Ard Rí Revival

Kieran Walsh & Justine Dwyer

City landmark set for five star rebirth

The Ard Rí Hotel, as it looked in 2010. Waterford Castle proprietor Seamus Walsh has acquired the iconic premises. PHOTO: Noel Browne

The Ard Rí Hotel, as it looked in 2010. Waterford Castle proprietor Seamus Walsh has acquired the iconic premises. PHOTO: Noel Browne

Waterford’s run of good luck continued this week with the news that one of the city’s most iconic buildings – the Ard Rí Hotel – will be revamped into a multi million Euro four or five star, 150-room hotel.

After over a decade in dereliction, the hotel has been bought by Waterford Castle proprietor and Mullinavat native, Seamus Walsh, for €1.5 million.

Work on the new hotel, which will retain its original Ard Rí title, is expected to be completed within two to three years and will create up to 150 jobs once opened.
In addition, the new hotel will feature a 1,000-capacity conference centre, along with meeting/function rooms, a spa and a gym.

The “ultra modern” hotel will also feature a roof-top bar and restaurant plus penthouse suites for honeymoon couples and visitors overlooking the city’s quays.
A large swimming pool is also envisaged in the development while Ard Rí guests will also have access to Waterford Golf Club ‘next door’ or Waterford Castle Golf Club on The Island via an hourly day-time shuttle bus service.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Walsh said he was extremely optimistic about Waterford city’s future and was looking forward to seeing his latest venture take shape.
“I used to come into Waterford city as a kid and look up and admire the Ard Rí,” he said. “I used to think of New York City!”
The hotel, which overlooks The Quay from a spectacular vantage point, has been closed since 2006 when it was sold by the McEniff Group to developers TRM who had planned an extensive re-development of the site.

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