Dalata Group hopeful of striking deal for Ballsbridge hotel

Geoff Percival

The owner of the Clayton and Maldron hotel chains has said it is hopeful of becoming the operator of a new 211-bedroom hotel due to be built on the site of the former Jury’s Hotel in Ballsbridge in Dublin.

The Dalata Hotel Group manages the existing property at the site, currently trading as the Ballsbridge Hotel but due for demolition next year. Asked whether Dalata might become the operator of the new hotel which would likely see it go under either the Clayton or Maldron name, chief executive Pat McCann said they were always hopeful. Mr McCann told one shareholder at the companys’ AGM in Dublin yesterday “watch this space”. However, he said no deal was done and later said that Dalata has not as yet tabled any proposal to the owner of the site Chartered Land, which last week initiated its search for an operator for the hotel, building of which will begin next year.

Meanwhile Mr McCann gave no comment on possible Dalata involvement in the new hotel planned adjacent to Dublin Airport’s second terminal.

Following on from publishing a strong set of annual results last month, Dalata yesterday said trading performance for the first four months of 2018 was “a little” ahead of expectations. Despite this, the group’s shares fell by more than 3%.

First quarter room revenue from its Dublin properties which generate close to 60% of annual group revenue was in line with expectations, while Dalata said its UK properties outperformed a weakening market.

The overall outlook for the first half of the year it said is positive.

Mr McCann also said that Dalata will be looking at opening hotels near certain British airports as part of its acknowledged five-year expansion drive in the UK. He said the group would also continue looking at new opportunities in the UK.

Regarding the group’s longer-term plan of entering continental Europe, he said work on identifying sites would begin in earnest in the next two years.

Dalata will be looking at northern Europe, with Germany and the Benelux countries reportedly on its radar.

The mainland Europe hotels will be branded either Maldron or Clayton, but will more than likely be new build projects, according to Mr McCann.

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