Residential property: Looking for… the high life in Dublin

The following three apartments are some of the finest available in Dublin


Not every buyer with a big budget dreams of high-maintenance period houses with large time-consuming gardens.

Apartment living can be extremely convenient, albeit with the cost of management fees to consider, and for those who are looking for the best available, the following three apartments are some of Dublin’s finest.

40 Hollybrook, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

€875,000, Sherry FitzGerald, 268sq m (2,885sq ft)

When constructed in 2002 by developer Séan Dunne, Hollybrook set a new standard in apartment living – with spectacular landscaping, residents’ gym, sauna, concierge service, luxurious common areas and exceptionally large proportions. Penthouses such as Number 40 were sold for prices from €2.3 to €3 million.

This duplex penthouse features an upside-down layout, with three bedrooms on the lower floor, and generous living accommodation above.

All three bedrooms are sizeable, two with en-suite bathrooms and the master featuring a dressing room. There is a third bathroom at this level also.

The upper floor comprises a large eat-in kitchen and interconnecting dining and living rooms.

The living room is particularly impressive being 9.7m (32ft) long and opens out to a long roof terrace, which is also accessible from the separate dining room.

The apartment, like all of its neighbours, is finished to the highest of standards.

In 2008, after the market’s collapse began, the apartment was offered for sale for €2.15 million and is now for sale again with a 60 per cent price reduction.

For a buyer more concerned with value for money than the annual cost of upkeep, there is a bargain to be had at Hollybrook. Given its size, quality and location, the low asking price is almost solely a result of the apartment’s high service charge – €13,177 (minimum) per annum.

There is an appetite for exclusive developments similar to Hollybrook even in spite of high service charges, as demonstrated by the recent sale of a 158sq m penthouse in the Intercontinental Hotel for €1.4 million – which was subject to a lofty €20,000 per annum service charge. At the moment it appears that this appetite may be confined to Dublin 4’s best addresses and, to the advantage of would-be buyers, has yet to spread to Foxrock.

112 Ardoyne House, Pembroke Park, Dublin 4

€1.1 million, Owen Reilly, 180sq m (1,938sq ft)

Completed in 1966, Ardoyne House is a landmark block located in an enviable position bounded by Herbert Park and just moments from Donnybrook and Ballsbridge villages. Nearly 50 years on, the block remains one of Dublin’s most desirable thanks to its apartments’ good proportions, unparalleled views and desirable location.

Number 112 is one of just two penthouses occupying the 11th floor. The spacious apartment consists of a large entrance hall, living/dining room, separate kitchen, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a study. The master bedroom features both an en-suite bathroom and dressing room. The apartment has been well-maintained and some rooms have clearly been updated in recent years.

Without a doubt, the apartment’s greatest asset is the magnificent vista afforded by its unique elevated position, with uninterrupted views across Herbert Park, Donnybrook, Ballsbridge and beyond. All but two rooms feature this incredible easterly view, with both the living room and master bedroom offering access to the expansive private terrace, which spans half the width of the building.

Until 2003, Number 112 was owned by the family who developed the block. That year it was placed on the market by tender seeking more than €1.8 million – a good deal more than is now being sought. Having initially come on the market asking €1.3 million, the price has recently been reduced. Its identical neighbour, Number 111, broke records and became Ireland’s most expensive apartment on both occasions it came up for sale – selling in 1979 for over €200,000 and again in 1990 for nearly €400,000 – reflecting these penthouses’ enduring desirability.

The apartment is subject to an annual service charge of about €3,300 per annum, which includes an on-site porter.

401 Gracepark Manor, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

€1.1million, Sherry FitzGerald, 330sq m (3,552sq ft)

Number 401, built by Cosgraves in 2003, features one of the most impressive floor plans of any Dublin apartment and is spread over just one level. Not only is the scale of the apartment fantastic, but features such as vaulted ceilings and dual-aspect reception rooms further enhance the apartment’s sense of space and light – not to mention the fact that it has no fewer than six balconies/ terraces. Given its fourth-floor position in this low-rise area, the apartment offers views across Dublin city towards the Dublin mountains.

More New York than north Dublin, a lift with key access to the penthouse level opens up into the apartment’s private lobby. A bright, tiled hallway leads to the palatial living accommodation.

A large living room interconnects with the apartment’s primary kitchen and opens up to a large terrace. There is a smaller, secondary kitchen, which doubles as a utility room. The second reception room, a 49sq m (527sq ft) drawing room, features a large marble fireplace, double-height ceilings and is complemented by a west-facing sun terrace.

All four bedrooms offer en-suite bathrooms and balconies, however the master bedroom suite is particularly attractive with about 57sq m (610sq ft) of space, including a dressing room and bathroom, and access to two terraces. A guest toilet, a fully fitted home office and a storage room complete the accommodation. The apartment comes with a private double garage – another attractive feature.

Last year a neighbouring 330sq m penthouse, not decorated with quite as much flair as Number 401, achieved €950,000. Originally, these penthouses cost about €1.6 million in 2003 and when Number 401 sold again in 2008, the price achieved was about €1.5 million. The agent advises that the annual service charge is about €2,066 – not bad for an apartment of this size.

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