Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Welcome to the 'no-star' hotel

IMPRESARIO property developer Harry Crosbie has got the green light for Dublin's first 'rocker' hotel at the rear of his Vicar Street entertainment venue.

With 194 bedrooms, it will be classified as a 'no-star' hotel and offer very basic accommodation.

The hotel, which will be built off Thomas Street in Dublin 8, to the rear of the Vicar Street venue, is aimed at people staying in the city overnight to attend events in Vicar Street, The O2 or Harry Crosbie's other entertainment venue, The Libeskind Theatre, currently being developed in Grand Canal Harbour.

Combined packages will be offered to attract guests.

The hotel will not seek a star rating from Bord Failte because it will be "too basic to have any stars", says Crosbie.

On arrival a freight lift will bring patrons to the residents' bar and check-in area in a "big glass box" on the seventh floor on top of the hotel, which will look out over the city.

But in response to submissions from local residents concerned about possible noise, Bord Pleanala has insisted the doors to the roof terrace from the restaurant and cafe bar "shall be kept in a permanently closed position" and only used for getting into and out of the area. No chairs or tables will be allowed on this terrace without "a prior grant of permission", the board adds.


Mr Crosbie described the bedrooms as being like "monastic cells to sleep in with concrete walls and a very good bed with a duvet".

But a spokesman yesterday said the rooms will be fully equipped with wifi and flat screen TV as well as having ensuite bathrooms.

At one stage the room rate was expected to be around €50 per night, but that was before over-supply of bedrooms saw more competitive pricing.

Mr Crosbie has not decided when he will proceed with the development but a spokesman said that it is hoped to begin negotiations firstly with possible Irish or international hotel operators.

Designed by Grafton Architects, the rooms will feature polished concrete walls which will be "a homage" to famous designers Corbusier and Eileen Gray, said the spokesman. The most lavish aspect of the development will be plans to spend €1m on art works by young Irish artists for the bedrooms.

Donal Buckley
Irish Independent


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