This year has been a challenging time for the hospitality industry in Galway, where there was expected to be a bounty of visitors due to the Capital of Culture and more. Instead hotels, bars, restaurants, and more were among the first businesses hit by COVID-19.
Despite the challenges that have come with long periods of closure, and altering businesses practices for the new normal, one Galway hospitality company is determined to beat the odds, not just pushing through the hard times, but placing itself in the best position for a rapid recovery.
The Connacht Hospitality Group, run by the Fitzgerald family from Clarinbridge, with the support of fellow company director John Carmody and their experienced leadership team, consists of multiple much loved hotels and bars in Galway City.
The Connacht Hotel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. The Forster Court Hotel, a stylish hotel located in the heart of Galway City, and The Residence, a boutique style hotel located on Quay Street.
Also part of the CHGL are the award-winning An Púcán located on Forster Street, 1520 Bar located in Galways Latin Quarter and the chic HYDE Bar & Gin Parlour on Forster Street.
The Connacht Hospitality Group also operate a 24-hour gym and leisure centre Active 24 Fitness & Leisure and late 2019 saw the welcome addition of the Galway Bay Golf Resort to the portfolio.
Over the past few months the group have taken a range of actions to not only sustain their businesses throughout this pandemic but also to place the company in the best possible position for recovery.
This week the Connacht Hospitality Group launch a new look group brand that incorporates the elegant design that their businesses have become renowned for.
The HYDE Bar is possibly the most notable example of this, being regularly referred to the “most stylish bar in Galway”. January saw the full ground floor refurbishment of the group’s flagship property “The Connacht Hotel” with the design lead again by company director Paul Fitzgerald.
“The refurbishment of the Connacht Hotel gave the hotel the additional space to allow for safe social distancing throughout the summer months and gave us a fighting chance while still maintaining the homely welcoming feeling the hotel is known for.” says Group General Manager Wayne Neilon.
There are developments currently underway in the award winning An Púcan with equally as exciting plans for the popular 1520 Bar, to be completed in the coming weeks.
These changes will see both An Púcan and 1520 adapt to the “new normal” and ensure patrons can return to both enjoyable and safe surroundings whilst adopting the sustainability policies that have become a core value of the group.
Most eagerly anticipated for the group are the plans in the coming years to full redevelop the site at Galway Bay Golf resort, into a luxury 4-star property that will compliment the already renowned Golf Course. This promises to be one of the leading hotels in the west of Ireland once completed.
Group CEO Peter Fitzgerald said that the greatest priority of the company right now is to rebuild their teams.
“the success of the brand to date has always been attributed to our people and as we build for the future this determination is at our core.”