The Bray Head, also known as the Crofton Bray Head Hotel, is for sale after 55 years of ownership by the Regan family. The building, which was purpose built in the 1880’s is contained on the Record of Protected Structures, is situated on 1.11 acres and extends to over 40,000 sq. ft. of gross internal accommodation.
Acquired by the late Patrick and Nancy Regan in the late 1950’s it retains most of its original ambience from that time and, when combined with the superb Victorian features, this make the property quite unique. The property has superb sea and beach views looking towards both Bray Head and Killiney. The property is a very prominent feature on the popular seafront beside the walkway leading up Bray Head and known to generations of Wicklow and Dublin people. The property is close to many important commercial, hotel, guest house and business occupiers situated along the seafront and adjoins a substantial potential development site situated just to the north.
Bray has for many years been one of the best known and loved of Ireland’s Victorian style seaside locations and, whilst other similar locations around the country have proven less popular in recent years, Bray has managed to maintain its popularity given the expansion of the town and its position as almost a suburb of Dublin
The Bray Head is the last in the chain which at one time included 6 hotels and was the first Irish owned hotel chain. Between the years 1950 and 1975 Patrick and Nancy Regan acquired the Crofton House Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, the Salthill Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, the Crofton Airport Hotel (now the Regency Hotel), the Crofton Hotel Carlow, the Hollyrood Hotel in Bray as well as the Bray Head Hotel. The Bray Head itself was run personally for many years by Nancy Regan with her daughter Ena and son-in-law Johnny Cummins.
The Bray Head has been immensely popular with Ardmore Studios and RTE for filming. Feature films shot at the hotel include The Commitments, Breakfast on Pluto, My Left Foot and others, together with TV series such as Love Hate, Bachelor’s Walk and Ballykissangle. The stars who filmed there include Vanessa Redgrave, John Hurt, Pierce Brosnan, Neil Jordan, Colin Farrell and Daniel Day-Lewis. The most striking of all of course is the regular visits to the property by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor while Burton was filming The Spy Who Came in From the Cold at Ardmore and again while filming Wagner in 1981. Other stars who have enjoyed drinks in the cocktail lounge include George Peppard and Ursula Andress while filming Blue Max in 1966
The building originally had 80 guest bedrooms although today has 60 bedrooms of which 48 are en-suite. The accommodation includes the Bray Head Cocktail Lounge together with a large ballroom, further function room and many other features.
A grant of planning permission, which has now expired, was obtained for a substantial development comprising 33 apartments and a new hotel with 18 bedrooms, restaurant and bar. The property offers superb potential for a similar grant of planning permission for hotel, lounge and residential uses or alternatively for restaurant, leisure, nursing home or retirement home purposes and is zoned for mixed uses under the development plan.
Lisney expect that the property will attract strong interest from hoteliers, developers and investors generally as well as residential builders seeking to capitalise of the sea views and the increasing strength of the new apartment market in locations along the east coast such as Greystones.
The title is freehold and has the benefit of a 7 day publican’s licence and full vacant possession. The property is available for sale by private treaty with an asking a price of €1.8 million.
Further information is available from Ross Shorten and JP Flynn of Lisney on 01 638 2600.