Hotel Hub: Shipquay Boutique Hotel, Derry-Londonderry
Approaching its first year in business, Shipquay Boutique Hotel has a prime location in the heart of Derry and is attracting glowing reviews on Tripadvisor.
“I have been very pleased with the hotel’s performance to date,” says Rory Cregan, managing director. “As it is a brand-new hotel, it was quite difficult to forecast the hotel’s future trading as we could not use incremental budgeting. However, using our estimations and industry specific forecasts, the hotel has over-achieved to date.
“There have obviously been some hurdles along the way; however, overall I am very pleased. I am enthused by the growth figures I can already see as we work our way into the summer of 2018 and look forward to what the next few years has in store.
“With regards to the overall performance of the hotel, I could not be any happier with the overall product we are presenting and the feedback that we are receiving in doing so. We have been finalists in both the NIHF housekeeping and receptionist awards and we were fortunate enough to have also won one of the awards. We can’t ask for much more from our team as we have been open less than a year.”
The weakening of sterling against the euro, as a result of Brexit uncertainty, has created opportunities, says Cregan: “We are actively seeking to take advantage of this in the short term. This includes heavy marketing to the RoI market and also reaching the EU market further.”
While prospects look good, the Shipquay is not immune from an industry-wide staff shortage. “The hospitality sector in NI is growing continually,” he says. “However, we do not currently have the skilled labour to keep up with the growth. This will only harm NI in the long-run as it will take away from the overall visitor experience.
“Across all jobs within the hotel sector, there is unfortunately a lack of talent. I genuinely believe this has to be addressed at a higher level. I believe that hospitality has to be viewed as a legitimate career for our youth.”
HOTEL OPENED: July 2017
OWNERSHIP & HISTORY: The building dates back to 1895. However, it was a bank in some form or another for 120-plus years. It is currently privately owned.
EMPLOYEES: 42 employees
ROOM NUMBERS: 21 rooms
STAR RATING: Not rated yet
STYLE: Classic with a contemporary twist
MARKET POSITIONING: Positioned mainly with high-end leisure in mind.
GUEST PROFILE: We have a nice balance of guest profiles with a similar split to Tourism NI.
USPs: Our overall experience, customer service and food are things that make us unique when compared to other hotels.
FOOD & BEVERAGE: We have our own restaurant, Shipquay Restaurant, which leans towards contemporary fine dining in the evening with a more relaxed feel during the day. We also have a cocktail bar located in the former vault of the hotel called Lock & Quay.
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