Premier Hospitality

River Lee hotel

River Lee
Written by Roma Publications

The River Lee

The opening of The River Club and the refurbishment of the lobby, public spaces and bedrooms, marks the spectacular start of Cork’s The River Lee hotel relaunch in January 2019.

Set on a picturesque bend in the river, just a short walk from Cork city centre, The River Lee hotel occupies a unique position in this charming historic city.

The refurbishment, for Doyle Collection, has impressively transformed the ground floor public areas and includes the addition of a new bar and restaurant and a new event and group dining space.

The project was carried out by the Doyle Collection design team working in partnership with O’Donnell O’Neil. Main contractors for the project were Kieran Murphy Contracting Ltd.

The hotel is one of the finest in the emerging city of Cork, which is now a world-renowned business hub and key destination for leisure traveller’s visiting Ireland and The River Lee will now fill the gap in the market for a stylish, social hotel in the city.

Vibrant and elegant, with a sure sense of modern ease and relaxed glamour – and a distinctive Cork accent – The River Club is the ultimate all-day destination to eat, drink and be social.

The new River Club comprises the bar, terrace and The Grill Room Restaurant and has its own entrance (as well as access from the hotel). It is essentially its own brand with a mostly external clientele rather than hotel guests.

With a cool New York vibe in the Bar, sophisticated dining in The Grill Room and a distinctly Mediterranean feel on the riverside Terrace, The River Club is Cork’s latest and most indulgent destination to eat, drink and be social.

A classic and timeless series of spaces, designed to be enjoyed at all times of the day and night, The River Club creates a natural flow as the lighting, music and mood shifts from work to play.

This is where modern luxury meets the renowned charm of Cork and features an impressive double-height ceiling, wooden beams reclaimed from a whiskey distillery, and an abundance of natural light.

The long mahogany bar, with its towering backdrop of sparkling mirrored shelving and fine selection of local pours, anchors the space. The chevron patterned floor tiles at the bar are echoed in the herringbone parquet floors and in the angles of the impressive frosted glass Deco-style chandelier, casting a soft glow on the room. Cosy deep-buttoned leather couches and marble-topped tables create the ideal setting for slow sips and long chats.

This space leads onto new The River Club Terrace, where tropical tree ferns, rich textiles, outdoor heaters and cosy throws help turn it into a balmy urban hideaway – the ultimate venue for brunch or cocktails and small plates in the city.

On The River Club Terrace, dappled riverside light and tropical tree ferns create a balmy urban hideaway that can be transformed into a heated winter haven, where the mood and pace reflect the river – upbeat and energised or easily meandering.

The River Club Terrace is the perfect place to enjoy all-day outdoor dining, even in the winter months.

In The River Club Bar & Terrace, stylish small plates, perfect for solo dining or tapas-style sharing, are served during the week as well as weekend brunch and lunch every day.

The Grill Room offers a stylish and sophisticated new dining experience.

With its deep teal-panelled walls, curved cognac leather banquettes, richly reflective brass accents, golden blown-glass globes casting a flattering light and playful art, The Grill Room channels old-school glamour in a confident, contemporary way.

The locally-inspired menus created by head chef Paul Lane, are designed to champion Cork produce, much of it straight from the nearby English Market.

With unparalleled riverside views, an open fire and roof-top lighting,

The Grill Room is open for dinner every day and weekend lunch, with a menu ranging from salads and local seafood to aged Irish grass-fed steaks and signature dishes like whole Dover sole from the Robata grill. A carefully selected wine list with its own Irish links takes in European classics and a selection from the New World.

The River Club brings the bounty of County Cork to the city, using local ingredients on all menus – locally-sourced seafood, Macroom meat and cheeses, local vegetables and foraged botanicals. Creatively crafted menus of food designed to suit each space showcase exceptional Cork produce, and The River Club cocktail menu is shaped by seasonal ingredients that amplify the main acts – the array of carefully selected fine Irish spirits.

The Mirror Room is the hotel’s new event and group dining space. It has already hosted a number of media events within a stunning space filled with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows situated on the weir.

Italian wall tapestries and elegant mirrored panelling adorn the interior, with sage green banquettes, marble-topped tables and mid-century German chandeliers.

With beautiful signature touches including a hand-crafted mahogany bar, imposing gilt-edged mirrors, luxurious Italian wall hangings, and plush velvet seating, this 208 sq/m room comfortably seats 110 and can accommodate up to 200 for more informal events.

The Cocktail Bar is the newest addition and final piece of the ground floor transformation. Oozing style and glamour, The Cocktail Bar is a chic, modern take on a mid-20th century style cocktail bar, with design highlights including rich textures and a magnificent hand-carved mahogany bar with white marble top.

Here, rare whiskeys from neighbouring Middleton, South East Cork are served in bespoke crystal cut glassware, handcrafted in Cristal an Rinne.

Situated in central locations in London, Dublin, Washington DC, Cork, and Bristol, the Doyle Collection is a carefully curated group of stylishly-appointed, intimate properties that take a hyper-local, neighbourhood-focused approach.

Doyle Collection properties are plenty attractive with their prime locations, stylish interiors, excellent restaurants, and personable service. But it’s their connection with their surrounding neighbourhood that makes them truly stand out. Indeed, their properties are expert at bringing a cultural slice of their city to the guest experience.

River Lee


Based in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, Greenscene is an interior plant display contractor, specialising in the design, supply and maintenance of both live and artificial plants for a range of schemes, from office projects to large atriums and beyond. The company has been in operation for 40 years and within this time has developed an extensive client base, including work for Amazon, Google and Indeed, amongst others.

Most recently, Greenscene has been involved with the work on The River Lee, sourcing, supplying and installing replica planting. Commenting on the project, Georgina Stapleton of Greenscene said: “Greenscene have been working with The Doyle Collection for a number of years and we are delighted they have put their faith in our company to be involved with this prestigious project.”

Georgina added:

“At Greenscene, we pride ourselves in our ability to supply and maintain projects on time and within budget.”


Heating Distributors

Dublin-based Heating Distributors specialise in the design, supply and installation of heating products, including electric fires, gas fires & chimney systems, solid fuel stoves & fires and radiators. Radiators are available in a range of styles, covering cast iron, aluminium and steel, and can be designed to achieve a modern look or to suit a traditional aesthetic.

Heating Distributors has been in operation since 1970 and within this time has worked on a vast collection of projects including The Westbury Hotel, Adare Manor in Limerick, Fleet Street Hotel, Europa Hotel Killarney, Merrion Hotel Dublin, Humewood Castle Wicklow and House Bar in Dublin & Limerick, amongst others. More recently, Heating Distributors has been involved with the work on the River Lee Hotel Cork, designing and supplying bespoke fireplaces and associated workings, including the exodraft fan and flue system.

Seamus Kiernan, Heating Distributors, said:

“It’s a great privilege to be involved in The River Lee – an ongoing project to showcase our works.”

Seamus added:

“At Heating Distributors, we offer a one stop shop, from design to commissioning, including sizing and positioning for designer radiators.”

River Lee

Hennessy & Beloborodov

Based in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, Hennessy & Beloborodov is a wood flooring and decking specialist with more than fifty years of experience in the industry. Over the years, Hennessy & Beloborodov has provided services to many prestigious clients, and this includes world leaders, rock stars, A list celebrities, billionaires and beyond.

Hennessy & Beloborodov is a focused company, providing clients with a new approach of unrivalled expertise and a personal touch. Currently Hennessy & Beloborodov is providing this approach to a number of 5 star hotels in Ireland and the USA, as well as for Hermes, Richard Millie and various private clients in London, New York, Dublin and Jerusalem.

Recently, Hennessy & Beloborodov has been involved with the work on the River Lee Hotel. Liam Hennessy, co-director of Hennessy & Beloborodov, oversaw the project’s wood flooring requirements personally, from specification with the client, architects and designers to hand over.

Commenting on their involvement with The River Lee, Liam Hennessy, Hennessy & Beloborodov, said:

“This project means so much to us. The clients have been very loyal to us over the course of several projects now and I like to think that our “Jerry Maguire” approach is what keeps our clients happy. As clichéd as it may sound, no request is too big.

“At Hennessy & Beloborodov we pride ourselves on our personal approach. From initial client enquiry to the finished project, we ensure dedicated onsite management and a constant line of communication with all members of the project team.”

Liam added:

“To see the finished article in all its glory and hear the whispers of the customers commenting how fantastic the place looks, well it is a great feeling to have been a part of that in some small way.”



Specialising in high-end luxury furniture, Orior has spent the last 40 years perfecting the art of designing and manufacturing each piece in their factory in Northern Ireland.

Using locally sourced materials and the experience of their craftsmen, Orior has been given the opportunity to work on a number of high-profile projects, including The Draycott (LA), The Williamsburg Hotel (NY) and Annabels Nightclub (London).

Orior recently worked alongside ODON Designers at The River Lee Hotel. Manufacturing a range of different products, they ensured each piece was made using the finest materials and to the highest quality. Everything for this project was specifically designed and handmade for The River Lee.

Brian McGuigan, Director, commented:

“As a company that produces furniture for projects worldwide, it is always special for us to be involved in a project in Ireland. When an opportunity like this comes along it is a priority for us to be involved.

“We pride ourselves on not just the product we supply but the service in which we provide. The fostering of relationships and the fact that we make time for our clients to find a balance in the process that works for all parties. Our main aim is to make sure the client is happy but we always make sure to go above and beyond to do this.”

River Lee

Kieran Murphy Contracting Ltd

Kieran Murphy Contracting is an Irish-based company that has been in operation for over 30 years. Kieran Murphy Contracting is a specialist in hotel and bar fit-outs and works closely with top designers from Cork, Dublin and Northern Ireland.

The company employs top class, high skilled tradespeople who are exceptional in their individual field. This ensures each project is completed to the highest possible standard and the longevity of the company is a testament to this.

Kieran Murphy Contracting places a priority on ensuring clients are 100% delighted with each aspect of a project. Each project is an investment for a client and Kieran Murphy Contracting is tasked with delivering the very best to achieve the desired result. The company is similarly conscious of ensuring each project causes the least amount of disruption possible to a business, even when work is running concurrent to the operations of a hotel or bar.

Kieran Murphy Contracting’s record speaks for itself. If you require any further information, please call 086 2588713.


Lavender Landscapes

Established in 2004 and currently celebrating 15 years in business, Lavender Landscapes specialises in turning outdoor spaces into beautiful and practical landscapes.

Lavender Landscapes focuses on creating a garden design in tune with a client’s lifestyle needs, where attention to detail and top quality workmanship is paramount. The end result is a beautiful, functional and interactive garden or landscape.

The company works in partnership with successful architects like Dermot Bannon (RTE:  Room to Improve) and top rated garden designers such as Peter Dowdall across multiple collaborative projects. The River Lee Hotel in Cork is an example of this.

Lavender Landscapes is involved with the design, planning, project management, construction and landscaping of all its projects.

Shane Murphy, Lavender Landscapes, commented:

“At Lavender Landscapes we pride ourselves in our excellent workmanship; providing a top quality service; our innovative garden design and conceptualisation; our planting philosophy in order to provide full all year long interest; and being forward thinking.

“We have a unique ability to source the best possible plant specimens for your garden, some of which are only available through our established supply channels into the Irish market.”

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