How did you feel when you heard the news that the hotel could reopen on June 2?
I was a little shocked and delighted. I was not expecting to open up until late June. It was fantastic to have a deadline to work towards to as It allows you to start putting dates to a plan. Otherwise, it was like a marathon without a finish line.
What have you been doing during the lockdown?
I have been busy. I commenced a Master’s in Business and Hotel Administration which was delivered by Shannon College of Hotel Management and NUIG. It was really challenging but great to sharpen my skills and as it was hotel specific so it really made you analyse your current product offering and strategy. Additionally, in Randles Hotel we are completely moving away from carbon boilers in our plant and converting to greener solutions. Randles Hotel is striving to become carbon neutral by 2022.
Will Randles Hotel be ready for outdoor dining from June 2?
Yes. As Randles is an elevated hotel with views and a large terrace – outdoor dining was always part of our experience. Since last year we have enhanced The Terrace with retractable pergolas, an outdoor fireplace, heating, a living wall, lighting and music. We are delighted with the result. Initially it will be exclusively for residents and as things change, we will open to all.
How about the Dromhall Hotel, will it be ready for business?
Absolutely. The Dromhall Hotel took the opportunity to complete an extensive €1 million refurbishment including bedrooms, lobby and outdoor terrace. The new offering is a reflection of our ever-evolving customer. 1921 is the year of establishment of our family business so we are celebrating 100 years in business of which we are very proud.
How are bookings going, do you think it will be a strong summer?
Bookings are very steady and I think it will be a good summer. We will miss the international visitors as they really extend the season which is critical to all seasonal destinations similar to Killarney. One swallow does not make a summer. Whatever happens we are delighted to be open, have our wonderful team back and are looking forward to taking care of our guests.
Do you think that Killarney will get back to its premier place in Irish tourism and what are the challenges?
Killarney never stopped being Ireland’s premier destination. The challenge is to remain relevant. Visitors both international and domestic are looking for more bespoke experiences in their activities, accommodation choices, social and retail activities.
We are lucky to have so much on doorstep, locally. Like the national park and the lakes but also to be part of the Wild Atlantic Way, and be near to special towns like Kenmare and Dingle. Outdoor pursuits are very important and Killarney has so many options for walking, cycling, climbing and water sports.
Some new additions in 2021 include the Killarney Brewery Visitor and event centre, three whiskey distilleries. The completion of the Flesk cycleway and the improvement to Tomies Wood walk. New streetscapes are happening and lots of new retail. I believe Covid will encourage a birth of exciting new food offerings in Killarney.
Any special offers to entice visitors back to your hotel?
Our best offers are when you book direct on www.randleshotels.com or call us on (064) 6635333