isaacs hostel

Got $11M? Isaacs, 3rd largest Dublin hostel, for sale

UPDATE: Isaacs sold for 9.7 million euros, 200K euros over the asking price. “We received numerous bids from both national and international investors and this significant transaction is yet another confidence boost for the Dublin hostel market, a sector which is attracting significant investor interest presently,” We don't know who the buyer is yet, but this is good news for the hostel industry in Dublin, Ireland, and Europe at large!

If you’ve got an extra 9.5 million euros lying around, boy do I have the opportunity for you! Dublin’s third largest hostel, Isaacs, is for sale. Dublin is booming and this big hostel is in a prime location. Isaac’s parent company declared bankruptcy back in 2012, but with an 8.6 average rating on Hostelworld, it seems the guests didn’t seem to notice. Here’s why if you have 10 million euros to spend, Isaacs would be a great buy.


About the hostel

Isaacs located right in the center of Dublin, a 5-minute walk from the scenic River Liffey and a 15-minute walk from everyone’s favorite pub crawl destination Temple Bar. Besides 290 beds, the hostel has a sauna (#flashpacking) but the reviews show Facilities to be Isaacs biggest area for growth.  We don’t have enough information to say whether 9.5 million euros is a fair price, but the hostel itself has great potential.They always say to buy a bad facility in a great location, after all, you can renovate the bathrooms but you can’t move the hostel down the street, so in that respect Isaacs is a winner.

Dublin's calling

Dublin itself is on the up-and-up. Tourism Ireland saw a 7.6% increase in overseas visitors in the first half of this year, with new long-haul flights bringing backpackers in from Seattle, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Even the little, insignificant state of Connecticut, which most Americans wouldn’t be able to find on a map, has a nonstop flight to Dublin, making Isaacs a great jumping off point for a Eurotrip.

Dublin enjoys one of the highest occupancy rates in Europe at 83%. It also has some of the priciest accommodation in the E.U. with the average daily rate hitting 136.80 euros. You know how we’re always hearing about over tourism in Barcelona? Their average daily rate is only 5% higher than Dublin’s. Expensive hotels make a quality hostel bed all the more attractive.

Why they're selling and who should buy

If it’s such a great hostel, why did they go bankrupt? Well, people generally don’t like to talk about their bankruptcies, especially Donald Trump, but the parent company, “Dublin Tourist Hostel Ltd” owned two other properties besides Isaac. All signs point to the blame at one of them because Isaacs Hostels is a winner.

This type of big hostel in a big city is obviously not the type of lifestyle business so many of us enjoy about the hostel industry, so unless an eccentric millionaire needs a hobby, it’s safe to assume a large hospitality company will buy Isaacs. So who should snap it up? Well, assuming the numbers are right, the third largest hostel in town is a prime place to establish a foothold for one of Europe’s big hostel chains. St Christopher’s Inns should take a look. They’ve got five hostels in their home country the UK, and 8 other European locations, each in a different country, but none in Ireland. Dublin would be a natural offering to their foreign lineup which includes other western European backpacker meccas like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, and Berlin. Other possibilities would be Equity Point, Safestay, or A&O hostels.



The BackpackerBiz Brief:

With a prime location, in a prime city, in a prime country, the third largest hostel in Dublin is for sale. We won’t comment on the sale price, but you can sometimes find a bargain at bankruptcy sales. Generator is already in Dublin and this hostel is too expensive for any small operator to pick up. So what do you say, which chain fancies a pint of Guinness?

About the Author Byron Bunda

Byron has worked with hostels big and small, city and rural. His first job was as a receptionist in San Francisco and his favorite was leading the events for a 500-bed hostel in Sydney. Today he's a Market Manager at Cloudbeds. Besides all things hostel related, he enjoys motorcycle riding, especially because it's the perfect way to get from hostel to hostel!