International hotel management company, The PREM Group, are preparing to enter the final phase of a major €6.5 million redevelopment of their latest acquisition, Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney. Purchased by the PREM Group in 2016, Cahernane House Hotel has undergone extensive renovations over the past 18 months in a bid to return the luxury mansion house to its former glory, though the work has been carried out with a sympathetic eye on keeping many of the original styles of the house.
The latest part of the project, estimated at a cost of €3 million, will result in a major refurbishment of all 26 rooms in the Garden Wing, while the Cellar Bar and lobby will also receive complete makeovers. The doors of the 4-Star fine manor house hotel will be closed throughout January and March to allow for the renovations.
The initial phases of work carried out by the PREM Group began almost immediately after their purchase of the property, and this involved putting on a new roof, replacing all mechanical and electrical installations and complying with fire and safety regulations throughout. Interior designers with an expertise in historical features and structures were brought in as part of the redesign, and many of the eye-catching parts of the house, such as the original sash windows, were painstakingly restored and given a new lease of life.
The Manor House – the most luxurious part of Cahernane House Hotel – was restored in phase two as all 12 rooms were refurbished and the Herbert Room restaurant was brought up to a high-class standard.
Along with all of the work on the original parts of Cahernane House Hotel, an application has recently been lodged to Kerry County Council for planning permission to build an additional 22 bedrooms and more public spaces, including an Orangery.
The redevelopment of the property is aimed at attracting clientele from the wedding, incentive and special occasion markets, while the presence of a two AA Rosette winning restaurant ensures that visitors to the hotel enjoy the finest cuisine served up by Executive Head Chef Eric Kavanagh. The work is expected to be completed by early March when Cahernane House Hotel will reopen its doors for the summer season.
Emer Corridan, General Manager of Cahernane House Hotel, said; “We’re really excited to see how the hotel looks once it is finished, because the work that has been carried out so far has been nothing short of exceptional. We have had a busy 18 months since the PREM Group acquired the hotel, but they have breathed new life into what was a beautiful historical building that had been falling into disrepair. Everything from the work on the bedrooms to the redesign of the restaurant has been carried out to the highest standards, and the feedback that we’ve received from guests has been very positive. I’m sure that once we open the doors in early March that this will be recognised as one of Ireland’s finest hotels, and it won’t just be a hidden gem anymore.”
The renovations at Cahernane House Hotel is just the latest major project being carried out by the PREM Group, who also operate more than 45 properties throughout Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the UK. They are currently undertaking a €3 million renovation project at the Osprey Hotel in Naas, where the spa, gym and restaurant have all been redesigned, and a new block of bedrooms are on the way after planning permission was granted by Kildare County Council in September.
Stephen Loftus, Director at the PREM Group, said; “We are always on the lookout for new opportunities, and when we came across Cahernane House Hotel we saw the potential to turn it into a really magical destination that could cater for weddings, special occasions and corporate events, as well as the day to day couple’s getaways. We’re immensely proud of the work that has been done so far, and the staff have been magnificent throughout as they have embraced the redevelopment project. It was a big job to undertake, and we would not put such a substantial sum of money behind it if we weren’t positive that we could create a destination that would attract people to one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.”
The 38-bedroom hotel closed its doors on December 16th to prepare for the new construction work which will be taking place over the coming months.
About Cahernane House Hotel
The 4-star Cahernane House Hotel was originally built in 1877 as a family residence for Henry Herbert at a cost of £5,992. The original plans were to build a mansion three times the size of what it is presently, but the next generation of the Herbert family fell on hard times and let the property out as a hotel. As a result the property feels and looks more like a grand, country, private residence rather than a hotel.
Located just outside the centre of the thriving town of Killarney, the 38-bedroom Cahernane House Hotel is still far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Kerry’s major urban centre to offer a secluded and tranquil getaway. It is located on 6.4 acres of verdant grounds and overlooks the stunning backdrop of the Killarney Lakes and Killarney National Park.
The house itself is reminiscent of times gone by and the charm in which it was built upon in the 1800s has never been lost despite the changeover of owner’s numerous times throughout its history. There are five main rooms on the ground floor of the property; the Pembroke Suite, the Herbert Restaurant, Drawing Room, Library and Reception. Each of these rooms contain historical artefacts and original antiques including items such as the Herbert Family Crest which is depicted above the front door of the hotel.
Upon entry visitors will notice a stunning Killarney Davenport desk which was built circa 1880 and carries pictures of nearby Glena Cottage, Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle, the Old Weir Bridge and the Bricin Bridge. A Queen Anne fireplace that was originally part of the Herbert’s Queen Anne style house is located in the reception and was originally built circa 1750, the original fireplace is still in working order and is lit daily. Imposing bronze statues are located within the reception, and these were originally brought to Cahernane House Hotel by Vincent and Min Albericci who bought the house in 1940.
There are 12 rooms located in the original manor house and each are packed with individual charm and character showcasing period features such as sash windows, high ceilings or elegant mouldings. All rooms in the original house are individually named after people and places connected with the house, such as James Fuller, the architect, or Patricia Newling, an owner with an interesting past in the 1950s.
The Garden Wing of Cahernane House was constructed in the 1960’s and has since been completely refurbished. It incorporates 26 beautiful rooms, decorated and styled in keeping with country manor traditions.
The Herbert Restaurant is the main Dining Rooms in the Cahernane House Hotel and seats up to 80 people. The fine dining cuisine is prepared by the Executive Head Chef Eric Kavanagh using locally sourced produce. Eric brings extensive experience from a career that includes award winning establishments such as Longueville House in Mallow and Sheen Falls in Kenmare. Cahernane House Hotel received two AA Rosette recently for its excellence in cuisine and has received glowing reviews from renowned food critics such as Lucinda O’Sullivan and Georgina Campbell.
The house is adjacent to Killarney National Park, Ireland’s largest national park which is surrounded by mountains and lakes, and inhabited by natural wildlife. There are also numerous historical buildings in the park such as Muckross Abbey – a 15th century monastery – and Muckross House, a building that is intertwined with the history of Cahernane House due to the Herbert family.
Horse riding treks and fishing activities that take place on the grounds of Killarney National Park can be arranged by the hospitality team and there are also a wide range of splendid golf courses in the region which Cahernane House have links to.
Cahernane House Hotel has changed hands on multiple occasions in the last 115 years, beginning with the leasing of the hotel for almost 40 years from 1902. It was sold for the first time in 1940 to Vincent Albericci, and the property passed through the hands of another five owners before it was purchased by PREM Group in 2016.
PREM Group operate over 45 hotels throughout Ireland and Europe, including Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort in Wicklow, Osprey Hotel in Naas and the PREMIER SUITES serviced apartment brand.