Ireland’s richest man, Denis O’Brien has been confirmed as a backer for a new hotel planned for the historic inner city Dublin neighborhood, the Liberties.
Aligning with US hotel giant Marriott International, the billionaire is putting his money behind 202-room hotel which is set to open in the spring of 2018, in the Blackpitts area of the Liberties.
The hotel will operate under the Aloft Hotel brand, a chain of over 100 hotels that target tech-savvy travellers while offering relatively low room rates.
Marriott has confirmed that the new eight-storey hotel will have 202 “loft-like” rooms, each featuring what is said to be hospitality industry’s “first truly keyless entry system”; allowing guests to use smartphones or Apple watches as room keys.
Guests can simply register to the hotels SPG Keyless program, and opt in to go keyless. According to Aloft Hotels, guests can expect to “receive a text with your room number, so you can skip the check-in line and head straight to your room, unlocking the door with the wave of a smart phone.”
Aloft Hotels recently announced the newest addition to their hotels of, Botlr, the robotic butler. It is unconfirmed whether the Dublin hotel will feature Botlr.
Construction has already begun on the new Aloft hotel, which will have free Wi-Fi, and two retail spaces at ground level. There will also be on-site parking facilities for hotel guests and visitors.
The hotel will be Denis O’Brien’s first Dublin hotel, though he has previously worked with the hotel chain to build a Marriott hotel in Haiti. This is not O’Brien’s first foray into hospitality industry, and he already owns hotels in Galway and Portugal.
Marriott International’s already has has four other Irish hotels which operate under the Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton and Westin brands.
According to Marriott, the new Dublin hotel will be launched “through a franchise agreement with Blackpitts Hospitality Limited.”
Aloft Dublin City itself will be operated by Pembroke Hospitality; a hotel management firm co-founded by Niall Geoghegan, the former chief executive of Jurys Doyle hotel group, which operates a number of luxury hotels in major cities such as London, Dublin, Washington DC, Cork and Bristol.
The announcement of the new hotel comes at a time of growing demand for accommodation in central Dublin. The Liberties area itself is currently the site of significant development; The Teeling Whiskey distillery opened nearby just over a year ago, and a student accommodation complex is also set to open in September.