With its elegant Victorian facades and enduring charm, the Great Southern Hotel is a landmark luxury hotel in Ireland. If you’re wondering who exactly owns this storied property, here’s a quick answer: The Great Southern Hotel is currently owned by the Ireland-based International Hotel Investments plc group.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the full ownership history behind the Great Southern Hotel. We’ll cover key details like:

– The original owners and operators when it opened in the 1800s

– Changes in ownership and management over the decades

– Its acquisition by Ireland’s largest hotel group in the 1990s

– Ongoing ownership today as part of a global luxury hotel collection

Whether you’re curious about the business side of this iconic hotel or simply want to learn more about its past, read on for an in-depth look at the owners throughout the Great Southern Hotel’s 125+ year history.

Original Ownership and Railway Years in the 1800s

The Great Southern Hotel, located in Galway, Ireland, has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. During this time, it was built and run by the Great Southern and Western Railway, a prominent railway company in Ireland.

The hotel was strategically located near the railway station, making it easily accessible for travelers.

Built and run by Great Southern and Western Railway

The Great Southern Hotel was originally built by the Great Southern and Western Railway company in the mid-1800s. It was intended to serve as a luxurious accommodation option for railway passengers and visitors to the city of Galway.

The hotel’s close proximity to the railway station made it a convenient choice for travelers arriving or departing by train.

Served as Galway’s railway hotel for decades

For many decades, the Great Southern Hotel played a vital role in Galway’s railway operations. As the city’s railway hotel, it provided a comfortable and convenient place for passengers to stay before or after their journeys.

The hotel’s elegant architecture and top-notch amenities made it a popular choice among travelers, and it quickly became an iconic landmark in Galway.

Leased to Victorian hotelier Jury’s in late 1800s

In the late 1800s, the Great Southern Hotel was leased to the well-known Victorian hotelier Jury’s. Under their management, the hotel underwent further expansion and renovations, enhancing its reputation as one of the finest hotels in Ireland.

Jury’s brought their expertise and experience in the hotel industry, further elevating the hotel’s standards and ensuring a memorable stay for guests.

Throughout its history, the Great Southern Hotel has witnessed significant changes and played a key role in Galway’s development. Today, it stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage and continues to provide exceptional hospitality to visitors from around the world.

Takeover By Great Southern Hotels

In the late 1890s, the Great Southern Hotel group made a significant acquisition that would shape the future of the hospitality industry in Ireland and the UK. The group, known for its commitment to quality and exceptional service, acquired a number of hotels and properties across the region.

Acquired by Irish hotel group in 1890s

The takeover by the Great Southern Hotel group in the 1890s marked a turning point in the company’s history. With a vision to provide unparalleled luxury and comfort to their guests, the group embarked on an ambitious expansion plan to establish themselves as a leading player in the hotel industry.

During this period, the Great Southern Hotel group acquired several prestigious properties, including iconic landmarks and historic buildings. These acquisitions not only allowed the group to expand their reach but also gave them the opportunity to showcase their commitment to preserving the heritage and charm of these properties.

Expanded to locations across Ireland and UK

With their initial success, the Great Southern Hotel group continued to expand their portfolio of hotels across Ireland and the UK. They strategically identified key locations that would attract both business and leisure travelers, allowing them to cater to a diverse range of clientele.

Today, the Great Southern Hotel group boasts an impressive collection of hotels in major cities and popular tourist destinations. From Dublin to London, their properties offer a unique blend of luxury, comfort, and convenience, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all guests.

Launched the Great Southern Hotel brand

As part of their expansion efforts, the Great Southern Hotel group launched their own brand, aptly named the Great Southern Hotel. This brand became synonymous with exceptional hospitality, attention to detail, and a commitment to creating memorable experiences for guests.

The Great Southern Hotel brand quickly gained recognition and popularity, attracting discerning travelers who sought a combination of comfort, style, and outstanding service. The brand’s reputation for excellence solidified their position as a leading player in the hospitality industry.

With their rich history, strong presence, and unwavering dedication to providing exceptional experiences, the Great Southern Hotel group continues to be a prominent force in the hotel industry. Their legacy of innovation, quality, and impeccable service ensures that their properties remain sought-after destinations for travelers from around the world.

Changing Fortunes in the 1900s

The Great Southern Hotel, once a prominent landmark in the heart of the city, experienced a series of significant changes in its ownership and management during the 1900s. These changes were largely influenced by the fluctuating economic conditions and evolving business strategies of the time.

Slumping revenues led to closures

In the early 1900s, the Great Southern Hotel faced a period of slumping revenues due to various factors such as increased competition from newly established hotels and changing consumer preferences. As a result, the hotel was forced to close its doors temporarily to reassess its business model and find ways to attract customers.

During this period, the hotel underwent renovations and implemented new marketing strategies to appeal to a wider audience. However, these efforts were not enough to revive its fortunes, and the hotel faced another closure due to continued financial difficulties.

Management by state-owned CIE group

In the mid-1900s, the Great Southern Hotel came under the management of the state-owned CIE (Coras Iompair Eireann) group. This change in ownership brought about a new era for the hotel, with the CIE group investing in significant upgrades and modernization of the property.

The CIE group recognized the hotel’s potential as a revenue-generating asset and took steps to attract both local and international guests. The hotel became known for its elegant accommodations, top-notch amenities, and exceptional service, cementing its position as one of the premier hotels in the region.

Restructuring and privatization in the 1980s

In the 1980s, the Great Southern Hotel underwent a period of restructuring and eventual privatization. This was part of a broader government initiative to divest state-owned assets and encourage private investment in the hospitality industry.

Under the new ownership, the hotel underwent further renovations and expansions, keeping up with the changing demands of the market. The Great Southern Hotel emerged as a thriving business, attracting both business and leisure travelers with its modern facilities and convenient location.

Today, the Great Southern Hotel stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the hospitality industry. Its changing fortunes over the years reflect the dynamic nature of the business and the ability of businesses to reinvent themselves in response to evolving market conditions.

Purchase By IHI in the 1990s

The Great Southern Hotel, located in downtown Dublin, was bought by Ireland’s largest hotel operator, the Irish Hotel Investments (IHI), in the 1990s. This acquisition marked a significant milestone for IHI, as it expanded its portfolio to include one of the most iconic hotels in the city.

Bought by Ireland’s largest hotel operator

With a vision to create a premier luxury hotel, IHI recognized the potential of The Great Southern Hotel and seized the opportunity to acquire it. As the largest hotel operator in Ireland, IHI had already established a strong presence in the hospitality industry, and the purchase of The Great Southern Hotel further solidified its position in the market.

Multimillion dollar renovation

After the purchase, IHI embarked on a multimillion-dollar renovation project to transform The Great Southern Hotel into a modern and luxurious destination. The renovation included upgrading the rooms and suites, enhancing the hotel’s amenities, and redesigning the lobby and common areas to provide a more contemporary and inviting atmosphere.

Re-established as luxury hotel

Following the extensive renovation, The Great Southern Hotel was re-established as a luxury hotel, catering to discerning travelers seeking a premium experience in Dublin. The hotel boasts elegant and tastefully decorated rooms, world-class dining options, state-of-the-art conference facilities, and impeccable service, ensuring that guests have a truly memorable stay.

Today, The Great Southern Hotel stands as a testament to IHI’s commitment to excellence in the hospitality industry. Its prime location, combined with its luxurious accommodations and top-notch amenities, make it a preferred choice for both leisure and business travelers visiting Dublin.

Current Status Today

The Great Southern Hotel, located in the heart of a bustling city, is currently part of the Corinthia Hotel brand owned by International Hotel Investments (IHI). IHI is a prominent international hospitality group that operates luxury hotels and resorts around the world.

With a strong focus on providing exceptional service and unforgettable experiences, IHI has positioned the Great Southern Hotel as a premier destination for both leisure and business travelers.

Part of IHI’s Corinthia Hotel brand

Under the ownership of IHI, the Great Southern Hotel has become a flagship property within the Corinthia Hotel brand. Corinthia Hotels is renowned for its dedication to luxury, elegance, and impeccable service.

As part of this esteemed brand, the Great Southern Hotel benefits from the expertise and resources of a global hospitality powerhouse.

Underwent additional renovations in the 2010s

In the 2010s, the Great Southern Hotel underwent a series of additional renovations to further enhance its facilities and ensure an exceptional guest experience. These renovations included updates to the guest rooms, public areas, and amenities, ensuring that the hotel remains at the forefront of modern luxury.

Still owned by IHI with Corinthia management

Today, the Great Southern Hotel is still proudly owned by IHI and managed by the Corinthia Hotel brand. This ownership ensures that the hotel maintains its reputation for excellence and continues to deliver outstanding hospitality to its guests.

With a commitment to innovation and a passion for creating unforgettable moments, the Great Southern Hotel remains a top choice for travelers seeking a truly exceptional hotel experience.


From its Victorian railway years to acquisition by Ireland’s leading hotel group, the Great Southern Hotel has seen its fair share of owners. While the names have changed, its world-class service and storied heritage endure.

Whether you’re a guest, Galwegian, or hotel history buff, recognizing the many proprietors who have shaped this icon offers insight into both the Great Southern’s past and promising future.

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