The Fleet Hotel
The Fleet Hotel in Dublin has recently undergone a major refurbishment that has tastefully restored many of the original features of the building and now boasts one of the Dublin’s finest Hotel reception and public areas which includes a spectacular café and luxurious Bar.
The hotel joined the Windward Hotel Group in 2011 and following that phase of work, a longer-term plan was devised and implemented over the coming years to reposition the hotel to a four star hotel.
Speaking to PREMIER HOSPITALITY magazine about work undertaken at The Fleet Hotel, Nikki O’Donnell from NODA Design said: “The building was already functioning as a hotel but the ground floor space was occupied by a restaurant/Café, so to get to the hotel you had to take the lift or stairs to the first floor, where there was a reception area. In 2011 the main project began and the wonderful space on the ground floor was transformed to use as The Fleet Hotel reception and Café 1920. This allowed us to create the beautifully generous volume that offers a theme of luxury whilst showcasing the history of the room using Irish craftsmen and women to create decadent sofas and furnishings to compliment the space. The original stain glass skylight was masterfully restored and echo’s the history of a bygone era.
“At this time we also created an airy and spacious breakfast experience area with a dedicated business desk allowing guests to catch up on emails or print boarding passes on our iMac and PC. Finally we transformed O’Sullivans Bar, which was an existing ‘Irish pub’. This is now a beautiful contemporary bar serving a mix of light lunch and food mingled with cocktails and spirits, not forgetting Dublin’s world famous Guinness, throughout the day and of course all served with legendary Irish hospitality.”
Before becoming The Fleet Hotel, 19/20 Fleet Street was home to Bewley’s Café, synonymous with the finest Tea houses in Europe and a favourite with Dubliner’s for generations, established by Ernest Bewley in 1905. As part of the hotel’s refurbishment, Nikki was keen to bring back a number of elements from the building’s original features, look and feel.
She said: “For Bewley’s, the building was an art deco style site with beautifully coloured stained glass windows, high ceilings, mahogany joinery and big fireplaces but all of that had been covered up over the years. We stripped it all back, reopened the fireplaces, put in a library section for the check-in desks and created a Tea Bar/Café to offer that little something that people will recognise from the Bewley’s era & yesteryear. The reaction has been phenomenal from guests and friends alike.”
Bedrooms at The Fleet are a mix of rooms in the original wing and in the main body of the building. These too have had a wonderful refurbishment with the bathrooms now housing oversized showers with rain forest heads and beautiful porcelain tiling. The bedrooms have a mix of rich fabrics and walnut wood finishes, and the comfiest beds imaginable.
Ronan Walsh, General Manager of The Fleet Hotel told Premier Hospitality: “To compliment the wonderful ground floor we have now completed our bedrooms are in-keeping with the same standard and style that has been completed throughout. This ensures guests enjoy a fabulous four-star hotel located in the centre of Dublin and experience true Irish hospitality whilst being looked after by our professional team.”
“The style of the décor in the bedrooms incorporates small, simple touches, so things like being able to charge phones at the side of the beds, multi sockets on the dressing table that include an Irish/UK plugs and a European plug as standard and in the bathrooms, every mirror is heated with an LED light built into it. They are very small details but they all add up to being big things.
“We are particularly delighted that every bathroom has a power shower with Rain forest head. And our regular guests rave about the comfiest beds for a restful sleep.”
Ronan and the team at The Fleet are also fully committed to their social responsibility and continue to be at the forefront in innovation with how the hospitality sector can help the environment and our sustainability. The hotel is thrilled to be leading the way yet again and be the first hotel (that we know about) in the world to trial a full room linen solution which uses up to 25% of recycled plastic bottles in the manufacture of their sheets, towels, duvets, pillows and robes. Following the completion of these trials in March 2019, the hotel hopes to be in a position to roll out this room solution to all of their 100 bedrooms by July this year.
Commenting on the importance of the project, Nikki said: “I think it is a prestigious project because it is one of the easier recognised buildings in Dublin City Centre. It has history that Dublin people recognise & love and it was great to convert it back to its function and what that space was intended for. I and everyone at NODA were really delighted that we had the chance to work on this wonderful project.”
Ronan added: “We always believed that on this occasion we would get one chance at getting it right, to set the bar to showcase Irish hospitality, Irish designers and craftspeople. Now we want to share this with everyone; old friends and new guests alike.
“We were very fortunate that all of the stakeholders fully bought into this amazing project because the results are magnificent. Drop in anytime, we think you’ll love it too.”