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Ronnie Counihan

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Certain people grace the places where they work with nothing less than stardust. Think Annie Mac at the breakfast service in Ballymaloe House. Think Martin Corbett in Chapter One. Think Dan Mullane in The Mustard Seed.
And think, above all, of Ronnie Counihan in Renvyle House Hotel, in Connemara, on the farthest westerly edge of County Galway.
They might have invented the adjective “genial” for Mr Counihan. Some hotel managers like to project “presence” when they are about their job. When they enter a room, they “enter” a room. Mr Counihan, by contrast, just seems to materialise beside you. He doesn't enter a room: he's just there.
He has a feline lightness that means you don't see him coming and yet, suddenly, there he is, saying “Good morning”, and “Did you have a good night's sleep?”. And he seems to know all about you, all about your family, seems to have a good idea of your plans when staying in Renvyle. He makes everything feel good, feel complete, because you know he is thinking about you, and that's the stardust he sprinkles in and around Renvyle, a stardust that dusts over his team, who echo his genial, sure-touch style almost as well as the boss himself.
He has been guiding Renvyle for fifteen years now, steering it as calmly through the bust and the recession as he steered it through the madness of the boom. Bust? Boom? None of that counts. What counts is looking after the customer, making sure they have what they need, making sure the cooking is as good as it can be. And, in that regard, Mr Counihan's association with head chef Tim O'Sullivan has been one of the great double acts of the last fifteen years, two genial guys who make Renvyle what it is.
The house advertises itself as a ”stress-free zone”, but it is actually Mr Counihan who orchestrates that pacificity. His geniality sprinkles its stardust, and who can resist?

Renvyle, Connemara, County Galway
+ 353 95 46100

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