Business hotel rooms turned into bedsits


Fifty bedrooms have already been let in two Tallaght hotels that closed in January

TROUBLED property developer Liam Carroll has come up with a novel idea to improve cash flow – by converting two hotels he owns in Tallaght into bedsits.

The 186-bedroom Tallaght Cross Hotel and the 48-bedroom Glashaus hotel, both of which closed in January, have reopened, offering rooms to rent on a long-term basis.

Both hotels had been aimed at the upper end of the business market but had failed to attract sufficent numbers of customers to the area which is already well supplied with hotels.

Double bedrooms are now being rented out at €575-€600 each per month. So far, over 50 rooms have been let, according to a property source, who says that they’ve been converted to bedsits through the addition of a kettle and a microwave.

Although marketed as “studio apartments”, the rooms do not have kitchens. They are, however, fully furnished, with a large double bed, complete with duvet and pillows; a table and two chairs as well as a desk, wardrobe, TV and safe.

One feature that’s a distinct improvement on the Dublin bedsit of old is the large en suite bathroom with marble tiling, smart sanitary ware and limitless hot water.

Heating and electricity is also included in the rent, as is parking between the hours of 6pm and 10am.The communal spaces of the hotels, including restaurants and bars, have been closed off.

The two hotels form part of Tallaght Cross, an ambitious new town centre built by Carroll’s company Danninger at the height of the property boom. The development includes a large amount of retail and office space, and several blocks of apartments, many of which are now empty. The Luas red line has its terminal within the development. The Cross shopping centre has Marks Spencer as anchor tenant, and there is also a Captain America restaurant.

The studios are currently being offered on and through Coldwell Banker Estates, where Patrick Convey is handling enquiries.

The hotel sector has been hard hit by the downturn, with closures running at an estimated one a week at the end of last year and beginning of 2009. Ireland has an oversupply of hotel bedrooms – a direct result of the tax breaks offered to developers to build hotels during the boom.

However, several of the hotels that were forced to close have since reopened, having been either bought over by other chains or bought out by management. The Castlemartyr Hotel in Cork was bought by the owners of Dromoland and has since reopened, while the Castletroy Hotel in Limerick has also reopened under new management.