Shelbourne Hotel revenues up despite €15.8m refurb

Decline in occupancy rates due to refurbishment offset by increase in room prices

The company that operates the five-star Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephen's Green, Dublin, reported a slight rise in turnover last year despite a fall in occupancy rates linked to a multimillion-euro refurbishment.

Recently filed accounts for KW Shelbourne Ops Limited show pretax profits slipped to €3.8 million from €3.9 million a year earlier as turnover climbed to €41.7 million from €39.7 million.

The company said room rates rose on the back of increased demand. However, turnover was partially offset by higher operating expenses, which increased to €34.7 million due in part to the €15.8 million it forked out on revamping the hotel.

The Shelbourne, which was acquired by US investment firm Kennedy Wilson for $152 million in 2014, undertook a major refurbishment of its rooms and facade in the first half of 2017. The revamp was led by Guy Oliver of design company Oliver Laws, who has also worked on Claridge's, The Connaught and No 10 Downing Street.


The revamp included upgrading the 1,530sq ft (142sq m) presidential suite, The Princess Grace, which costs €7,500 per night.

The hotel’s Lord Mayor’s Lounge, meanwhile, reopened earlier this year after a four-month closure after it also underwent a refurbishment.

‘Strong position’

“The directors remain confident that the strong trading position of the hotel will continue over the medium to long term as the benefits arising from the extensive refurbishment project undertaken by both the company and its landlord continued to be realised,” KW Ops said in a note included with the accounts.

The hotel, opened in 1824, has 265 bedrooms, including 19 suites.

The company said obligations under operating leases totalled €99.2 million at the end of 2017.

New figures published by travel research company STR on Friday show Dublin hotels put in a record-breaking performance in the second quarter with average daily room rates jumping 9.5 per cent year on year to €155.75. Occupancy rates were also higher as was revenue per available room, a much-loved industry metric.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist