A studio apartment at Zanzibar Locke in Dublin

Zanzibar Locke opens its doors in Dublin

Locke Hotels has opened its sixth property and first outside of the UK in Zanzibar Locke, a 160-room development featuring studio apartments that overlook Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin’s city centre.

Combining the space and comfort of a home with the experience and thoughtful design of a boutique hotel, each of the apartments come equipped with fully fitted kitchens and living areas. Generously-sized rooms create a sense of freedom unique to the Irish market, where guests can enjoy the option of a short stay in a City Studio – average 25m² – or retreat to a larger premium River Suite – average 40m² – for a longer term.

“We are very excited to finally be welcoming leisure travellers into Zanzibar Locke,” says Stephen McCall, CEO of parent group edyn. “It has been a great experience familiarising ourselves with the local Dublin market and early indications show that our concept is something new that the city needs. With a second opening in Dublin later this year, we are delighted to be able to welcome all guests in time for summer.”

A studio apartment at Zanzibar Locke in Dublin

Situated on Ormond Quay, with views overlooking the River Liffey, the aparthotel draws on its rich architectural heritage to inform its design. Formerly site of the infamous naughties’ hotspot Zanzibar Nightclub – which inspired the property’s name – the Georgian building has been sensitively restored and developed by Dublin-based studio O’Donnell O’Neill Design and C+W O’Brien Architects. Working with local contractors, joiners and artists, O’Donnell O’Neill retained the original character of the building while combining it with the stylish design, contemporary fittings and bespoke furniture synonymous with Locke.

From its interiors to music playlists, the brand has worked extensively with Irish partners and suppliers, including sustainable fashion brand Grown and DJ and founder of creative collective Gxrl Code, Mona Lxsa. In doing so, the brand aims to build an environment that is deeply embedded in the social fabric of its locale.

The aparthotel will also house new food destination Baraza, operated by Dublin foodie favourites NolaClan of House Dublin, 9 Below and Xico fame. Located on the mezzanine floor, Baraza will serve coffee and light bites in the morning, before transitioning into a restaurant offering seasonal small plates and craft cocktails.

A studio apartment at Zanzibar Locke in Dublin

Alan Clancy, founder of NolaClan, adds: “We’re excited to partner with Locke on its food and drink offering in Dublin, and bring our new restaurant and bar concept, Baraza, to Zanzibar Locke. Our ambition is to create an all-day dining experience in a vibrant, beautiful environment that locals and travellers alike can enjoy.”

Zanzibar Locke’s opening to leisure travellers follows an extended soft launch period where the property housed guests for essential stays and those in need of an interim home during lockdown, which was possible due to the self-contained design of the apartments. As a result, Zanzibar Locke experienced an average of 27 days length of stay, with an average occupancy of 40% occupancy – outperforming the city’s average of 10%.

Photography: © Andrew Campion