Valerie Karkota (Sales and Events Executive) and Vincent Cleary (Duty Manager) are delighted to be welcoming guests back to the Abbey Court Hotel after the lifting of restrictions. Photo: O Ducie

Tipp's hospitality industry delighted to be back!

After enduring a pandemic lockdown for the past five months, Nenagh's hotel, The Abbey Court, is full of life again following the decision of the government to ease restrictions in facilities such as hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.

“It’s just fantastic,” declared the Abbey Court’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Michelle Kavanagh as she surveyed the return of customers in the hotel lobby.

“Just to hear the sounds in the hotel like the buzz of people again after months of lockdown - it’s just fabulous,” she said.

Ms Kavanagh said the many people who for months could not come to the hotel for a meal, a drink or for a short break or longer holiday due to Covid restrictions were in for a treat when they entered the grounds.

“They are going to see some significant changes,” she said, as the hotel used the lockdown period to greatly enhance its facilities. “Our bar and our lobby have been refusbished, and now we are just about to start on our bedrooms. It really is all go here.”

As customers enter the main door of the hotel they will be greeted by the hotel’s new coffee dock where they can enjoy beverages and food, well, almost al fresco, but with the shelter of an awning.

“We call our new coffee dock ‘Under the Awning’ where we have our tables and chairs and the area is heated as well,” said Ms Kavanagh.

Business has really been good since restrictions on hotels was significantly eased on Tuesday of last week. “We have had a steady flow since then and we had a lot of people saying with us over the June Bank Holiday Weekend which is fantastic," said a delighted Ms Kavanagh.

“Bookings are flying and the good weather has really helped us also.”

On Bank Holiday Monday the hotel opened to non-residents for dining and on Tuesday of this week its gym and pool re-opened, a fitting occasion to mark the 20 years in existence of the hotel’s Trinity Leisure Centre later this month.

Ms Kavanagh said the hotel was receiving lots of bookings for conferences and smaller meetings and had taken on a host of new staff to deal with an expected boom in business as ordinary life returns and society makes up for lost time due to almost a year and a half of intermittent lockdowns.

Joining the staff at the hotel is a newly appointed wedding co-ordinator, new sales executives and a new food and beverage manager.

Staff employed before the pandemic struck have all been retained and are returing on a phased basis as business cranks up. “Everything is on the up here,” enthused Ms Kavanagh.

Even the hotel has a whole new branding for what is hoped will be an exciting post-Covid era of prosperity to come. She revealed that the Abbey Court was now totally independent and no longer part of the Great National consortium.

“We have totally rebranded with a new logo and distinctive branding colours,” said Ms Kavanagh.

Noreen Cavanagh (extreme right) and staff prepare to welcome customers to their new outdoor eating areas at The Thatched Cottage, Ballycommon. Photo: O Ducie Photographer: Odhran Ducie

Meanwhile, the team at the Thatched Cottage was also looking forward to welcoming back customers to their new outside dining area in Ballycommon. The popular restaurant re-opened to the public on Monday.

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