Luxury home of the late Albert Reynolds for €2.3m
The home of the late former taoiseach Albert Reynolds is now for sale. The 235sq m (2,529sq ft) penthouse is a prime ministerial piece of real estate and one befitting the nation’s one-time leader: a light-filled, concierge-serviced apartment with stunning views of Dublin Bay from its triple-aspect windows.
It is the home to which he and his late wife, Kathleen, downsized from their period pile on nearby Ailesbury Road. It must have given the self-made man something of a kick to command such epic views across Dublin Bay from such a privileged perch in Ballsbridge’s embassy belt.
There are numerous nods to the public life of our eighth taoiseach throughout the property. Above his famed mahogany desk, for example, is a framed Freedom of Longford award, which he is said to have cherished. And on it sit several photos including one of him with former president Mary Robinson, possibly taken when he travelled to Áras an Uachtaráin to receive his seal of office in 1993, when he was appointed taoiseach for the second time.
From its double-sized livingroom, complete with ebony baby grand piano, you can see the full expanse of the city’s coastline, from Howth to Dún Laoghaire, with landmarks such as the Poolbeg chimney stacks and the lighthouse at the end of the Great South Wall also in full frame. While it looks sublime, it also feels serene as the glazing serves to dim almost all of the ambient traffic noise.
Situated on the fourth floor of the Intercontinental, this property has the feel of a real home as opposed to a five-star hotel suite. It is decorated with a mix of antiques and some 1970s pieces that may well have made the move with Mr and Mrs Reynolds from their former home at number 18 Ailesbury Road.
The politician and businessman is reported to have purchased the Ailesbury house in 1994 for £604,000 (€766,000) and sold it in 2007 for a reputed €14 million, about €1 million shy of its asking price. He had already purchased the penthouse, at what was then known as the Four Seasons Hotel, for a reported €6 million the year before.
The couple rejigged the layout to create a very roomy home, all on one floor. They also reduced its three bedrooms to two, installing a second sittingroom and an office.
Off the large drawingroom is a sun-filled contemporary kitchen. The Siematic design is set in an L-shape and has a large, square island with a waterfall countertop of unhoned Corian. There’s space for a large round dining table in a dual-aspect corner of the room where double doors open out to a tiny terrace. South-facing, it overlooks the RDS showgrounds and you could enjoy the gigs and rugby matches held there for free.
Off the kitchen is the second sittingroom, a place to watch the news or a game as loud as you want without discommoding anyone in the drawingroom. The focal-point gas fire is surrounded by flame-coloured walls.
The former taoiseach’s home office is situated in what was once this bedroom’s en suite bathroom. While it’s big enough to accommodate a large desk, it has glass panels to bring in natural light, with track lighting overhead.
Both double bedrooms have en suite bathrooms and are situated on the north side of the property. One has a small balcony. The statement salon, a large open-plan double room, is at the end of the hall.
A serviced hotel apartment is a rare thing in Dublin. The Intercontinental and the Merrion are the only two places where you can buy into these units.
Number 4 comes with private access, so you don’t have to walk through the hotel lobby, and allows for membership of the hotel’s spa and leisure facilities. These include a gym, small swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. The owners of the apartment are entitled to two memberships for the price of one and 10 per cent off any spa treatments. Membership is approximately €1,800 per annum.
The annual service charge comes in at €14,550, along with a sinking fund contribution of €4,720, which brings the total annual outlay to €19,270. But this includes all heating, a combination of electric underfloor mats in the bathrooms and a controlled vented system in each room, as well as bin collection, from outside your front door.
You can also buy into the five-star hotel’s laundry and cleaning services and its 24-hour room service, should you need sustenance at 3am; and if you fancy throwing a soiree you can also avail of the management company’s caterers. If you want to soak up the sun you will have to descend to the entrance level and install yourself at a table on the very sheltered public terrace with fruit trees in full blossom.
The unit, which has an impressive B2 energy rating, comes with one car parking space and is seeking €2.3 million through agent Sherry FitzGerald.
Last May, Galvin Property launched two units in the Intercontinental, which are being sold together as one. Seeking €2.7 million, it comprises a two-bedroom unit and an adjoining one-bedroom that would require building works to reconfigure them as one three-bedroom property with an overall floor area of 285sq m (3,068sq ft).