THE CHAL­LENGE

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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