Member News

Third generation Dooley’s Hotel preparing for safe return of guests to family-run hotel

Dooleys Hotel Tina June Mags DarrerThe foyer of Dooley’s Hotel on the Quay in Waterford tells quite a different story from the one in the pre-Coronavirus era.

Prior to the mandatory closing of all hotels on March 16th, the family-run hotel in the heart of the city was bustling with guests checking in and out, locals dropping into the bar for a coffee and a chat, and corporate clients making use of the meeting facilities. Today however, a handful of dedicated housekeeping and health and safety staff occupy the space, busy implementing cleanliness and hygiene protocols which are set to become the new normal for all businesses as they prepare for reopening.

Although it will be July 20th before hotels minus hotel bars can potentially open, Dooley’s Hotel proprietors, June, Tina and Margaret Darrer, have been working with Irish Hotels Federation and HSE guidelines to ensure the safe reopening of the hotel.

“It has been a difficult time for all businesses and hotels are no exception. COVID-19 was a bolt out of the blue and it left many sectors decimated, with tourism and hospitality particularly hard hit,” Tina said.

“Now that the roadmap to recovery has been publicised, we are making every effort to ensure that upon re-opening on July 20th, the health and safety of our guests, friends and staff is not compromised.”

Just some of the most stringent health and safety measures being put in place include:

  • Dooley’s Hotel Room Seal to indicate that guest rooms have not been accessed since they were cleaned.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces, with a focus on the counter at the front desk, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms and room keys.
  • Guest-accessible disinfecting at entrance and high traffic areas.
  • Reduced paper amenities (i.e. pads and guest directories) in rooms.
  • Enhanced cleaning & other changes to buffets, in-room dining and meeting spaces.
  • Where team members work “behind the scenes,” there is an increased frequency of cleaning and focusing on high-touch areas.
  • Ongoing staff training in hygiene and cleanliness protocols.
  • Social distancing measures implemented in the restaurant.

Working with agencies such as Failte Ireland, Waterford Council, Local Enterprise Office Waterford and Visit Waterford has been invaluable in recognising the potential of the new “staycation” market.

“The hospitality sector in Waterford alone generates almost €140 million for the local economy and supports 6,400 jobs and we must do everything in our power to protect these jobs. While most international visitors will not be returning to our shores before 2021, Waterford as a family-friendly, culturally-enriching, vibrant, sunny and scenic destination will have huge appeal to Irish holidaymakers.”

“How Irish people look at holidaying is set to change and we, as a sector, must work together to reinvigorate the offerings to the indigenous market. By offering value for money, unique packages with local amenities and tourist attractions and giving the most efficient, friendly and welcoming guest experience in a safe and clean environment, the sector in Waterford can, and will, bounce back.”

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