and Marchford, which trades as Lawlor’s Hotel on Poplar Square,must now prepare for a hearing which will hear an application for the appointment of an interim examiner.

A hearing to confirm the appointment is scheduled for May 14th.

Both hotels are owned by Faxhill Homes, which is controlled by the Kildare builder Jack Tierney.

The hotels’ owners prepared a fast-track court application over the weekend, which resulted in the granting of temporary court protection yesterday evening. The directors said the two businesses would trade as normal throughout the court protection and the examinership periods.

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Marketing Group's New Members

Ireland’s largest network of independently owned hotels – Manor House Hotels of Ireland and Irish Country Hotels have welcomed Delphi Lo


dge, Connemara and Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry to the portfolios, bringing the combined number of member hotels up to 50.

Pictured from left (front) are Maria McNamara of Athenry's Raheen Woods Hotel and Hazel Wade of Connemara's Delphi Lodge.  At back are Lester McNamara, Raheen Woods Hotel, Chairperson of Manor House Hotels and Irish Country Hotels Mary Fitzgerald, Brand Chairperson of Irish Country Hotels Paul Gallagher and Michael Wade, Delphi Lodge.

With more than 2,500 hotel rooms, the Manor House Hotels of Ireland and Irish Country Hotels brands were both set up as member-owned non-profit organisations in 1986 to market small independent luxury and family run properties overseas.  In 2014, more than €1m will be invested in promoting the Manor House Hotels of Ireland and Irish Country Hotels brands and properties, as well as Ireland as a holiday destination, in key overseas markets, in addition to some €9m in capital projects across the portfolio.

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Second Generation at Temple Gate

The Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis, has been upgraded to 4 star accreditation by Failte Ireland, following on from previous accolades which included “Best Place to Eat In Clare” and Failte Ireland’s “Best Service Excellence Award”.

Adam Harris of HospitalityENews  spoke to managing director Paul  Madden  about inheriting the business, the recent upgrade and tourism in Clare.

01apaulThe Temple Gate Story started in 1996 when it was established by Paul’s father, John Madden, who had  for many years been General Manager of the West County Hotel in Ennis.

After graduating in Hospitality Management, Paul went to London where he stayed until 2003 before returning to take over the day to day running of the hotel.  However both father and son are  still are very much involved in the business.

“I am responsible for the day to day running of the hotel, along with our management team, but my father has a well of knowledge and experience in the hotel industry and brings the small touches which make the difference”, Paul says.

These small touches are important to Paul.  He feels they help demonstrate the difference between a hotel ran by an owner-operator as opposed to the larger hotel chains we have emerged in Ireland in recent years.

While f these home touches enable the Temple Gate to stand out in terms of customer service, Paul has brought the efficiency and a modern take on the hotel industry which he learnt from those same hotel chains he worked with in London.

“In previous times the standard of a hotel was measured by its ground floor – you needed a comfortable seating area, good food and a good quality of service, but there was less emphasis on the quality of rooms”, he says.

The Celtic Tiger changed that however. Just prior to the bank crash of 2008 the hotel secured a loan of €3.5 million which was not invested in the rooms but in the hotel generally. But the Maddens managed through working capital and smaller loans from the banks to upgrade all Temple Gate guest rooms, which now feature mounted TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi and all the staples of a 4 star hotel bedroom.  Paul feels that this was key to the hotel achieving four star accreditation.

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