The upgrades and new layout of the standalone Silversprings complex above the 1960s-built hotel on extensive grounds at Tivoli, just east of the city, come after an initial 24 bedrooms on floors five and six were refurbished earlier this year, along with facade improvements and other changes, as part of an initial €1.5m spend.
And, a further floor of bedrooms will be refurbished in early 2017, as part of a rolling programme of reinvestment.
The changes at the Events Centre complex include new entrance in front and to the rear, additional parking and a full reworking of the internal spaces, bars and kitchens, to allow for functions for up to 800 at ground level, one of the very largest in the city, along with break-out areas and pre-function spaces.
Overhead, there’s now 12 dedicated meeting rooms and suites, primarily for daytime use and most with river views, all newly equipped with AV, air con, wifi, blackout facilities, etc.
The Silversprings hotel, built by Hegartys for the Rank Group in 1964 and architecturally striking for its day, had the conference centre added in 1990 for the World Cup.
Guests have included Maureen O’ Hara, Rudy Giuliani while serving as New York city Mayor, Robin Williams, Paul Newman, Brian Dennehy, BB King, Status Quo and several U2 members, Graham Norton, Tip O’Neill and Garret FitzGerald.
Sports stars included boxer Steve Collins, Denis Irwin, Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona, as well as snooker stars such as Alex Higgins, Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White when the centre hosted snooker tournaments.
One of the suddenly wealthiest guests was 2005’s €115 million Euromillions winner Dolores McNamara, who hid out in the Silversprings from paparazzi after her windfall: her win would today buy her all of the Silversprings, as well as most of the Dalata hotel group’s Munster portfolio.
The €3.2m Event Centre investment, including a very different facade to the old conservatory-style entrance, involved considerable building work, carried out by Vision Contracting, comprising many fomer Bowen Construction personnel, and design and specification was by Cork-based Coughlan De Keyser Architects.
The latest building phase, since July, employed over 60 individuals on site; the finished centre will sustain 120 existing Clayton Silversprings hotel jobs, with 30 additional jobs being created, according to Dalata.
Newly appointed manager Joe Kennedy said “we’re confident of attracting major conferences and key business meetings with immediate effect.”
Owners since 2014, the Dalata hotel group, will now also apply the Clayton brand name to the Clarion Hotel in the city centre, and Dalata will open a second Maldron-branded Cork hotel at South Mall/Parnell Place in early 2018, adding to its Maldron hotel at Shandon.
That 120 bed new Maldron hotel, in a part-complete structure bought for €10m, will see €10m more invested.