Ireland’s first purpose built hotel to be restored to former glory
Steeped in over 250 years of history, heritage and hospitality, Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff is re-establishing its tradition as West Cork’s premier seafront hotel destination.
Located on the beautiful Beara Peninsula overlooking Bantry Bay, Eccles Hotel is Ireland’s first ever purpose built hotel. Established in 1745, Eccles Hotel has been an inspiring retreat for literary greats like George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Years and William Makepeace Thackeray.
The hotel’s new owners are restoring the grand old dame to her former glory, much to the delight of the locals and the hotel’s tight-knit team, some of whom have worked there for over 30 years.
General Manager Aileen Hanley, along with her husband Patrick Hanley, re-established the award-winning Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare as one of Europe’s top hotels. She is looking forward to working her magic in Eccles Hotel, along with her dedicated team.
“It’s very much a labour of love,” says Aileen. “We plan to bring this wonderful building with its stunning original features back to its former glory. We have old photos of the library and reception and our aim is to restore the look, feel and character of the original hotel. It’s something that will take a long time and a lot of expense, but we will keep tipping away at it. I’ve just put a bid on a grand piano from the 1800s and I look forward to having that in the restaurant.”
In the meantime, renovations have been taking place on the hotel’s 66 luxurious bedrooms with 35 rooms now complete. Aileen hopes to bring the hotel from 3 Star to 4 Star Failte Ireland status next year by reducing the number of rooms to 58, increasing the size of the new rooms and creating a number of suites.
Eccles Hotel is already making a name for itself as a popular wedding venue and can cater for small intimate ceremonies or larger celebrations of up to 320 guests. The stunning backdrop for the top table in the recently refurbished Ilnacullin suite, with its ten sparkling Waterford Crystal chandeliers, is a sweeping vista of Garinish Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Harbour Bar and Garinish Restaurant have amazing panoramic views across the bay and an outdoor terrace for the long summer evenings. The locally sourced food prepared by Head Chef Nick Davey and his team cater for all tastes with seafood caught fresh daily from the Atlantic waters of Bantry Bay.
This time last year, the hotel was only taking tour groups and was closed to the domestic market. A year later, Eccles Hotel is very much open for business and at full occupancy.
Glengarriff, Co. Cork.
T: (+353) 027 63003
F: (+353) 027 63319