Ask the Manager: Vincent O’Gorman, The Westbury, Dublin

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Vincent O’Gorman is the manager of The Westbury, just off Dublin’s Grafton Street. He began his career in 1994 with the Doyle Hotel Group as a trainee manager before securing an assistant manager’s role when he completed his training.

He served as Deputy General Manager at the Great Southern Hotel at Dublin Airport between 2001 and 2004 before moving on to the Morrison.

In 2006 he was appointed General Manager at the Park Plaza in Tyrrelstown before becoming GM at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast. He then joined the Doyle Collection as General Manager of the Kensington Hotel in London.

He returned to Ireland in 2013 to take up the role of General Manager at the Westbury.

How has business been since reopening on June 2nd?

It is wonderful to see life back in the hotel again. I have dearly missed hearing the pop of champagne corks and lively discussion in The Gallery from my office.

The entire team are thrilled to welcome guests through our doors once again, preparing for reopening has been challenging in its own way. The restrictions on travel have hugely affected so many industries, most especially hospitality.

Business to Dublin has fluctuated greatly, with high demand at weekends and less so midweek. The city is experiencing a lack of corporate business, meetings, social occasions and general larger scale events, concerts and sporting fixtures. These events would normally create high demand periods.

What were you doing during the lockdown?

We utilised the lockdown and closure periods as best we could, making improvements to the building and team structure. Some enhancements we made during this time include: strengthening the development and training of our core team. The full refurbishment of the fifth-floor guest rooms and suites, as well as taking the time to strategize and plan for the future.

We developed The Westbury ‘At Home’ experience

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic also forced us to pivot our business in more creative ways throughout our closure and identify new opportunities. This included special ‘At Home’ experiences developed with our Restaurant and Bar teams to bring a little piece of The Westbury into people’s homes throughout lockdown. These included a Valentine’s Day Champagne and Cake, a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, our Balfes To-Go offering and the launch of our very first artisan spirit, The Sidecar Gin.

Was the hotel completely closed or did you have essential workers staying?

During the first lockdown, we were completely closed. We were delighted to open in the summer and from that point, we have remained open for essential travel purposes.

Does The Westbury have outdoor dining?

Yes, we are happy to have extended our Balfes terrace to accommodate additional guests for outdoor dining in our beautiful surroundings. Our all-day dining options include brunch, lunch and dinner alongside our iconic cocktail selection.

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

Our Slice of the City experience is a great way for guests, especially those indulging in a staycation, to make the most of our location in the heart of historic Dublin city and experience what our neighbourhood has to offer.

This summer will also see the return of the ever-popular Everything’s Rosé offering in WILDE, with a new and exclusively curated selection of exquisite rosé wines from the South of France. It will be a taste of Provence in Dublin. Our elegant terrace will be decorated with delicate pink blooms designed by The Westbury floral team.  It will create the perfect setting for guests to enjoy the Everything’s Rosé tasting experience.

The Gallery is a popular place to meet in Dublin, any changes there?

Afternoon Tea is served in the sophisticated surroundings of The Gallery. We have recently launched a new serving of Champagne and Oysters to celebrate our partnership with Grande Marque Champagne House Charles Heidsieck.

How are bookings going, do you think it will be a strong summer?

I believe it remains a challenge for all businesses, everything is currently hinging on restrictions and the vaccine rollout. We are hopeful it will be a strong summer with couples, families and friends choosing to book staycations with us. It has been hugely encouraging to see reservation numbers throughout the summer months performing well.

Where do your guests come from mainly?

At the moment we are seeing huge support from the Irish market. Traditionally, we would have seen a lot of luxury leisure and business guests from the US, the UK and Europe.

What do you feel is the tradition of The Westbury?
I think The Westbury has become a home away from home for our guests, celebrating and creating magical memories with us.  We are immensely proud that so many people choose to make the hotel a part of the special moments throughout their lives. Whether it is  birthdays, long overdue catch-ups over cocktails, anniversaries and weddings.
Can I have a photograph of you in your favourite spot in The Westbury?

This photo was taken in WILDE restaurant, and it is one of my favourite places in the hotel. Overlooking Dublin’s Grafton Street it is always full of natural light.  It features 1930s-style décor paired with an abundance of greenery.  For me, there is always a perfect corner to enjoy the ever-changing seasons.

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

Suite celebrations – Enjoy 25% savings on a luxurious suite stay with complimentary Prosecco and Afternoon Tea

Make a night of it – Overnight stay with dinner for two in Balfes or Wilde and Breakfast with our Compliments.

Bed and Brunch in Balfes – Overnight stay in a beautifully appointed bedroom or suite with Brunch in Balfes. Click Here for special offers.

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