In the week that hotel’s, guesthouses and B&Bs open their doors to leisure guests for the first time in five months, there is a sense of excitement amongst the staff of family-owned Dooley’s Hotel on the Quay in Waterford.
 
The popular, third-generation hotel, situated in the heart of the city, has been busy planning its reopening with the addition of a new outdoor dining area, the refurbishment of guest rooms and bathrooms, the renewing of Failte Ireland’s Covid-19 Safety Charter and the recruitment of new staff.
 
Colleen Moroney, Operations Manager, is excited about the coming weeks.  “It really is great to be able to welcome leisure guests, old and new back to the hotel after such a long absence.  While we remained open throughout the third wave to accommodate frontline and essential service providers, the fact that the hotel will now be filled with friends and families during the day is a great boost.”
 
“During the last five months, while we had guests who were performing essential roles staying with us, the hotel was quiet during the day, but we can expect a little more bustle as we welcome visitors who are here to relax, explore Waterford and Ireland’s Ancient East and spend time with friends and family.”
 
Colleen describes her working day as one that, pre-Covid, was varied and interesting.  “Each day was different.  While I could be meeting with a couple to discuss their wedding plans in the morning or chatting with the regulars who drop into the bar for a coffee and a bite, the afternoon could be filled with looking after the requirements of corporate clients booking our meeting facilities.  The evenings were usually taken up with functions, be it private parties or corporate functions.  While that has been mostly absent in the last five months, we’re really looking forward to getting back to that pace again.”
 
Dooley’s Hotel recently renewed its Failte Ireland Covid-19 Safety Charter which means that all measures and protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of guests and staff.
 
Tina Darrer, Co-owner of Dooley’s Hotel reflects on the work that has gone into the hotel in the last few months.  “We know that we had to make major investments in the hotel to stay viable once the hotel re-opened.  From the recruitment of new staff, the refurb of the bedrooms and the introduction of a spacious and airy outdoor dining area, the Courtyard, we feel that while the hotel still retains the feel of a warm traditional family-run hotel, our facilities are contemporary and vibrant.”
 
Working with the support of agencies such as Failte Ireland, Waterford Council, Local Enterprise Office Waterford and Visit Waterford has been invaluable.
 
In recognising the potential of the “staycation” market, as for the second year in a row, holidaying in Ireland is the preferred option for most families, Tina says, “While we don’t anticipate international visitors to return to pre-Covid levels, before the end of the year, we’re lucky to be in the heart of Waterford and Ireland’s Ancient East, where visitors can explore the culture, heritage, scenery, and hopefully the Sunny South East will live up to its name!”
 
For more information about Dooley’s Hotel visit www.dooleys-hotel.ie or call 051 873531.