The Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis, has been upgraded to 4 star accreditation by Failte Ireland, following on from previous accolades which included “Best Place to Eat In Clare” and Failte Ireland’s “Best Service Excellence Award”.
Adam Harris of HospitalityENews spoke to managing director Paul Madden about inheriting the business, the recent upgrade and tourism in Clare.
The Temple Gate Story started in 1996 when it was established by Paul’s father, John Madden, who had for many years been General Manager of the West County Hotel in Ennis.
After graduating in Hospitality Management, Paul went to London where he stayed until 2003 before returning to take over the day to day running of the hotel. However both father and son are still are very much involved in the business.
“I am responsible for the day to day running of the hotel, along with our management team, but my father has a well of knowledge and experience in the hotel industry and brings the small touches which make the difference”, Paul says.
These small touches are important to Paul. He feels they help demonstrate the difference between a hotel ran by an owner-operator as opposed to the larger hotel chains we have emerged in Ireland in recent years.
While f these home touches enable the Temple Gate to stand out in terms of customer service, Paul has brought the efficiency and a modern take on the hotel industry which he learnt from those same hotel chains he worked with in London.
“In previous times the standard of a hotel was measured by its ground floor – you needed a comfortable seating area, good food and a good quality of service, but there was less emphasis on the quality of rooms”, he says.
The Celtic Tiger changed that however. Just prior to the bank crash of 2008 the hotel secured a loan of €3.5 million which was not invested in the rooms but in the hotel generally. But the Maddens managed through working capital and smaller loans from the banks to upgrade all Temple Gate guest rooms, which now feature mounted TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi and all the staples of a 4 star hotel bedroom. Paul feels that this was key to the hotel achieving four star accreditation.