Friday 16 November 2018

Donegal hotel that shut during crash announces 40 new jobs in €2m expansion plan

Marble Restaurant opens at the Shandon Hotel
Marble Restaurant opens at the Shandon Hotel
Shandon Manager Carolynne Harrison
View from the hot tub at the Shandon Hotel Spa
Shandon Hotel
The beach at the Shandon Hotel

Greg Harkin

A Donegal hotel that shut during the crash has announced 40 new jobs in a €2m expansion, just two years after reopening. The Shandon Hotel & Spa, on the Wild Atlantic Way at Marble Hill Beach outside Dunfanaghy was closed down during the recession.

However new owners stepped in to reopen the four-star hotel and spa in 2016 and have since expanded the property to 68 rooms.

"There is little doubt that the marketing of Donegal in the UK and the USA is paying huge dividends for us," said Shandon manager Carolynne Harrison.

"We had occupancy rates in the spring of over 90pc and that has continued. The additional 18 rooms will help us meet the increasing demand through this summer."

Shandon Manager Carolynne Harrison
Shandon Manager Carolynne Harrison

Forty new positions are being created across the hotel including at the spa and a new hairdressing salon.

The hotel general manager says increasing numbers of tourists are coming from the UK, the USA and the Republic.

View from the hot tub at the Shandon Hotel Spa
View from the hot tub at the Shandon Hotel Spa

"I believe this is going to be Donegal's best year for tourism and it is hugely significant for rural parts of the county like here at Marble Hill and what that does for the local economy," said Carolynne.

"We are amazed at the increasing number of visitors from the UK and North America in particular and we are also seeing increasing numbers from the rest of the Republic, particularly from Dublin and Leinster generally.

"The retention of the 9pc VAT rate was very important for the hospitality sector in rural Ireland. Communities like ours benefit from the extra tourists and of course from the extra jobs.

"We were limited in our expansion in terms of where we could add the new rooms so a few of them don't have sea views and have a lower price to reflect that but reaction from our first customers has been very, very positive as there are plenty of places in the hotel from the bar to the spa to the public lounge to take in the views."

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