Adare Manor in Ireland: the secrets to running the hotel of the year



(CNN) – Sealing a hotel for an 18-month renovation is a risky proposition, even in a busy tourist center. To do it in the bucolic countryside of County Limerick, Ireland, well, it is better a breathtaking transformation, guaranteed to bring in the mass of visitors.

And indeed, for Adare Manor, it was a doozy. More than 800 workers and craftsmen were on the site. They did everything from building a gold leaf ballroom to replacing or repairing every tile in the mansion roof.

Fortunately, the hard work, a multi – million – dollar renovation, yielded dramatic benefits: when reopened, the hotel was quickly named the 2018 Hotel of the Year by the Best of the Best award of Virtuoso, an influential organization with more than 17,000 travel counselors.
The Adare Manor has recently reopened after an 18-month renovation. No one in the hotel will reveal the price of the review.

The Adare Manor has recently reopened after an 18-month renovation. No one in the hotel will reveal the price of the review.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

But in more granular terms – especially when "the best" can be as subjective – what does it mean?

Basically, of course, it is a hotel that runs at full speed. Everything, from the meals to the conveniences of the places, must be irreproachable. But for a guest, it must be more personal than that to get such an esteem.

In Adare, breakfast is served in a room that seems to have come out of Hogwarts. It's learning the ancient art of falconry alongside Snowy Owl, a resident of the hotel, Olaf. And that definitely puts your teeth in a freshly baked scone with a dollop of homemade lemon curd.

So how exactly does Adare make his magic? Keep reading to take a look behind the proverbial curtain.

The secret: a staff seemingly able to read thoughts

The Adare staff has more than 500 people, which leaves a lot of staff to focus specifically on the needs of customers. Managing Director Paul Heery also teaches employees the "Beyond All" theory, which means that every experience at a location is exceptional from the customer's point of view.

"Is the welcome at the door a little more than the normal home?" he says, for example, to greet the guests on their arrival. "The goal is that every guest who arrives has some kind of memory, we constantly challenge ourselves and challenge the norm."

The beautiful rooms where every detail is taken into account are only surpassed by the special touches of the staff.

The beautiful rooms where every detail is taken into account are only surpassed by the special touches of the staff.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

The use of photographs by the hotel is a particularly sensible touch. For example, if a couple is celebrating a birthday, staff will often look for a wedding picture and place it at the bedside during bedtime service.

Recently, during a wedding on the spot, the staff even went so far as to print a photo of the wedding that had taken place earlier in the day, to display it in the couple's bridal suite after the festivities of the evening. .

For another guest of Irish descent who was hoping to reconnect with his roots, a staff member was able to find a local Gaelic throwing club that had links with the guest's family.

"He drove [the guest] I do not know, a hundred years ago, was going to the club where his cousin was playing hastily, "says Heery. You know, little things. But for the guest, this is a very important moment where we help him in his family's story. "

The general manager of the hotel oversees a staff of 500 people and ensures that no customer is lacking in anything.

The general manager of the hotel oversees a staff of 500 people and ensures that no customer is lacking in anything.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

The secret: a menu from farm to table like nowhere else in Ireland

The cuisine of the Emerald Isle is perhaps best known for its creative uses of potatoes, but contemporary Irish cuisine encompasses much more than spuds; highlight the country's excellent products and meat is one of the main culinary goals of the hotel.

During the renovation of Adare, culinary director Loughlin Druhan charged his team into a motorhome and a road stumbled into Ireland to find the best sellers for every ingredient they needed.

They now work with more than 100 different suppliers across the country, providing the best of the best for everything from addictive Irish butter game meats. "The idea was to get the best products possible in Ireland," says Heery.

The Oak Room is the gourmet restaurant of Adare. Dark wood and romantic lighting prepare the six-course menu.

The Oak Room is the gourmet restaurant of Adare. Dark wood and romantic lighting prepare the six-course menu.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

Four different restaurants are spread out in this sprawling property, each corresponding to a particular mood or type of guest.

The Adare Room offers fine dining in a beautifully renovated dining room, paneled in oak. Local artists were even commissioned to design custom-made wooden and ceramic plates and plates, with some of the material coming from the hotel's forests.

A fixed-price six-course menu with a matching food and wine will cost you $ 250 (about $ 283) per person. The meal includes traditional Irish dishes such as Tipperary quail with salsify and bacon, or Dexter beef cooked 24 hours with truffles and morels. And, of course, the service is excellent.

The gallery, where afternoon tea is served, is based on the Versailles Ice Gallery.

The gallery, where afternoon tea is served, is based on the Versailles Ice Gallery.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

For those looking for a more traditional experience, the hotel's gallery serves an Irish tea in the afternoon that will meet all expectations (and will probably ruin you for any later version).

Guests are invited to a selection of four small sandwiches, including local salmon and ham; freshly baked scones with fresh cream; and five different desserts, such as a tiramisu filled with coffee jelly and mascarpone mousse.

The room itself is also impressive: inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, it is 120 meters long with gigantic marble fireplaces and walls decorated with biblical scenes carved by hand.

The secret: how they keep the greens, well, so green

At 845 acres, the Adare property requires a significant amount of maintenance. And no area receives more attention than the hotel's golf course, an idyllic expanse of emerald greens that snake around the Maigue River.

"There are more than 50 employees working in the grass and greenery," says Heery. And even if Ireland is rainy, these links will never be destroyed: the SubAir technology – a means of rapid suction of the water of the greens – passes all along the course.

More than 50 employees help maintain the immaculate and incredibly green golf course of the property.

More than 50 employees help maintain the immaculate and incredibly green golf course of the property.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

Far from creating customer-only greens, the links designed by Tom Fazio were created to make Adare one of the best golf destinations in the world.

Until here everything is fine. The course was named the world's best golf course in 2018 by the World Golf Awards, and its JP McManus Pro-Am tournament, scheduled for July 2020, has already brought together personalities such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

Even the center of practice is recognized as one of the best in the country, with specially imported Scottish bunker sand for a refined experience.

The Carriage House is a golfer's choice and a dining destination for guests and locals alike.

The Carriage House is a golfer's choice and a dining destination for guests and locals alike.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

The elegant Carriage House is almost as seductive as the course itself, which serves both as a clubhouse for golfers and as a gourmet destination, not only for guests, but also for those of the surrounding village. 39; Adare. After a ride on the links, sweep at the bar, a respite reserved for adults, dressed in leather and oak.

Thank your success (or your troubles) with a glass of wine. The list of Adare contains 12,000 bottles and has five sommeliers among its staff to help customers choose the ideal vintage.

The secret: a massage so good that it removes the jetlag

Guests will not want to forget the spa at Adare Manor, known for its exclusive coladh samh massage, supposed to help solve sleep problems.

Guests will not want to forget the spa at Adare Manor, known for its exclusive coladh samh massage, supposed to help solve sleep problems.

Courtesy of Adare Manor

A jet lag cure. That is the promise of the hotel spa's exclusive coladh samh massage (its name, pronounced "culla sauv", is an Irish expression that means deep sleep) – a 50 or 80-minute treatment specifically designed to help problems from sleep, ranging from insomnia epic battles to jet lag.

The experience begins with a mixture of pressure and Swedish techniques, followed by a ceramic stone cooling treatment designed to immerse the body in a state of relaxation. This author can talk about the experience: My whole body felt like a happy and sleepy puddle of water at the end of the service.

And spa enthusiasts rejoice: the Adare Spa is one of the eleven in the world (and the only one in Ireland) to offer La Mer brand treatments. For true luxury, book it for yourself. Experience The Mer Miracle Broth Experience, a 180-minute service featuring a body polish with pure diamond powder, a circulation enhancing massage and the exclusive Miracle Broth Facial.

Adare Manor, Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland; +353 61 605 200. Rates starting at $ 370, breakfast included

Juliet Izon is a seasoned lifestyle writer who covers food, travel, interior design and entertainment. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York.


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