Crowe Horwath’s Annual Irish Hotel Survey 2015 reports gains all round but highlights dominance in the capital. Dublin recorded occupancy levels of 77.2 per cent in 2014 compared to 76.3 per cent the previous year. Average room rates have also risen significantly from €90.73 to €97.25 or by 7.2 per cent.
And while this compares with the 2006 peak of €120.38, it is ahead of the midlands and east (€79.36), the southwest (€79.43) and west (€67.50).
On a national level room occupancy grew from 65.9 per cent to 67.8 per cent. Average room rates rose to €82.29 from €77.49.
Key influences in the growth were an increase of 8.9 per cent in overseas visitors; a weakening euro against the dollar and sterling ;and increased domestic activity . Internet bookings accounted for 43.2 per cent of reservations.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is set to formally re-open Ashford Castle Hotel this week following a €50m make-over.
Red Carnation Group, which bought the hotel last year, has spent heavily on replacing 820 windows, rewiring the building, refubishing guest and public rooms, adding a 32 seater cinema and a billiard room. A spa and swimming pool will open in July. Coal bunkers have been converted into wine cellars and €500 has been spent on the 9 hole golf course.
Red Carnation is owned by Stanley and Beatrice Tollmann who are both in their eighties. The hotel general maanager is Niall Rochford.