It's reported that high-profile property developer Johnny Ronan is set to shake up the Irish hotel market by building four new developments in Dublin and Wicklow, including plans to turn Bewleys (pictured) on Grafton Street into a boutique hotel.
The luxury hotel will complement the Bewley's coffee house in the landmark city centre building, according to the Sunday Independent, which reported that Ronan plans to put 70 bedrooms in the floors above the cafe, retaining the famous Harry Clarke stained glass windows.
Three other major new hotel projects have also been announced by Ronan Group Real Estate with an estimated investment of €250m, due for completion in 2017 and 2018.
The company has revealed plans for a 167-bed, 22-story waterfront tower hotel named Aquavetro, which is being developed adjacent to Tara Street Dart station. The building, a joint venture partnership with CIE, is set to become the capital's tallest building.
"The focus on delivering hotels is to satisfy the strong demand generated by record tourism numbers, a recovering economy and restricted hotel capacity," Shane Whelan, development director for Ronan Group, told the Sunday Independent.
The third development in the pipeline is developing the Enniskerry Park Hotel, a 200-bed hotel in Co Wicklow, while in a fourth major project for Ronan Group Real Estate, it will develop a site in the village of Delgany, Co Wicklow.