RUNNING a hotel is a complicated business. From managing rooms, restaurants and leisure facilities, to looking after staff, marketing and customer service, there are so many areas that require constant attention. For the owners, the recent downturn in the economy posed serious challenges, resulting in many having to close or sell. For Eithne Scott Lennon of Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, in Killiney, her determination and hard work has enabled her business to survive and now thrive again.
IRELAND has a great reputation for the quality and friendliness of our hotels and none more so than the iconic Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel located in Killiney, in South Dublin. Sitting on a hill overlooking the picturesque heritage village of Dalkey, it is a wonderful example of traditional Irish hospitality mixed with all the charm of an original castle setting. The hotel is owned and run by Eithne Scott Lennon. Like every other independent hotel owner in the country, she has had to fight hard to stay in business over recent years but now — employing 144 staff and with annual revenues of €7.5m — her hard work is finally paying off.
“We describe ourselves as a castle hotel with a family feel and where the personal touch is our key focus,” says Eithne. “Our main business comes from the corporate sector and includes all manner of conferences and events as well as providing accommodation to travelling executives visiting companies in the greater Dublin area.
“We also have a strong wedding business as well as many leisure tourists who stay with us throughout the year,” she adds.
Eithne has seen a sharp increase in the number of US visitors in recent months, up 17.4pc on the same period last year. Visitors from other developing markets such as Australia and New Zealand are also up — all of which signals better