Over €20 million has been spent renovating and extending the K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare. The work started in earnest when Dr.
Michael Smurfit purchased the property outright in 2012. Since then, renovations include building two all weather, tennis courts, resurfacing the entrance avenue, opening a new Thai Restaurant and commissioning new, handmade Connemara Carpets for the lobby and public areas. In March of this year, construction work, undertaken by Bernard McNamara began and work on the new wing has now been completed, well ahead of schedule.
The Liffey Wing is located to the west side of the hotel and contains 70 bedrooms bringing the total number of rooms at The K Club to 140. Developed in the exact same style as the original house, the Liffey Wing has been sympathetically created and blends seamlessly with the old. The bedrooms are in the new ‘Liffey Deluxe’ category and many of them enjoy views to the River Liffey or the gardens, while most ground floor rooms enjoy direct access to a private terrace. Bedrooms are from 410 sq ft to 800 sq ft in size and feature lofty ceilings, air conditioning, huge windows, mini bars, Nespresso coffee machines and spacious hand painted bathrooms, complete with twin sinks, extra deep baths and separate power showers with traditional and rain water heads. The furnishings too are in keeping with the original Straffan House which was built in 1832 by the French, wine making, Barton family. Rooms have been designed to echo classical elegance, comfort and of course luxury. Each bathroom depicts different hand painted motifs or French countryside scenes, wardrobes are generous and the soft furnishings are rich and elegant. Wallpapers have been influenced by the châteaux of France and include soft damasks, butterfly and bird prints and classic patterns featuring country squires and ladies. Curtains are hand made in luxurious silk and feature timeless, classical prints while antique style furniture, gilt mirrors and console tables set the scene for a luxurious slumber. Timeless art pieces adorn the public walkways and bedrooms and are in keeping with the original art work collection which The K Club is famous for.
Despite the classic interiors, the hotel enjoys the very best in modern technology and enjoys all of the comforts expected of an international resort. Super-fast dedicated fibre broadband has been installed and is capable of reaching download speeds of up to 250Mb while a new conference room, ‘Inis Mór’ has also been created. Named after the island on the River Liffey which it overlooks the new meeting and conference room is located in the original house. It has a magnificent, original stucco ceiling and elegant chandeliers and has several bay windows which overlook the magnificent manicured gardens and the River Liffey. The room can hold up to 130 people banquet style and can be configured in many ways for meetings, conferences or a variety of events or private dinners. This multi-use space has been wired to facilitate all types of audio visual equipment and has been decorated in a traditional, classical style.
A new bar called ‘The Media Puzzle Bar’ has also been added as part of the renovation programme and is a wonderful space to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif or a pint of the black stuff. Named after Dr. Smurfit’s Melbourne Cup winning horse, the new bar is painted in a classic racing green and features large windows and French doors to the gardens. The ‘Gatzby’ style chandeliers were taken from the old swimming pool in the hotel which were fitted by one of the previous owners, Iranian Air Force founder, Nader Jahanbani (1977) who was executed around the time of the downfall of the Shah Reza Pahlavi government.
Michael Davern, Chief Executive Officer of The K Club said, “We are delighted that work has been completed on the bedroom wing. The additional rooms and facilities will greatly enhance our current offering. It was a very quick build largely due to the enhanced building techniques used by McNamara Construction and the design team which saw large precast concrete sections of the building actually being made off site and assembled on location.