Alison Deegan, senior business development manager with Original Irish Hotels, says the collection includes four-star boutique manor houses, castles, three-star family run properties and other options. An emphasis is on the local surroundings and authentic experiences. ‘Some have golf courses or spa facilities and they offer a different side of Ireland. For example, some of our owners are fishermen by trade and will go out with their lobster pots and bring the fresh catch back. ‘Guests may go salmon fishing with the owner, or foraging for food with the chef.’
Deegan says Original Irish Hotels specialises in the fly and drive market. ‘This is ideally suited to the New Zealand market. They like to tour at their own pace and stay in specialised, character accommodation.’ Deegan has attended trade missions in New Zealand before but not under the Original Irish Hotels banner. ‘We used to be Manor House Hotels and Irish Country Hotels, but rebranded earlier this year. Each of the hotels offer an entirely different individual experience so we felt it was right to combine the two (brands) and offer them in one collection.’ Original Irish Hotels encompasses 60 properties, ranging in size from 12 to 222 rooms.