What a wonderful year!
The Harvey’s Point story enjoyed another great chapter in its twenty sixth year of happy hotel-keeping. There were celebrations and lots of memorable moments throughout the year. Here are some of the highlights.
2015 started on a high with news of our third consecutive TripAdvisor win. Being awarded No. 1 Hotel in Ireland, No. 6 in Europe and No. 18 in the world was certainly cause for celebration. We had our busiest January ever with many guests booking our midweek breaks and enjoying the popular in-house activities such as wine tasting and cookery demonstrations. Tartan, haggis and whisky made a return appearance at our thirteenth Burns Supper and a great weekend of Scottish festivities was had by all.
There was an air of romance at Harvey’s Point during February with many engagements on the pier, in the dining room and on Lover’s Bridge.
St Patrick’s Day was celebrated in Harvey’s Bar and there was a sea of green at the parade in Donegal Town.
The main season was launched at Easter and thankfully a sense of optimism was felt throughout the tourist industry. The Wild Atlantic Way provided that much needed marketing hook to attract visitors to Donegal. The doors opened and we were ready. There was a host of golden daffodils waving at the guests as they drove down the shore road to Harvey’s Point.
The Lodge at Harvey’s Point was launched and guest feedback from our first Swiss walking group was excellent. Bookings are flying in for special interest groups, family gatherings etc. Check-out our new ‘Digital Detox’ weekend coming soon.
The talk of the town was the wedding of Republic of Ireland defender Seamus Coleman from Killybegs, who married his childhood sweetheart Rachel Cunningham. We were honoured to host such a special event and we wish the happy couple every happiness for the future.
With the Cabaret in full swing, Noel and his amazing line-up of artists entertained a packed house every Wednesday night. Guests travelled from near and far to enjoy a super night of great food, fun and dancing. Our neighbours Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick even popped in for a soirée and rumour has it that Daniel O’ Donnell didn’t miss one cabaret for the entire season!
There was hardly an empty bed in Donegal during the height of the season. It was the busiest August in many years. Our ‘Home-made Holidays at Harvey’s’ programme was a big hit with guests discovering the delights of Donegal over a four to five day break. The ever popular Taste of Donegal Festival was once again a resounding success. What a great opportunity to fly the flag promoting Donegal as a foodie destination!
Harvey’s Point struck gold at the Hotel and Catering Awards. We were also delighted to win the Unilever Hotel of the Year, Ulster at the Great Carvery Awards.
The highlight of October was the Halloween Storytelling Weekend, organised by Keith Corcoran with special guest John Creedon. Our ghost walk was a great success with many people taking part. Pumpkin soup and special sound and light effects added to the ambiance of the event, which was enjoyed by everyone.
It was a hairy month at Harvey’s Point with Marc’s ‘Movember’ breaks. He raised over two and a half thousand Euro for the Movember charity. We were proud to be part of history when on the day that Ireland saw its first same-sex marriages. We also hosted some delightful themed events such as an ‘Indian Feast’ and ‘Keane on Style’ fashion evening. A ‘flood’ of brilliant guest reviews awarded us No 1 Hotel in Ireland by trivago. Unfortunately this wasn’t the only flood heading our way! The rain fell, the lake rose and our road became impassable, not just once but twice, causing us to cancel Sunday carvery lunch. Staff and neighbours rallied together to ferry stranded guests and their cars and thankfully we got through it (forgive the pun).
As always, there was a certain magic about Christmas at Harvey’s Point. There was plenty to eat, drink and do. Everyone seemed so relaxed and happy. Many friendships were made or rekindled. We had so much fun organising the festive programme, especially the annual Dog Show at which there were lots of barks, laughs and hot toddys.
We now welcome 2016 and say “Cheers and here’s to another good year”!