How did you feel when you heard the news that the hotel could reopen on June 2?
What great news for the hotel, team and guests. It is a positive step for the hotel industry and the many people who have been out of work. We have spent the last few months in an empty hotel, cancelling and moving bookings so we are delighted to finally be allowed to reopen our doors and welcome back our guests.
What have you been doing during the lockdown?
When the country first went into lockdown it was extremely difficult for everyone, the unknown was daunting and scary. However, we soon realised that we had two choices – feel sorry for ourselves and do nothing, or try new things and improve ourselves. We chose the latter.
Over recent months, we have launched a new online platform, selling and delivering our wines directly to people’s homes. Wine is a large part of Kelly’s and my father Bill is passionate about this side of the business, sourcing and importing all the wines directly.
We created our own ready to eat meals which can be bought in Kelly’s Café and Kelly’s Deli, and have turned these spaces into retail areas where you can buy our branded goods, homemade sourdoughs and produce from our own kitchen gardens.
This has really brought another element to our business, which we may not have had the courage to try before. We also opened our new concept The Van @ Kelly’s in Rosslare, which consists of a retrofitted Citroën van serving sweet crepes and a trendy bright coloured Airstream with a street food style menu.
Human Resources was also a big focus over the last year, finding ways of staying in touch and connected with our team was of utmost importance to us. We organised such things, as step challenges, online courses and a wellness programme for those who wanted to take part.
Will Kelly’s have an outdoor dining area ready for June?
We have invested in our outdoor dining spaces for reopening. We increased the size of the terrace outside our La Marine Bistro because we believe that outdoor spaces will be very important for some time to come. We also have a new range of furniture and heaters arriving, which we hope will add to the customer experience.
How are bookings going, do you think it will be a strong summer?
Thankfully our bookings are looking very strong for the months ahead. However, it is important to remember that there were many bookings from the winter and spring that were cancelled and moved to later in the year. I get the sense that many people are looking forward to a well-deserved holiday.
How do you feel continuing the long tradition of Kellys hospitality?
Kelly’s has been in existence for 126 years and I am the fifth generation to return to work in the hotel, so to be honest continuing the tradition feels both exciting and daunting in equal measures. Kelly’s is more than just a job to me, and I am passionate to continue the tradition and make Kelly’s as good as it can be for generations to come.
Any special offers to entice visitors back to your hotel?
At Kelly’s we sell an experience and have many wonderful experiences and activities arranged for our guests. From sporting activities, kid’s adventures, our kitchen gardens and much more. We have something for everyone!
Kellys are known for their art collection
The collection at the hotel is a personal one, that dates back to my grandparents time in the 1950’s. They were passionate about the visual arts and passed this interest onto my father and myself. The eclectic collection really reflects the personal tastes of three generations. It included contemporary Irish and international artists, many of whom have become friends over the years. Not only is the art collection a conversation starter for guest at the hotel, but it’s what gives the hotel its personality.
Can we have photograph of you beside your favourite piece of art.
The photo of myself is with “Clos des Papes” by Neil Shawcross. The Clos des Papes cellar in Chateauneuf de Pape is owned and running for many generations by my mother’s family, so we commissioned this piece by Neil Shawcross to represent our French side of the family.