• Cyril McAree

Chicago Based Hyatt and Athlone’s Hodson Bay Group Seal Ireland’s First Hyatt Hotel Deal

A unique gathering took place at the Hodson Bay Hotel, on the shores of Lough Ree. Jason Ballard, Vice President of Hyatt Hotels Europe, joined John O’Sullivan, Chairman of Hodson Bay Group for the announcement of Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s first Hyatt hotel in Ireland - a 234 bedroom luxury Hotel in Dublin’s Liberties Gate due to open March 2019.

Also joining the celebrations at Hodson Bay was a delegation from Chicago (the home of Hyatt Hotels) led by the Toni Preckwinkle, the President of the Cook County Board, Chicago. Ms Preckwinkle’s visit to Ireland took in a visit to Hodson Bay as part of a strategic alliance between Cook County, Chicago and Co Roscommon. Cook County, which includes the City of Chicago, is the United States' second largest county with a population of 5.2 million residents.

Speaking at the event, Jason Ballard said “this is a day we were looking forward to for some time. Identifying the right partner for the Irish Market was a strategic priority for me and the Hyatt Board of Directors. And we’re absolutely thrilled that we’ve finalised a Franchise agreement with Hodson Bay Group – an Irish Family owned business, with an amazing reputation and a culture that fits perfectly with Hyatt’s core values”. Adding to Ballard’s delight, Ms Preckwinkle added “this announcement has made for such a memorable visit to Ireland. Hyatt Hotel Corporation, a company we are so proud of in Cook County, teaming up with Hodson Bay Group here on the Lakeside in Athlone has made our visit all the more special”. Denis Naughton, Minister for Communications, expressed his delight saying “Hodson Bay Group is one of the leading Hospitality companies in Ireland, and attracting Hyatt to the Irish market is testament to its reputation and track record”. Finally, John O’Sullivan summed up the occasion saying, “We are honoured to have such wonderful representation here today. Its a very proud moment for my family, the management and the staff of Hodson Bay Group – and we are absolutely delighted to be the first hospitality group to bring the Hyatt brand to Ireland”.

The hotel will be situated in The Liberties, a historic and vibrant area in the heart of Dublin that has undergone significant regeneration in recent years. This location, which has been inhabited for over 1000 years is the oldest part of Dublin, is currently experiencing a complete regeneration as part of Dublin City Council’s plans to create a centre of culture and heritage for the City. Art effects dating back to 900AD which were discovered during the archaeological excavation of the site are currently being curated.

Hyatt Centric Dublin will provide a launch pad from which travellers can experience everything Dublin has to offer. The hotel will be within easy walking distance to Dublin’s major attractions, including the historic St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and Vicar Street - the city’s premier live-music venue. The Hyatt Centric brand is designed to allow eager-to-explore, millennial-minded business and leisure guests to be able to make the most of the location and Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin, in close proximity to iconic destinations such as the home of Guinness, St James’s Gate brewery, offers exactly this.

The hotel will feature a state-of-the-art gym; and a design that aims to encourage interaction and engagement, with large windows at street level allowing for an immediate view of the bustling Dublin community outside. Guests will also be able to access numerous open plan and interconnecting spaces from which to enjoy a wide range of restaurant, bar, café and lounge options, whilst an expansive conference space will open the hotel up for external events.

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