Dublin’s Westbury gets major makeover

23 Apr 2008 by Mark Caswell
Dublin’s Westbury hotel is coming to the end of the first phase of a major refit, which has seen the lobby floor and all the guest rooms extensively refurbished. The Westbury, located on Grafton Street, is the five-star flagship of the Jurys Doyle group, and is the first of its 11 properties to get a much-needed makeover. The former décor, which harked back to the hotel’s opening in the early Eighties, has been replaced with a palette of muted, elegant shades, while both private and public areas are now equipped with the latest AV and in-room technology. The first floor lobby area, rechristened “The Gallery”, has been refitted with pale, sandy marble, lavish chandeliers and €1 million of artworks. On the east side, the recently opened Marble Bar is a smart cocktail venue with back-lit “champagne tables” and white leather tub chairs, and also serves an extensive list of wines by the glass. (The Westbury is one of the launch customers for a new wine pressurisation system from Eurocave called Verre au Vin.) The lobby restaurant, now called Wilde, is due to reopen on May 12 and will focus on “steaks and suppliers”. Jurys Doyle has worked with John Wood, executive chef at the Burj Al Arab, on the project, and promises that the offering will be different from similar eateries in the Irish capital. Also on the lobby level, the business and meeting centre has been renovated at an average cost of €250,000 per room. All seven boardrooms and the main ballroom now have 60-inch screens and the latest AV technology – the Trinity Room is the last to be refurbished, and will be equipped with a table to hold 18-20. Free internet access is available throughout the hotel, via wifi in the lobby and wired access in the guest rooms. The final touches are also being put to the last of the 205 guest rooms, which will be completed by the end of May. All rooms now have Sealy beds (5’6” or wider) with duck-down duvets and bespoke pillows, as well as flatscreen TVs (minimum 32”) which serve as media hubs, with news channels in six languages and the ability to interface with iPods, Blackberrys, laptops and personal DVD players. The décor is in muted shades of teal, violet and eau de nil, while the bathrooms are fitted with marble and chrome. Toiletries are currently by Aveda, but will be replaced with Aqua di Parma from May 1. The second phase of the renovation will see the lower ground floor overhauled, with the inauguration of a second restaurant. This venue, as yet unnamed, will have frontage on both sides of the building, and will serve snacks and cocktails in a more relaxed atmosphere. Jurys Doyle’s renovation programme follows the group’s sale of its Inns business in July last year, which has left it with a portfolio of 10 four-star properties in London, Bristol, Ireland and the US, as well as the five-star Westbury. The group is keen to reposition itself at the premium end of the market, and is preparing for a major rebranding in September. As part of this process, the Jurys Clifton Ford Hotel and Health Club in London’s Marylebone is also undergoing renovation, and already has a new bar and restaurant, called 108, on Marylebone Lane. Next in line for refurbishment are the Jurys Bristol Hotel and the group’s other London venues in Bloomsbury (Great Russell Street) and South Kensington. For more information go to Report by Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker
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