Ashford Castle enjoys 'busiest ever year' after €100m makeover
IT'S been 'an exceptional year' so far for the five-star Ashford Castle hotel with earnings and revenues to increase significantly on last year.
That is according to the luxury property's general manager, Niall Rochford, who said yesterday that the hotel has enjoyed occupancy rates 'of the mid to high 90s' between mid-May and the end of September this year.
Mr Rochford was commenting on new accounts filed by Ashford Castle Hotel Ltd which show that earnings at the hotel last year totalled almost €270,000 as revenues rose from €9m to €11.76m.
This year has been the first full year of trading for the hotel since its €100m restoration.
"From an occupancy point of view, it has been the busiest year that the castle has ever experienced and our average room rates reflect the significant investment that has been put into the castle," Mr Rochford said.
"It has been a very, very positive year and more positive that we expected."
Numbers employed at the estate total 368 and Mr Rochford said: "Ashford would be a significant employer in the south Mayo area."
The accounts confirm that during 2015, the firm commissioned Savills to carry out an independent valuation of the hotel last year.
The valuation impaired the value of the hotel by €17.6m and the directors believe that the impairment "is temporary and will be reversed in the coming years". This resulted in the firm recording a pre-tax loss of €23m last year.
The loss last year also takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €4.65m. Staff costs last year totalled €5.2m.
The business emerged from receivership in 2013 after a global firm, Red Carnation Hotels, paid €20m for the resort. The €100m restoration includes a 30-seater cinema and a spa.