By Brian Keogh
Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort
International hospitality company, PREM Group is well into the second phase of its ambitious renovation plans at the 4-star, Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort in Blessington Co. Wicklow.
The group purchased the 90-bedroom hotel in 2016 and by the end of 2019 had already spent over €6 million on the property in a bid to return the luxury hotel, golf course and 18th century Manor House to its former glory.
Initial works included the addition of a contemporary clubhouse, all the bunkers were refurbished, two new championship tee boxes were added to the 1st and 16th holes and all of the greens were reseeded. In addition, 16 bedrooms were added to the hotel and all of the original bedrooms were upgraded. Meanwhile, a new lobby and new hotel bar were added while several grand reception rooms in the original Manor House were sympathetically restored.
The second phase of the renovation project continued throughout 2020 bringing the total investment figure in the property to €7.4 million. In spring of this year, the spectacular new restaurant, ‘Fia Rua,’ a stylish and effortlessly chic bistro style eatery overlooking the 18th green was created.
The work on the restaurant was completed by interior designer, Julie Goggin in March before PREM Group commenced the redesign and renovation of the ‘Russborough Suite’, the ballroom at the hotel. The ballroom renovation, which is now completed, was also overseen by Julie who sought to create a bright, contemporary and elegant space which could be used for weddings, gala dinners or events.
“The previous space had created many happy memories and hosted a lot of special occasions, however PREM Group wanted to completely revamp the space in order for it to become more attractive, particularly for wedding couples,” said Julie.
“We wanted the space to feel light, luxurious and timeless and created bespoke panelling with inset mirrors to reflect light and add luxury to the room. The panelling takes its inspiration from the Manor House at Tulfarris and from the nearby, Palladian mansion Russborough House. Essentially, the design is a modern interpretation of a classical ballroom”, said Julie.
“The colours throughout have been kept very pale and soft. Warm white provides the main backdrop for the scheme while tones of blue provide the accent colours.”
Highly decorative crystal pendant chandeliers bring exemplary focal points to the ballroom and are complemented by hidden uplighters which bathe the bow shaped ceiling in swaths of warm white.
There is a large bar and seating area adjacent to the Russborough Suite which can be partitioned off from the ballroom or couples may opt to have it left entirely open.
Here there is a balance between comfortable sofa seating with stone topped cocktail tables, traditional buttoned banquette seating and high bar tables paired with leather clad stools. The bar itself is painted in a deep midnight blue and is topped with natural stone. Stylish panelling, crystal ceiling and wall lights and bevelled mirrors complete the look to stunning effect.
The new ballroom can comfortably hold 250 guests for dinner on round tables or 320 people theatre style. A movable stage means wedding or event planners have more flexibility while wedding couples will love the easy and direct access the room has to the stunning gardens and courtyard.
The redevelopment of the ballroom is aimed at attracting clientele from the wedding and special occasion markets, while the presence of the one AA Rosette award winning Fia Rua restaurant ensures that visitors to the hotel enjoy the finest cuisine served up by Executive Head Chef, Eddie McDermott. All ingredients are sourced locally from Irish farmers and suppliers where possible.
Darren Byrne, General Manager of Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort, said, “We are delighted with all of the works that have taken place here to date. The aim is to continually innovate, renovate and improve our offering so that our discerning guests and wedding couples can have a memorable experience.
The new ballroom is very elegant, and we are looking forward to hosting many special days here in the coming months and years. We can also host civil ceremonies and humanist celebrations on the resort. The exterior grounds of the resort provide plenty of great locations for outdoor weddings and blessings.”
Jim Murphy, CEO of PREM Group said, “Although 2020 has been a challenging year for our industry we are committed to our plans to redevelop and add to the facilities at Tulfarris. In 2021 we plan to add a light filled atrium lounge which will connect the original Manor House to the banqueting and conference areas. We already completely redesigned the Bridal Suite in the Manor House and plan to redesign the remaining bedrooms in the early part of the next year.”
Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort is located just 40 minutes from Dublin and is set against the spectacular backdrop of the Blessington Lakes and Wicklow Mountains. The resort covers 220 acres and includes a luxury 4-star hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, clubhouse, conference centre, banqueting suites, a restaurant and bar and self-catering holiday homes.
Set across three peninsulas around the lake shores, the stunning 18-hole championship golf course is a golfer’s paradise and is definitely an exhilarating test for both amateur and pro golfers. The 18th century Manor House sits at the heart of the resort and its classic design and elegant proportions are typical of the 18th century architecture of the time.
For more information on Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort or to make a booking see www.tulfarrishotel.com