2021 - A YEAR IN REVIEW – but a year to be very proud.
As we say goodbye to 2021, a year that has arguably been hugely challenging for our industry, we can’t help but be hopeful that 2022 will be a better one.
Even with all the challenges that faced us this year, what with us being in restrictions for the first five months of the year, here at The Montenotte Hotel, like so many others we pivoted, and this started by us opening our Vintage Van Café outside the front door of the hotel. The opening of the Vintage Van allowed us to bring some of our team members back to work. The locals here around the hotel in the Montenotte area, loved the Vintage Van Café as they went for walks within their 5KM radius. We are so appreciative of the support that the local community provided us with during those early days of 2021.
We enhanced our Afternoon Tea for Call & Collect service; We took it online and it exceeded all expectations business wise. We themed our Afternoon Tea stands to match the occasions to be celebrated at home including Valentines, Mother’s Day, Easter, which added to the interest in the product and made the events seem very special. Our team of chefs led by our Executive Head Chef Tabrez created some amazing treats including the signature mosaic Battenburg.
The other project we worked on in the early part of the year, was our Montenotte Gin. This specially commissioned gin has a unique character & flavour with an impressive depth of woody, fruity and floral flavours to create this sophisticated botanical gin. A combination of elements, amongst other botanicals, fragrant lavender, robust rhubarb, punchy pink peppercorn & wild cardamom subtly infused to perfection by our friends at the Blackwater Distillery, inspired by the Victorian gardens here at the hotel.
And this Christmas, we packaged up our Gin, in a stunningly bespoke presentation box, and it’s been so popular – its now retails at €60 – it’s an amazing gift. A huge shout out to Laura Behan our Hotel Manager, she project-managed the entire Montenotte Gin arrival to the hotel and it’s been a huge success.
We finally got to open on the 1st of June to what was an incredible staycation summer, and we made our way to No 1 on Tripadvisor in Cork City which was an incredible testament to the team at the hotel and their willingness to make The Montenotte, the No. 1 hotel in Cork. Our owners, Josephine & Frankie Whelehan, have been hugely supportive this year, and we are so grateful that they have continued to reinvest in the hotel and in August we opened The Glasshouse.
The Glasshouse really is a very special venue… to access The Glasshouse, our guests are led from the Panorama Terrace of the main hotel, down a sweeping staircase, connecting to a new purpose-built glass bridge to the terrace of The Glasshouse and are greeted on arrival by an impressive tall apex glass exterior and stunning soft pink outdoor furnishings.
As you move through the doors, guests have been ‘wowed’ since we opened by the botanical themed bespoke interiors and majestic antique brass and blue tiled cocktail bar taking centre stage, surrounded by intimate booth seating in luxurious Italian leather. There is a high end yet relaxed atmosphere that lends itself to the resort vibe, as guests sit back and take in the views while enjoying a range of exclusive botanical signature cocktails and watch the sun go down. My personal favourite is The Royale Rose.
So, despite a relatively dull year caused by a lingering pandemic, it is important that we celebrate all that we accomplished by working together as a team!
So to summarise the year that was…..
- We refurbished ..
- We introduced many new services and products.
- We supported the Arts .. as we always do with our Artists in Residence programs and our Sculpture exhibition
- We won awards ..we were so grateful for the many awards we won this year including the Cork Hotel of the Year awarded by the Cork Business Association and Best Social Media Campaign at the 2021 Cork Digital Marketing Awards.
- We welcomed new team members and we said goodbye to some others.. we were sad to say goodbye to our General Manager Brian Bowler who finished with us in December, but we are proud of the legacy he has left for us all to enhance. Fergus MacDevitt, Aoife Behan, and Danielle Bennett joined the team as Director of Food & Beverage, Digital Marketing Manager & Guest Relations Manager respectively.
- We welcomed many new followers across all of our social media platform including 8000 new followers on Instagram alone.
- We supported others, less fortunate than ourselves..We currently work with our preferred charity which is TRÓCAIRE with their Women’s Empowerment Programme, but earlier this year, we were delighted to join forces with Focus Ireland, as we slept out on Spike Island to shine a light on homelessness on the 15th of October 2021 & raised over €4,500 – something that I am particularly proud of.
We have big plans for 2022 which do include the arrival of our new General Manager Frits Potgieter in late January which we are very excited about.
To conclude and to quote the wonderful Seamus Heaney ‘If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere’ we wish you and all your family a very Happy New Year!
Director of Sales & Marketing