A small number of Irish hotels exude hotelness.
By hotelness, we mean that they are destinations that exemplify the art of being an hotel. For us, the Connemara Coast Hotel at Furbo, a few miles west of Galway city, is one of those rare destinations.
In our minds we all have a picture of exactly what hotelness is – comfort; a warm welcome; delicious cooking; subdued but confident style; a place where you can truly relax thanks to charming and efficient staff who look after you and your needs; calmness; a place where you can switch off.
In fact, we can sum up the nature of hotelness in one simple story: more than twenty years ago, we were filming with a camera crew and walked into the lobby of a very busy family hotel in the the country.
Despite all the hustle and bustle, a man was sitting in a chair just inside the main entrance. And he was fast asleep, with a folded newspaper across his lap.
The Connemara Coast is the sort of place where you could expect to find a guest, fast asleep, in a chair in the grand lobby and mezzanine of the hotel. It’s that sort of an hotel.
The CC offers a masterclass in all the virtues of a great hotel. It’s authority begins at the top, for the hotel is owned by Charles Synnott, who also owns the best hotel in Dublin – Brooks Hotel, on Drury Street. Mr Synnott is an hotelier by vocation, and his calling extends to all the staff in his team, who bring a similar commitment to their work. These guys are proud of their work, and they bring pride to their work. There is a sharpness, a cutting edge, in every element of the CC, from the attire and attitude of the team right through to the wonderful cooking at breakfast and dinner.
It means that from the first minute when you are greeted at the reception, to the final goodbye as you leave the hotel, there are people looking after you. For us, this is the greatest luxury of all, and the secret to the hotelness of an hotel.
Furbo, Galway, Co Galway