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03 Sep 2018

Whitbread secures first Premier Inn hotel in Dublin city centre

UK’s leading hotel brand is searching for 1,500 - 2,000 Dublin bedrooms as part of international growth plan

Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain, has secured planning permission for a 97 -bedroom Premier Inn hotel at 41 – 46 South Great Georges Street, in its first site in Dublin city centre.

The decision represents the first step towards fulfilling Whitbread’s requirement for between 1,500 to 2,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in Dublin, with Ireland a key growth market as the business continues its international expansion.  

A prime location in Dublin 2, 41 – 46 South Great Georges Street is just a few minutes’ walk from Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Trinity College and other major city centre attractions.  The new hotel will be created behind the existing building facade and will include Premier Inn’s in-house Thyme restaurant. The hotel is expected to open in summer 2021.  

Premier Inn currently has a single 213-bedroom hotel in Ireland at Dublin Airport and is now actively looking to expand into Dublin city centre and other cities across Ireland.

Kevin Murray, Head of Acquisitions (North & Ireland) for Whitbread, said:

“South Great George’s Street is a significant landmark moment for Premier Inn. It’s our first new site in Dublin city centre and the start of our acquisition drive in the city and across Ireland. It is also exactly the type of prominent location we are looking for and expect to trade well from.

“One of the reasons for Premier Inn’s great success in the UK is our ability to be flexible and creative when securing new hotel sites.  We are bringing the same approach to Ireland and are pursuing live leasehold and freehold opportunities, including potential office-to-hotel conversions, as well as going concern purchases.  This flexibility, coupled with the strength of Whitbread PLC behind us, puts us in a good position to secure new sites in the most sought-after locations.”

Whitbread’s investment comes at a time of positive economic and tourism growth in Ireland.  International visitor spending in Ireland grew by 6% in 2017 and forecasters are predicting 5% GDP growth in the country in 2018 (compared to predicted growth of 2% for Europe as a whole).  

Daniel O’Connor, Senior Vice President JLL Hotels Ireland, who advises Whitbread on its expansion in Ireland and was involved in the South Great George’s Street deal, comments:

“Dublin is experiencing considerable demand for hotel accommodation against a historic undersupply of bedrooms, particularly in the ‘branded budget’ hotel sector.  Currently the sector comprises only 2% of Ireland’s room count, compared to 23% in the UK, which presents significant growth opportunities for branded operators such as Premier Inn. 

“Achieving planning consent at South Great George’s Street demonstrates Whitbread’s intent and capabilities in Dublin.  With a substantial requirement to fulfil, the search is very much on for the next opportunities for the business.”

Whitbread secured the leasehold on the South Great Georges Street site in March 2018.  The Greenleaf Group, led by Mark Elliot, will develop the hotel to the latest specifications of the Premier Inn brand. 

The granting of planning permission at 41-46 South Great George St is subject to the expiration of the window for appeal which ends on 3rd September.

Images:

A CGI image of the South Great George’s St Premier Inn is supplied with this release.  A separate planning application will be submitted for the signage on the building. 

Notes to editors:

  • Premier Inn’s existing 213-bedroom hotel is at Airside Retail Park close to Dublin Airport.The hotel was successfully extended in 2018. 
  • Premier Inn has an established presence in Northern Ireland with hotels in Belfast (x3), Lisburn, Carrickfergus, Coleraine and Derry / Londonderry.

For more information, please contact:

Emily Barnes / Ben Copithorne / Richard Pia at Camargue on 020 7637 7366 / whitbread@camargue.uk

James Anderson, Property Communications Manager at Whitbread on 07850 944 798 / James.Anderson@whitbread.com

About Premier Inn

Premier Inn was named the UK's top-rated hotel chain for 2017 according to Which? With 750+ hotels and more than 72,000 bedrooms across the UK and Ireland, Premier Inn guests are never far from a great night's sleep at fantastic value rates. Premier Inn hotels are in more locations than any other UK hotel brand for the ease and convenience of leisure and business travellers alike.

All Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, a luxurious Hypnos® bed, a choice of pillows, TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. A bar and restaurant is situated either on-site or next door to each hotel, offering a wide range of food and drink including a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Across the estate, the average Trip Advisor score for Premier Inn hotels is 4.2. The business has been awarded the Best UK Family Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards, Best UK Hotel Group in the Silver Travel Awards and the Business In The Community Environmental Leadership Award. 

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity is the National Charity partner of Premier Inn and to date team members, guests and suppliers have reached the milestone of £10 million, which formed part of the funding towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in January 2018.

Outside of the UK, Premier Inn's expansion plans are focused on two key markets; Germany and the Middle East, with plans to expand in Ireland.   Premier Inn opened its first hotel in Frankfurt in 2016 and the business has 5,500 Premier Inn bedrooms in its secured pipeline in Germany.