A LEADING Donegal hotel today announced 50 new jobs as part of a €500,000 investment at the 4-star property.
The Shandon Hotel & Spa overlooking Marble Hill Strand, Portnablagh, has been granted planning permission to expand its bar areas.
Work will get underway in the autumn, creating up to 35 jobs during the construction phase.
A complete refurbishment of the hotel’s guest lounge was completed in recent weeks, with the hotel adding 15 new members of staff since restrictions were lifted, taking the Shandon team to 130 people.
The London-based hotel owner Warren McCarthy bought the disused property in 2015. His mother Breda McCarthy is from the area and he spent his summers there.
Whilst the hospitality industry has been impacted by Covid-19 restrictions over the past 15 months, Mr McCarthy says it’s important to plan for a post-Covid world.
“We are delighted that The Shandon is fully booked this summer and that’s a testament to our General Manager Carolynne Harrison and our entire team here,” said Mr McCarthy who officially opened the new guest lounge today.
“The closure of the hospitality industry over the past year due to the pandemic has impacted everyone involved.
“But we took the decision that we should continue to invest in our property throughout because we need to invest in our future next year and the year after that and hopefully for a post-Covid world where we will be able to open our doors 12 months a year again and we all hope that is what we will be able to do in 2022 thanks to the vaccination programme.”
The latest development at The Shandon takes Mr McCarthy’s investment at the hotel to more than €6 million, but the company is already looking at future investments.
“The lounge and bar works are the latest stage in the improvement of our offering to customers,” said Shandon Director and General Manager Carolynne Harrison.
“We are constantly looking to improve the hotel offering for our customers. Our new lounge looks amazing. Our guests are already enjoying the new surroundings.
“The new bar area will give us more space and improve the amazing hotel views over Marble Hill beach and strand. We plan to carry out the renovation works in November.
“We are actively considering a number of other plans for the hotel and we hope to be able to announce those early in 2022.”
Ms Harrison added: “We have a very busy few months ahead with all rooms sold out until the end of August and advanced bookings for September and October already extremely high.
“I want to pay tribute to all our staff in Team Shandon. They have all endured uncertain times since March last year and it’s wonderful to have everyone back again. There’s a really good vibe about the rest of the summer along this part of the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Ms Harrison also paid tribute to interior designer Paddy Campbell, the County Derry woman who has been behind a host of design projects for private clients and hotels throughout Ireland and Britain over the past decade.
The graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin said: “I am delighted with the completed lounge project. It’s an elegant finish befitting of a hotel of the standard of The Shandon and I’m sure visitors will love it.”
Paddy will be leading the redesign of the bar project when it gets under way in the autumn.