Thursday 29 September 2016

First Look: Inside the K Club's €20 million makeover

Kildare's K-Factor

Published 14/09/2015 | 13:01

The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare
The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare
The K Club's Media Puzzle Lounge, named after one of Dr. Smurfit's race horses.
The K Club's new Barton Suite
The K Club's 'Inis Mór' conference and banqueting room.
A Liffey deluxe room bathroom.
The K Club
A Liffey Wing Deluxe Interior bedroom at the K Club.
The Media Puzzle Lounge
Inside a Barton Suite, in the K Club's new €20 million Liffey Wing.

The K Club has unveiled the results of a €20 million renovation and extension of its Straffan, Co. Kildare resort.

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In one fell swoop, the five-star resort has added 70 new bedrooms, a Thai restaurant, Media Puzzle bar, all-weather tennis courts and a new conference facility.

Our gallery (above) shows the full extent of the renovations.

The new bedrooms are housed in the 'Liffey Wing', located to the west side of the hotel. They almost double the number of rooms at the K Club to 134.

Work on the project started when Dr. Michael Smurfit purchased the property outright and became its sole owner in 2012, the hotel said.

Dr. Smurfit originally bought the hotel with business partner Gerry Gannon in June 2005 for €115 million. The extension project, which began this March, was carried out by Bernard McNamara's McNamara Construction.

The Liffey Wing is developed in the same style as the original, 19th century house, with rooms featuring hand-painted countryside scenes, "extra-deep" baths, wallpapers influenced by French chateaux and the hotel's signature spaciousness.

Straffan House was built in 1832 by the French Barton family. Prince Albert of Monaco flew in to turn the sod on the new extension earlier this year.

The K Club's new Barton Suite
The K Club's new Barton Suite
The K Club
The K Club
A Liffey Wing Deluxe Interior bedroom at the K Club.
A Liffey deluxe room bathroom.
The K Club's 'Inis Mór' conference and banqueting room.

Renovations and improvements also include two all-weather tennis courts, a resurfaced entrance avenue and handmade Connemara Carpets for public areas.

Combined with the new 130-seater ‘Inis Mór’ conference room, the 140-bed play will allow the hotel - which already boasts two golf courses - to develop its conference and banqueting business to levels on a par with other European resorts of its size.

“The improved and expanded facilities will add significantly to the turnover of The K Club in the years ahead," said Michael Davern, the resort's CEO.

‘The Media Puzzle Bar’ is named after Dr. Smurfit’s Melbourne Cup winning horse, and painted in a classic racing green.

The ‘Gatzby’ style chandeliers were taken from the old swimming pool in the hotel which were fitted by one of the previous owners, Iranian Air Force founder, Nader Jahanbani (1977) who was executed around the time of the downfall of the Shah Reza Pahlavi government. 

Th K Club, which famously hosted the Ryder Cup at the peak of the Celtic Tiger in 2006, celebrates its 25th birthday in 2016.

"Next year is our 25th year since we opened, it's also 10 years since the Ryder Cup, and it happens to coincide with my 80th birthday," as Dr Smurfit told the Sunday Independent earlier this year.

"All those things coming together might mean something, who knows?"

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