The general manager of the Lyrath Estate Hotel says he expects the hotel to continue operating at a high standard into the future despite being put into receivership late last week.
The hotel is even currently looking to hire new staff.
“Business will continue as usual at the hotel,” vowed general manager Patrick Joyce. “We will be honouring all future bookings and all vouchers, and we will operate the hotel to the same standards.”
“On a day-to-day basis we are operating very, very well and it is very busy,” Mr Joyce said of the five-star hotel that was opened in 2006 by Xavier McAuliffe at a cost of €50 million – a debt that the business has struggled to repay, and of which Mr Joyce said: “The burden may have been too much.”
Accountant Kieran Wallace of KPMG was appointed receiver by Bank of Scotland (Ireland), and hotel management company BDL Ireland – an off-shoot of Britain’s BDL, which manages 46 hotels in the UK – is now managing the Lyrath assets.
“I am sure that they will bring in some of their standards and they will work with what is already in the hotel,” Mr Joyce said. “I would be looking beyond 12 months to still be working for them. I don’t think it’s going to be a fire-wall sale. The whole idea is to try and add some value to the business.”
Of the 157 staff currently employed in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Mr Joyce said; “They will all be fine.”
The hotel also has several job vacancies advertised on www.jobs.ie – all of which were updated on Monday – including accommodation assistants, a sales coordinator and a front-office receptionist. And, Mr Joyce said, “We need two chefs.”
“We are now coming into the busiest time of the year,” he said, noting that the hotel is achieving an occupancy of at least 70%. “We have 38 weddings booked for June, July and August and they are all going ahead as normal.”
“I think we have a very good business here already and if we can improve on it, then all the better,” he added. “We will continue with the doors open.”
Kilkenny’s River Court Hotel is also owned by Mr McAuliffe, but management at both hotels emphasised that the Rivercourt is an “entirely different entity” and is not connected to the Lyrath’s receivership.