Wednesday 26 September 2018

First Look: Inside The Dunloe Hotel's €18 million revamp

18-month renovation complete for Killarney five-star

The Dunloe's double-height windows overlooking the Gap of Dunloe
The Dunloe's double-height windows overlooking the Gap of Dunloe
The five-star Dunloe Hotel & Gardens. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Inside The Dunloe hotel
Inside The Dunloe Hotel, Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle
The Dunloe, post-revamp
The Dunloe Hotel, Killarne. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Upper lounge: Artists' Impression
The pool at The Dunloe. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Inside The Dunloe Hotel's revamp
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Killarney's Dunloe Hotel & Gardens has re-opened after lavishing one million euro a month over 18 months of refurbs.

The €18 million revamp refreshes the five-star hotel's restaurants, bar, reception, lobby and lounge spaces, as well as the gardens and car park.

Standout features include dramatic, double-height picture windows overlooking the Gap of Dunloe, and bookshelves soaring inside its distinctive entrance towers.

Returning guests will recognise the stained glass flower windows and certain pieces of art and furniture, but all are freshened by bold wallpapers, terraces and exterior landscaping.

Inside The Dunloe Hotel, Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Inside The Dunloe Hotel, Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Natural light floods The Grill Restaurant, courtesy of those six-metre windows, while Swiss designer Monoplan has brought darker, warmer tones to the lobby, library tower and bar - creating "an inviting, introverted atmosphere" for guests, the company says.

Works were overseen by local building contractors Griffin Brothers, while Tralee-based Designer Landscapes Ltd updated the gardens and outdoor spaces.

"The hotel has a rich history but in all its many years has never looked as good as it does now," said Michael Brennan, MD of Killarney Hotels Ltd., a company which also runs The Europe and Ard na Sidhe in Co. Kerry.

All three hotels are owned by the Liebherr family from Switzerland.

The pool at The Dunloe. Photo: Don MacMonagle
The pool at The Dunloe. Photo: Don MacMonagle

And the price? Rack rates at The Dunloe start from €240 for two people sharing B&B in a garden room, rising to €600 per night for a one-bedroom suite.

The renovation comes as hotels all over Ireland loosen the purse strings for a burst of upgrades and development delayed by years of caution and cut-backs.

Most recently, Adare Manor re-opened after a 22-month, multi-million restoration and expansion, while Killarney's Cahernane House opened last week after ongoing, €6.5 million renovations that have seen all 38 rooms rebooted.

Elsewhere, 60 members of Original Irish Hotels, a new collection of privately-owned Irish hotels that launched this month, have invested over €70 million between them during the last 24 months, the group says.

The Dunloe opened for the season at the end of April.

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