Home » Breaking News » Hotel thankful for local support during hard times
Michael McCarthy, owner, Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, at left, with bar man Jack O Regan, welcoming guests back to the North Clare Hotel as hotels across the country re-open for visitors as part of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph by John Kelly

Hotel thankful for local support during hard times

THE rain may have been falling, but that didn’t dampen the spirits at Clare’s hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering accommodation on Wednesday as they welcomed guests for the first time this year with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
“It’s an exciting day, it really is, you can feel it around the place,” Sharon Malone, Falls Hotel marketing and digital media manager told The Clare Champion.
“Everybody is back in their uniforms, some who haven’t seen each other in quite a while, and everything looks fantastic. Even the rain has made the flowers outside look so fresh and colourful, everything looks brand new.
“We had training in the hotel last week which brought the teams back together and, it’s funny, but by the end of it you could tell it had just lifted everybody’s spirits and focused everybody again on getting back to doing what we enjoy doing.
“We’re lucky that we have most of our core crew coming back and we’ve been dying to get back.”
She described the closure of the hotel since Christmas as “tough going, it was sad to see the place closed, it was hard on everybody.”
However, the hotel is now looking positively to the future, and they have been heartened by the high number of repeat guests planning a staycation at the Falls.
“We have lots of repeat guests coming back again. We have our online booking engine on the website, but we couldn’t get over the amount of phone calls.
“People just wanted to make sure they got their room, this weekend in particular, I think because outdoor dining isn’t permitted yet, but you can eat and drink in the hotel.
“We are getting emails and messages online, comments on Facebook and Instagram.
“Familiar names are popping up saying ‘See you at the weekend’. It’s hard to put into words what it feels like.
We just really appreciate it, it means an awful lot to us. Sometimes you think, if you’re closed people are going to forget about you and move on. But it’s been really, really heart-warming to get those messages and know we will have familiar faces back again, and we love showing them the changes we have made.”
The hotel used the closure to carry out some upgrades including renovations to bedrooms and bathrooms.
”Lighting has also been installed at the river walk which has proven to be extremely popular during lockdown. And in April the 140 bedroom hotel was awarded carbon neutral status by Green Hospitality Ireland for eliminating its carbon output over a five year period through the introduction of a series of waste reduction and energy initiatives.
One of the most significant measures taken by the hotel was the installation of a €1.3m hydroelectric turbine on the nearby River Inagh which generates enough electricity to power the hotel.
“When we got the official word from Green Hospitality Ireland it as such a boost, it focused us on opening again and having good news to tell guests because sustainability seems to be very important to people.
“If they have a choice between a hotel doing it and one that isn’t, and everything else is the same, they may make the decision to stay somewhere that is a bit more sustainable and that makes them feel good too.”
While this week the hotel is only open to guests, they are looking forward to welcoming outdoor diners next week when Covid restrictions are further eased.
“We can’t wait to have our locals back again for outdoor dining. We just want to say thank you to the local people and guests alike for their support, big time, it really does mean so much.”

About Jessica Quinn

Check Also

McCourt: ‘Capitalism is under fire around the world for good reason’

HE’S A self made multi-millionaire who is leading one of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects, …

error: Content is protected !!