Midlands Park Hotel & Conference Centre
Following a highly anticipated €7 million investment, Midlands Park Hotel & Conference Centre has relaunched with a new look and a new name to match.
Located in the town centre of Portlaoise in County Laois, Ireland, Midlands Park had previously been known as the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel. Originally built in the mid-2000s, the hotel required little structural work but was in need of an internal design overhaul to provide a more modern look. Under the new ownership of experienced hoteliers Anthony and Colm Neville, Midlands Park has already received rave reviews since its relaunch in May of this year.
Included within the transformation was the renovation and redesign of 110 deluxe guest bedrooms, a new exclusive floor of 5 specially designed executive suites including an opulent and indulgent bridal suite, Kelly’s Steakhouse Restaurant, Triog Restaurant, Charter Bar and the Leisure Club. No stone has been left unturned to convert this 4* property into a luxurious retreat.
Having previously worked with the client, Stephen and Patricia Carr from Stephen Carr Architects and Crystal & Silk Interior Designers were tasked with completing the extensive project. Speaking to Premier Hospitality, they both gave a comprehensive overview of how they set about overhauling the hotel, while remaining on time and in budget. Stephan began:
“We worked together as architects and interior designers to revamp the entire hotel. We have previously completed a number of hotel projects with this client along with some residential projects and have a good working relationship with them.
“The original brief was that the hotel needed to be updated. In our opinion the hotel was quite bland and normal so we wanted to give it a unique feel, making it a bit more classy and different. Simply put, we tried to update it and give it a feeling of opulence and grandeur. The hotel was previously called The Heritage and it was designed in that style, we were conscious to respect this”.
With a tight time scale and the added obstacle of the hotel remaining open while work took place, the new design needed to be subtle with a great deal of attention paid to colours, fixtures and furniture. Patricia continued:
“I used a very muted, subtle palette of background colour but used bolder colours, materials and fixtures for an impact in specific areas of the hotel. We put a lot of attention to detail into all the finishes, fixtures and fittings, furniture and lighting. We used a lot of bespoke and luxurious items that I sourced from both Ireland and mainland Europe.
“We had a budget to work to so we kept the rooms as they were but with a few simple changes. By adding colour with new paint and installing new bed linen, headboards, curtains and carpet we transformed rooms into something much more up to date and modern but timeless.
“There are three floors of bedrooms and each floor has a different style. This was our choice because we didn’t want all the rooms to be the same. We changed the corridors quite dramatically, using dark colours and increased lighting to add interest as you walk to your room.”
“It’s quite a large hotel and the distance between the rooms and various public spaces is quite spacious in places. It was important that we keep the journey for customers as interesting and enjoyable as possible. This is something we tend to do in all our hotel projects. A lot of hotels around the world tend to be quite bland and boring because not a lot of thought is given to the connection spaces. To us, theses spaces are just as important areas like the lobby or bar.
“We also did some work on the outside of the hotel at the entrance. Previously there were walls and railings and we felt this closed the hotel from the public. We removed these elements and had the footpath repaved to invite the public in, which has also created a lot of positive comments from the public.”
Guests at Midlands Park have the choice of two sumptuous dining options, Kelly’s Steakhouse and The Triog. The perfect combination of laid-back French bistro dining and meaty heaven, Kelly’s Steakhouse has been designed with comfort in mind. The open plan space boasts large windows, private square and round booths plus an open kitchen to create a sense of theatre. The menu has been carefully created to suit a variety of tastes with high quality ingredients from local suppliers.
The Triog caters for both breakfast and lunch in a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere perfect for a business meal or a catch-up with friends. The Charter Bar is similarly relaxed with three tiers decorated with rich colours, cosy seating and mood lighting.
Midlands Park has also invested substantially in its wedding packages with a new ballroom including a fairy lit backdrop, mood lit ceiling, private reception area with garden terrace and newly designed menus. The conferencing facilities have also been given a makeover with 14 state-of-the-art rooms that can cater from 2 to 550 delegates.
In addition to Midlands Park, Anthony and Colm Neville also own the popular 4 Star Riverside Park Hotel & Leisure Club in Enniscorthy and Crown Bar in Wexford. Anthony said:
“We are delighted to have purchased a well-established and much loved hotel, and with our significant investment and expertise, we have been able to improve the facilities we know our customers want most. We are certainly taking the hotel in a new direction this year, and we look forward to welcoming both regular and new customers.”
“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dara Cruise to the position of General Manager here at the Midlands Park Hotel & Conference Centre. Dara’s most recent position was the Director of Operations at the five star luxury Powerscourt Hotel Spa and Resort in Enniskerry. We feel Dara will bring great experience to the already warm, friendly, experienced and efficient team here at the Midlands Park Hotel & Conference Centre.”
Since the new look was revealed to the public in May, feedback has been incredibly positive and the hotel looks set to be popular destination in the area for many years to come. Stephen concluded:
“The feedback has been fantastic from everyone who has visited the hotel since it reopened. Even guests who have been regulars for years have commented on how it’s like a brand new hotel.
“We were delighted to be able to work on this project. I think a lot of hotels in Ireland are now at a point where they need revamping and updating. Very little money has been spent in recent years since the recession but that is beginning to change. It was great to get the opportunity to create what in essence was a brand new hotel in an existing structure. The feedback has been so positive that we can’t help but be happy with the work that’s been done.”
For more information on the hotel, please visit midlandsparkhotel.com.
Finline Furniture specialise in the manufacture of high end sofas and chairs in fabrics sourced from the best mills around the world, including Belgium, Italy and Turkey. Established in 1979, in addition to working on the Midlands Park Hotel, Finline Furniture has supplied to Hayfield Manor, Lough Erne Resort, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel and Castlemartyr Spa & Golf Resort.
The company has also worked with leading hotels in the United Kingdom and the Middle East as well as working on embassies and government residences in over 40 countries. For the Midlands Park Hotel Finline Furniture worked with directly with the Anthony Neville Hotel Group to design new furniture specifically for the hotel.
Ciaran Finane, Finline Furniture Sales Director, said:
“Apart from the fact the hotel is local to our factory, we’re very familiar with the new owners Anthony Neville Hotel Group. They are leading hoteliers and developers in Ireland and we wanted to do everything we could to impress them on this fabulous project.”
“As a company we pride ourselves in the quality of our product, giving a 10-year frame and construction guarantee on all our products. We also pride ourselves in the durability of our work and our extensive collection of over 3000 fabrics.”
Duffin Joinery Ltd.
Duffin Joinery Ltd. specialise in commercial fit-out works for the retail and hospitality sectors. The company was founded in October 1996, by the owner and managing director Graham Duffin, and over the past 21 years has been involved with a range of prestigious projects.
Duffin Joinery Ltd. works with hoteliers, bar owners, multi-national pharmaceutical companies, as well as smaller scale residential clients. A large part of Duffin Joinery’s current work focuses on the food hospitality industry, including coffee shops, fast food suppliers and restaurants.
Most recently, Duffin Joinery Ltd. has been involved with The Midlands Park Hotel. Working on this project, Duffin Joinery Ltd. supplied and fitted the bar, along with the furniture for the restaurant.
Duffin Joinery Ltd., Joinery Production Manager, Liam Dalton, said:
“This project allowed us to create a contemporary designed joinery product with which we could showcase our quality and expertise in the future.”
“At Duffin Joinery Ltd., we pride ourselves on our ability to provide our customers with a quality product, delivered on time and at a competitive price. This maintains complete customer satisfaction and confidence at all times.”