By Lauren Jade Hill
As the CEO of the soon to be unveiled newly-renovated Adare Manor in Count Limerick, Ireland, the attention is undoubtedly on the work of Colm Hannon. But this isn’t the first time he’s been at the heart of a place that’s thrown into the spotlight, having also been the CEO of Lutrellstown Castle in Dublin for the past ten years where the high-profile wedding of David and Victoria Beckham took place. With the imminent re-opening of Adare Manor, which has been closed for renovation since the beginning of 2016, we speak to Colm Hannon to find out what we can expect.
What is it that makes Adare Manor so unique?
The original house here dates back to 1720s so there’s a rich and romantic history to the building that was continually improved over the generations. Adare Manor was built as a Calendar house with 365 leaded glass windows, 52 ornate chimneys, seven stone pillars and four towers to signify the days, weeks and seasons. All of these unique features still exist today, and the building was made from beautiful Irish limestone with a wealth of gargoyles, heraldry and decorative stone and wood carvings.
The property is then set on 840 acres and runs along the river Maigue, with an abundance of specimen mature trees that were planted over the generations. The tradition of tree planting has continued under the current ownership. Adare Manor is situated in the heritage town of Adare, which is considered one of Ireland’s prettiest towns and the perfect base for exploring the neighboring areas.
What do you consider to be the biggest impact you’ve had on the hotel since you’ve been CEO?
First and foremost the entire redevelopment here could not have happened without the McManus family (the current owners of Adare Manor) and their absolute commitment to ensuring that every aspect is carried out to the highest standard. My role as CEO is the interface between all of the contractors, consultants and professionals to ensure that the owners’ ambitions are then realized.
Creating a team that will ultimately operate this beautiful property has been very important; we now have a first class team of hospitality professionals to ensure the property can exceed all guests’ expectations.
What can people expect from the reopening of Adare Manor?
Our guests can expect a transformation that retains all of the charm, character and beauty of the old building while introducing a level of sophistication in its design, facilities and services that will be comparative to the very best of its kind. The new Adare Manor will be distinctively Irish using the finest Irish products and experiences, and guests can expect personalized service that will make them want to return again and again.
Will there be any major new facilities?
We will have the UK and Ireland’s only La Mer Spa and the addition of a new 350 person Grand riverside ballroom, which will make Adare Manor the perfect location for destination weddings. Our totally transformed Tom Fazio designed golf course, which was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones in the ’90s, has had a major redevelopment making it one of the must-play golf courses for all avid golfers visiting our shores.
The newly designed David Collins Clubhouse, now known as the Carriage House, will add an additional sophisticated dining option for our guests and a more casual option to the gastronomic Oak Room restaurant in the Manor. A purpose built boardroom and cinema will cater to the corporate market and individual guests alike, and the addition of 42 new guest rooms and suites will bring our room count at Adare Manor up to 104 with the addition of our Manor Lodges and Garden Cottages.
How has the renovation stayed in keeping with the manor’s heritage?
The renovation process has been complex as we have remained totally respectful of the original design of the building while ensuring the facilities are comparable to any luxury property in the world. There has been an absolute commitment from the outset to preserve and enhance the rich heritage of Adare Manor through a complete restoration program in which all enhancements were totally sympathetic to the original design.
What aspirations do you have for the future of Adare Manor?
Everyone here is totally committed to positioning Adare Manor as one of the finest luxury hotels of its kind anywhere in the world. We want guests to return year after year, and each time they stay to feel that we demonstrate a passion for what we offer. “Beyond Everything” is our core value and our job now is to continually deliver on this.