Sunday 16 June 2019

Adare Manor is reaping the rewards of its €70m revamp

The luxury hotel is in running to host the 2026 Ryder Cup, writes Fearghal O'Connor

Paul Heery
Paul Heery

Luxury hotel Adare Manor has hit nearly all of the targets set for it by owner JP McManus ahead of a major refurbishment but is in a waiting game to find out if it can land its biggest prize yet.

The Limerick property - which has just been named the AA Hotel of the Year for 2019 - is in the running to host the 2026 Ryder Cup but faces competition from other big names such as the Belfry. No decision on the host is expected in the near future.

"It would be a wonderful opportunity for Ireland to host it again," said Adare Manor general manager Paul Heery.

"When it was hosted in the K Club a recession came on the back of it so we may not have managed to maximise golf tourism at the time.

"The infrastructure and the property here at Adare Manor has been designed to facilitate tournaments of this size. Everything is there to deliver the tournament," said Heery.

"Every Ryder Cup venue aims to be better than the last and that is part of our culture here."

The hotel is to host the Pro-Am golf tournament next year with a crowd of 35,000 expected each day, similar to the Ryder Cup.

Heery was appointed general manager of the luxury hotel in June 2017. He was previously general manager of the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, operations manager at the Connaught in London and deputy general manager at Dublin's Merrion Hotel.

Adare was purchased five years ago by JP McManus for €30m. The hotel reopened in November 2017 after an 18-month refurbishment that cost an estimated €70m to €100m, although Heery declines to confirm a figure.

"We are very fortunate to have an owner that has given what he has given to this property. The thing you will see in all of these properties - Adare, Ashford, Ballyfin - is that they have owners who really love and have a passion for the property. What you get out of that is the lovely service that comes through the staff because they embrace that passion and love and desire to give the guests a great experience. That is probably the difference between a privately owned property and a property owned by a larger entity."

Working in a property owned by an individual or family is quite different to working for a large chain, said Heery.

"You need to understand how that person likes things to be done, whereas somewhere else that direction may be coming from a head office. Here you are dealing with a very genuine individual and family but one that clearly has luxury in their blood.

"They understand it and they live in that style of environment and that is what they expect coming through our business. In my role you start to understand what they like and what they dislike. It means you can make decisions and move things forward a lot quicker."

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