Ask The Manager – Iris Rufino – One Pery Square, Limerick

 
Can I have a short biography of your career?   

I started my career in my home country of Brazil, working as a patisserie chef. I graduated from the culinary school having gained valuable experience through different positions in the hospitality world.   

I was afforded the opportunity to work in hotels who had membership of The Leading Hotels of the World and Virtuoso groups, where I was trained to provide excellence in customer care.   

In 2015 I moved to Ireland and started working at One Pery Square and I have been here ever since . Starting with the accommodation department while studying International Hospitality Management, and growing with the business during the years to a position of duty manager. In 2021 I was promoted to the senior management role of Operations Manager.   

When did One Pery Square open?   

One Pery Square is one of a terrace of six Georgian houses built around 1830 by Pery Square Tontine Company and was bought and refurbished in 2006 by Patricia Roberts. In 2009 the hotel opened its doors with 21 bedrooms.  There is delicious food and wine at The Long Room. It also has the award-winning Sash Restaurant. The innovative and polished organic spa is in the heritage vaults,with a kitchen garden and terrace. A townhouse hotel full of personality and style throughout., quite often described as a country house in the city.  

What type of outdoor dining does your property have?    

The hotel has a lovely terraced garden with wood fire heaters and a covered and heated garden room. It offers a nice and relaxed area to enjoy some of our garden signature cocktails, delicious food from the kitchen or even a barbecue with family and friends overlooking Limericks historic Georgian quarter.  

How has business been this summer?   

Better than expected, we were very pleased to welcome back so many repeat guests, host wonderful small boutique weddings and the Spa was much in demand the whole Summer. 

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

We were lucky to have our core staff team back after the last lockdown, but it was challenging to fill the gaps in every department. Finding suitable candidates as soon we reopened took more time than usual, but we were able to build a strong team. It has been a very difficult time for everyone and our goal is to look after our staff wellbeing and keep them motivated. 

A bedroom in One Pery Square

  

What changes have you made to enhance guests’ experience?   

After every lockdown the hotel tried to use the time to improve the guests’ experience. Last year we created the new garden room as another option for outdoor dining. This year our old Parkroom Bar was refurbished and changed to two new period style luxury bedrooms. They feature the original Sash windows and high ceilings, with modern décor including a copper bath in one of the suites.   

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

Autumn is looking very good, most of our corporate guest are back, small boutique weddings are still a trend. With the full reopening of the business from end of October, we have had an increase for customers looking for private functions and parties.   

Where do your guests come from mainly?   

Most of our guests are Irish, discovering the mid-west of Ireland and visiting family, or locals looking for a nice and relaxed escape. The past few weeks we could notice some Americans and people around other countries in Europe coming back as well.   

What challenges does Limerick face in encouraging international visitors to the city, following the reduction in services to Shannon?   

Limerick council did a great job during the summer launching Limerick as the Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City, with many options for tourists to explore the county and we hope it will continue to bring new attractions during the autumn and winter.   

Have you any special offers to entice visitors back to your hotel?   

We now have our Autumn Picnic and Pampering on the Gateway to the Atlantic way Package, which includes a two-night B&B stay, one evening meal on the night of your choice, admission to People’s Museum and The Hunt Museum, a picnic and a back, neck and shoulders massage at the Heritage Spa. The offer starts from €279 per person.

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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