We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joe O’Flynn, owner of Rathsallagh Country House Hotel, and Brian Bourke, owner of Glenlo Abbey Hotel. Both establishments are family-owned and operated, and Joe and Brian shared with us a bit of what it has been like to operate in these difficult economic times. Not only has there been a drop in the number of visitors to Ireland, but there has also been the issue of the “zombie hotels” to contend with.
Even in these trying times, however, Joe and Brian remain optimistic about the future for their own establishments, as well as for other well-run accommodations that provide good service and a personal touch for their guests.
We also talk a bit about what separates a superior accommodation from a lackluster one and why travelers should look at more than just the cost of their board when considering where they will stay. A hint: When someone tells you that you get what you pay for, they are generally telling you the truth! The price of your accommodation should not be your only consideration or motivation when making your travel plans.
A few links of use from this episode:
Rathsallagh Country House Hotel, Dunlavin, County Wicklow – http://www.rathsallagh.com/
Their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RathsallaghHouse
And Twitter Account: @RathsallaghHous
Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Bushypark, County Galway – http://www.glenlo.com/
There is much more to experience at these properties than just the hotels. Check out their websites to see all of the amenities and special activities that are on offer.
We also ran across this clever cooperative marketing scheme on the part of three family-owned Irish hotels: Glenlo Abbey, Rathsallagh House, and Sandhouse Hotel (Rossnowlagh, County Donegal). The three hotels are currently operating a partnership they call The Emerald Triangle (http://www.emerald3.com/), where you purchase one package and receive six nights’ B&B accommodation (split among the three hotels). By booking this way, you can be assured of quality lodging as you travel across the country, and you get the great level of service that comes from a combined 100 years of experience assisting travelers in Ireland. We think this is a brilliant idea and a way to ‘think out of the box,’ as it were, in trying to find new and innovative means to attract clients!
Celebrated Experiences, Jonathan Epstein, President http://www.celebratedexperiences.com/
“Our clients are the most elite travel agents in the world, seeking the very best for their demanding clientele. “ (A little bit of information about the company from their website.)
You can also find Celebrated Experiences on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/CelebratedExperiences where you can follow Jonathan’s worldwide travel adventures.
As mentioned during the interview, you should research any of the accommodations you are thinking about booking. One place where you can find information about quality Irish accommodations is at Ireland’s Blue Book (http://www.irelands-blue-book.ie/). Of course, there are other places you go to perform your research. Another good place to start your research is to simply look at the establishment’s website and review its history and amenities. This should tell you a lot about the quality of the accommodation.