Ask the Manager – Anne Marie Kelly – Renvyle House, Galway

Can I have a short biography of your career? 

I studied in the RTC, now the GMIT Galway.

My career in hospitality has taken me from the well-known London Tara Hotel in the 1980’s to the Keadeen Hotel in Kildare, and The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.

When did Renvyle House become a hotel and what is the history? 

Renvyle House first became a hotel under the watchful eye of Mrs. Caroline Blake in 1883. It was then run as a hotel by Martha Gogarty, wife of Oliver St. John Gogarty, from 1927 to 1952. It has been in the Coyle family since then.

What did you do during lockdown? 

We had a great opportunity to work through our maintenance schedule for our bedrooms and the public areas, an old house always needs some attention. The time also allowed us plan safely for the reopening in June.

What type of outdoor dining does Renvyle have? Is Tim still the chef? 

Being a hotel, we were able to reopen with our resident guests dining within our Rusheenduff Dining Room. We reopened to resident guests so that our guests and staff were safe.

Tim O’Sullivan is still the head chef at Renvyle House and features Connemara Lamb and fresh fish and seafood daily with the menu changing daily.

How has business been this summer? 

The Summer was good with a lovely number of loyal repeat guests. We took the opportunity to win over new customers whilst home holidays were encouraged. The facilities on the grounds available to our resident guests are plenty, including a kilometer of beach on the shores of the Atlantic, our freshwater lake for boating and fishing and our outdoor heated pool got great use.

How have you coped with staff shortages, if you had any?   

It’s been a very busy time as much has to be looked after to keep everyone safe. We have a great team at Renvyle House who have stayed with us throughout the various reopenings.

What plans have you got to enhance guests experience? 

Focus is on the outdoors and open spaces for recreation. We plan to keep our outdoor heated pool open all year.  We have some activity breaks such as walking and Yoga that will introduce guests to areas of Connemara they may not have explored before.

How are bookings going, what is the autumn looking like?  

Autumn bookings are good so far. Again, having various special interest breaks run throughout the autumn and winter gives those holidaying an added interest to their holiday.

Where do your guests come from mainly? 

In the last few months our guests come from all over: Dublin and the East coast, Galway, Mayo, Cork and Northern Ireland.

Have you any special offers for the autumn? 

We have a range of special interest breaks running through the autumn and winter.   

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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