Kelly's Resort Hotel
Bill Kelly, the fourth generation of the Kelly family to oversee the iconic Kelly’s Hotel, on Rosslare Strand, is the Danny Meyer of Ireland. Like New York’s greatest restaurateur, Mr Kelly is a student of the art of service, and an iconoclastic student, at that. Just as Mr Meyer subverts the standard ideas of service, so does Mr Kelly, placing vital emphasis on the welfare of his staff as well as the welfare of his customers, developing new ideas and projects organically, always looking to keep his hotel ahead of the curve, whilst simultaneously acknowledging it’s distinguished history. The result of this practical wisdom and experience is simple: Kelly’s Resort Hotel is unique, and the standards maintained by the staff, in every department from room keeping to the work of the kitchen, are benchmark. The second result of this excellence is the fact that Kelly’s has, on many an occasion, occupancy rates that are north of 99%. You only get to have 99% occupancy rates by delivering 110% effort, all the time. Go once to Kelly’s Resort Hotel, and you will find that you will be going back to Kelly’s for the rest of your life, just like many of their customers who are happy to be Kelly’s lifers.
Beaches Restaurant at Kelly's
When we made a film about Eugene Callaghan, head chef at Beaches Restaurant in Kelly’s Hotel, for our Irish Food Channel, we followed Mr Callaghan around for a couple of days. And we learnt something simple and fundamental during one lunchtime, watching him at work. Firstly, he was working at the grill on the verandah. Then he was inside at the cold counter. Then he was at the hot counter. Then we didn’t see him for a little while, and we said to ourselves, “Well, the executive chef doesn’t need to do the dessert section.” And then he turned up at the dessert section. Mr Callaghan covered every base. He was leading his team, by example. Other executive chefs believe their job is about exhortation – shouting at people, basically – whilst occasionally cooking. Mr Callaghan, however, is married to the job: he works harder than anyone else in Kelly’s. His cooking has never lost the sharpness and precision that won him the first ever Roux Brothers' scholarship and, despite the enormous numbers of diners at Kelly’s, the quality of food is simply outstanding. The team out front, and the magical wine list, complete the picture of the perfect hotel.
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