Ask The Manager: Aidan Ryan, GM, Druid’s Glen Hotel and Golf Resort

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Can you give a short outline of your career? 

I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Catering Management at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and a MSc in Tourism Management at Dublin Institute of Technology.   

After that I joined the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, working firstly at Jurys Ballsbridge Hotel as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager and then at the Berkeley Court Hotel as Senior Manager. In 2007 I joined the Neville group at the Royal Marine Hotel, as Deputy General Manager and then served as General Manager from 2009-2019.  

Following a short career break, I re-joined the Neville Hotel Group in the position of General Manager at Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort. In 2020, I was promoted to the role of Regional General Manager at Neville Hotels and now have responsibility for the groups Wicklow and Dublin properties, including the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.

History of Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort 

In 1770 Hon. John Stratford, Son of the Earl of Aldborough built Woodstock House, the current Druid Glen Golf Clubhouse. In the 1980’s Woodstock House was used as a writing and recording base. Many well-known musicians, including Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells II), Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi recorded here. 

In 1995, Druids Glen Golf Course opened and hosted the Irish Open, and in 1996 and 1997 Colin Montgomerie won the Irish Open at Druids Glen.  In 2002 Druids Glen built a 148-bedroo.m five-star hotel. It opened with the hosting of the Seve Trophy at Druids Glen.

In 2003 Druids Heath championship golf course opened. It was designed by Pat Ruddy, the course was soon given the title “Nature’s Gift to Golf” by the golfing world’s media.  

The resort was voted European Golf Resort of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in 2005. Druids Heath hosted the Irish PGA Championship, in 2006, the oldest championship in Irish Golf.  

In 2019, Druids Glen was acquired by the Neville Hotel Group, from Co. Wexford. The group owns the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, The Kilkenny River Court Hotel and the Tower Hotel Waterford. The Neville Family are committed to returning Druids Glen resort to the pinnacle of Irish Golf with the ambition of once again hosting a European Tour event at Druids Glen. 

Aidan Ryan Druid's Glen GM
Druids Glen Golf Course

How has business been since reopening in June? 

Business has been very positive since we reopened on the June 2nd. Our resort is a traditional family destination with a large amount of very loyal repeat guests and families. We have been delighted to welcome them back to the resort over the last few months. The summer has gone well and Autumn time is also looking very positive. 

What did you do during the lockdown? 

We carried out a significant refurbishment programme on most of the guest bathrooms in the hotel.  It was the most significant capital investment undertaken.   

Improvements and upgrade works were carried out on both Druids Glen Golf Course and Druids Heath Golf Course. Woodstock House will close at the end of 2021 and undergo a multi-million euro redevelopment.  Our ambition is to bring Druids Glen back to the pinnacle of Irish Golf and once again host a European Tour Event. 

Does Druid’s Glen have outdoor dining? 

There is outdoor dining space available in our Garden Rooms and Bar with decking and an outdoor terrace that overlooks Druids Glen Golf course. 

What plans have you for the summer to enhance guests experience? 

We have put a huge emphasis on empowering our team to go the extra mile for our guests to enhance their experience. The introduction of a new team members reward and incentive scheme to drive empowerment. 

Where do your guests come from? 

The domestic market is strong and includes guests from all over Ireland and from Northern Ireland. 

What do you recommend for visitors to do in your region? 

We always recommend visits to places like Glendalough or Powerscourt Waterfall. We are lucky that Wicklow has such natural heritage, all within a short distance of the resort. 

Have you any special offers to entice visitors to Druid’s Glen? 

We have a number of special packages available to book at present which include accommodation, dining in our award-winning restaurant, luxurious spa treatments or Golf on the magical Druids Glen or Druids Heath Golf courses. See offers here. 

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