Plaza Watch! Irish Hotelier's Nine Million Lucky Charms

The Irish equivalent of the Plaza is the Shelbourne Hotel, give or take a couple hundred condos.

Built in 1824, in a landmark building overlooking a park in the heart of Ireland’s capital, the Shelbourne has had a long reign as what The New York Times called "the princess of Dublin hotels." Like the Plaza, the 225-room hotel never lost its cache with tourists, even as more luxurious competitors popped up and service started to decline–in October 2004, an Irish court ruling stripped the Shelbourne of its five-star status, and the hotel decided to become unclassified.

A few months later, Irish oil magnate/hotelier John Sweeney swooped in with a consortium of investors and bought the down-at-the-heels hotel for 120 million Euros and promised to restore it to its former splendor with a 40 million Euro makeover. The renovation was plagued by delays and eventually cost double to original budget, but the Shelbourne reopened just in time for the 2006 holiday season with better versions of its famous watering holes the Horseshoe Bar and Lord Mayor’s Lounge, each of its five stars intact, and Ireland’s largest ballroom. Sound familiar?

Mr. Sweeney must have a real penchant for historic hotels, because it looks like he has paid just over $9 million for a sixth-floor condo at The Plaza. The property deed that appeared in city records today lists an LLC named Shelbourne Hotels Partnership—registered to John Sweeney at Black Shore Holdings—as the buyer. Plaza Watch! Irish Hotelier's Nine Million Lucky Charms