Five-star Merrion hotel submits application for expansion

Merrion Hotel Garden

The Merrion Hotel, considered to be Dublin's most luxurious five-star accommodations, is set to move on with plans to expand that would extend the space to front on to Baggot street around the corner from its main entrance.

Landmark Investment Company, who own the hotel, is planning to demolish an office building on Baggot street with the intention of replacing it with either more luxury suites or a series of residential apartments linked to the hotel.

The company has already been given planning permission for both options and have filed another application to further refine the plans, reports the Irish Times.

"It is being discussed at out monthly board meetings," said Howard Hastings, the managing director of Hastings hotels, who own 50% of the Landmark Investment Company. The other half of the company is jointly owned by ESB chairman Lochlann Quinn and billionaire founder of Glen Dimplex Martin Naughton.

The proposed 5 story extension to the Merrion would require the demolition of JWT house, a 1970s building owned by the hotel. The ground floor for the proposed wing is supposed to be set aside for retail space while the next three floor would house over 20 suites. The top floor is slated for a penthouse and garden terrace.

Another version of the plans would see the block replaced with four floor of luxury apartments. As of yet, the directors of the hotel have not decided on which option they want to pursue. "There could be an element of apartments in the scheme, so we might wait and see if there is a market for them first. But we believe it would be a popular location," said Hastings.

Landmark listed a value of around $50 million t the hotel in its latest accounts. The hotel is leading a reound in the luxury hotel market. Dublin hotels had occupancy of 74% last year, up from 70% the year prior, with rates of luxury properties increasing by up to 10%.

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