Hotel development reaches post-crash high, report shows

Vast majority of rooms under construction in Dublin, Cushman & Wakefield data finds

More than 4,000 hotel bedrooms were under construction in the first quarter of this year, a post-crash high, according to data from real estate agency Cushman and Wakefield.

Dublin is the busiest location for new hotels rooms with about 88 per cent of the bedrooms being built in the capital. More than 2,000 rooms will be delivered this year with another 1,143 to come to the market in 2020.

In the first three months of the year, two hotels were completed. The 202-room Aloft opened in Dublin 8 and a 30-room boutique hotel, Avalon House Hotel, opened in Kilkenny.

The quarter was generally a buoyant one with hotel turnover amounting to €106.7 million across six transactions compared with just €24 million in the same period in 2018.


"It is encouraging to see transaction activity increase in the first quarter of 2019, after a somewhat slow 2018. We envision this activity to continue rising with a pipeline of notable assets due to come to the market in the coming months," said Isobel Horan, Cushman and Wakefield's associate director of trading assets.


Of the six hotels transacted in the quarter, the most notable was the sale of the five-star Powerscourt Estate in Co Wicklow, sold to the MHL Group for €50 million.

Other five-star premises sold in the quarter included the Heritage Hotel and Spa in Co Laois and the Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry.

While Irish buyers took four of the six sales, Singaporean investor Dr Stanley Quek was behind the purchase of the Sheen Falls Lodge and the Dublin Citi Hotel, spending €28.9 million between the two.

And even though construction is the dominant focus in the market given the shortfall of rooms in Dublin, the quarter did see four new hotels brought to market including two in the capital.

The most notable was the five-star Conrad Hotel in Dublin 2, guiding €115 million. The three others are the Tullamore Court in Co Offaly, the Carna Bay Hotel in Co Galway and the Hilton Kilmainham in Dublin 8.

These add to existing hotels on the market like the K Club Resort in Co Kildare, guiding €80 million, and the Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort in Co Wicklow, guiding €45 million.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business