Have you heard? Hotels in Ireland are able to reopen from June 29, according to a recent announcement. Which means that local travellers can now book a sweet “staycation” close to home, and enjoy the wonderful fruits of the country in seclusion, comfort and safety.
This comes as superb news to everyone at Historic Hotels, but it’s worth noting to all potential travellers that your Irish hotel getaway won’t be quite the same as the ones you may have had in the past. That’s because our hoteliers will be following strict guidelines to ensure the health and safety of their guests – protocols which will impact on the nature of your holiday, but will also ensure that you can enjoy it with total peace of mind.
So what can tourists expect, exactly, from their Irish hotel stay?
We sat down with three contacts from some of our most sublime hotels in Ireland to ask them how things have been over the past few months, as well as what new measures are in place and what the future holds.
First, we spoke about how the shifting dynamics of the pandemic had originally impacted on each Irish hotel. “We normally find it sad to be closed for a few days around Christmas,” Michael O’Neill, the owner of Fernhill House, told us. “So the pandemic has been very upsetting.” On a more positive note, he added: “this time off has allowed us to make a lot of improvements, though, and we’re looking forward to being better than ever!”
Raymond Kelleher, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Trigon Hotels which includes The Metropole Hotel in Cork, also informed us they’ve been working hard behind the scenes, so that they can hit the ground running once they reopen (which will be on July 13). “We have been working as a team to make sure that hospitality is front and centre for your next stay while also focused on additional Health & Safety measure,” he said, while Zoë Fitzgerald, Chairman and Strategy Officer of Renvyle House, went on to add that her hotel would have “all the safety measures in place for our staff, guests and community” when they reopen on July 10. She also highlighted that group events – such as weddings – have been postponed to next year, and those being held in the Autumn and Winter will be in-keeping with their safety protocol.
That’s not all, though. When we asked for more details about the measures these hotels in Ireland will have in place, Zoë was able to provide a ton of examples. “We’ve established an in-house team to lead additional health and safety initiatives,” she said. “Social distancing will also be enacted – we’ve reconfigured seating in public areas to accommodate this – and there’ll be hand sanitisers at all necessary entry doors.” This is just the tip of the iceberg, though, as she also told us that her staff will be using a special disinfectant “fog” sanitiser, following new cleaning procedures and more: assuring us that Renvyle House will be leaving no stones unturned in looking after their guests.
Michael and Raymond were keen to show us how seriously they were taking the issue of health, too. “Staff training and cleanliness are two of the top priorities for us,” Michael said. “We’ve implemented a large number of protocols, and have a great team onboard to ensure Fernhill will be safe.” Raymond added that The Metropole Hotel will be following the companies new “Trust and Care Program” to this end, too – a detailed set of guidelines that explain exactly how guests will be looked after from the moment they walk through the door.
While it won’t be business quite as usual, with the care being taken at each property, we’re confident that any upcoming guests are due a splendid stay. To guarantee this further, each of these hotels in Ireland have been as flexible as possible with their policies, ensuring all visitors get the best experience possible.
“Though our booking and cancellation policy for new bookings has remained the same,” Zoë said, “all bookings over the lockdown period were either refunded or postponed.” She added that Renvyle House’s rates were staying the same due to their increased operational costs, but that “domestic bookings had been steady” already – great news for the Irish hotel.
And what of Fernhill House? When we asked what they’d done to please their post-lockdown visitors, Michael said: “We’ve reduced our cancellation policy and created great packages for guests to enjoy West Cork.” He also added that, “with West Cork’s isolation and beauty, it’s the perfect place to escape during this challenging time.”
There’s a celebration on the horizon for The Metropole, too. “It’s our 123rd birthday this summer and John our Concierge has just been named Ireland’s Concierge of the Year,” Raymond informed us, “so that’s something to look forward to! We have a fantastic package, combining our reopening and the special occasion, where people can enjoy bed and breakfast with us for just €123 per room.” Now doesn’t that sound interesting..?
Some wonderful hotels in Ireland to choose from
These are just three examples of the fantastic places opening up around Ireland over the next few weeks. Many more exquisite properties from our collection will also be opening from June 29 or in early July. Check out our list of suggestions below, and click on each Irish hotel to discover more details:
Wicklow – a charming country house set in a peaceful oasis of parkland
Ballyvaughan – offers breath taking views across Galway Bay and overlooking the unique Burren landscape
Limerick City – a luxury townhouse close to the city’s historic Georgian Quarter
Carlingford – a fully restored 18th Century Georgian house in Medieval Carlingford
Kinsale – an elegant Georgian guest house with a fascinating past
Kinsale – a “nautical” Irish boutique hotel with several awards under its belt
Rathmullan – a historic hotel built in 1760 overlooking Lough Swilly
Mayo – a boutique hotel on the shores of the River Moy
Kenmare – overlooking Kenmare Bay, in the heart of Irelands´ countryside
Each property is gearing up to receive guests in the near future, so start researching the ones that are local to you and book a well-deserved vacation on your doorstep. Ready for 2020 to take a turn for the better?
Embarking on an Irish getaway soon? Share your pictures with us on Instagram by using the #historichotelsofeurope hashtag!