Hotel Hub: Everglades Hotel, L’Derry
Posting record turnover across its 42-year history last month, “Everglades Hotel has had a great year with occupancy at a record high,” says Neil Devlin, general manager.
“Since the opening of our Grand Ballroom in April 2017, we are delighted to report a 33% increase in weddings and a 15% increase in business events. It is now the largest event space in the North West and we can accommodate a wider range of larger conferences, gala dinners and business functions which we previously couldn’t.
“Our continued success has been recognised through a number of prestigious awards including Best Accommodation provider at the North West Business Awards. I have been named General Manager of the Year, and we also picked up the Gold Award for most valuable contribution for Hospitality at the annual Floral Competition 2018.”
And looking ahead, Everglades will be investing in its kitchen to accommodate the growing events and weddings side of its business.
“The hotel’s Grand Ballroom enables the Everglades to attract new events to the city including larger conferences, so we will be working hard to continue to target this market,” says Devlin. “We will also be hosting an increased number of tribute shows throughout the winter months, which again benefits Derry-Londonderry as a whole as a lot of the guests coming to the shows will stay over and explore the city at their leisure.”
Challenges for the busy hotel include patience during the inconvenience of ongoing works to the A6, which will benefit access in the long term and, of course, potential border issues around Brexit.
HOTEL OPENED: 1976
OWNERSHIP/REFURBISHMENT HISTORY: The Everglades Hotel was built in 1976, and privately owned by Vincent Armstrong, who also owned CVA Road Freight in Derry. Built on marshy land, the hotel was named in a direct nod to the Everglades in Florida. Inspiration was also taken from Alistair Cook’s Letters from America. The first general manager was John Herlihy, who managed the hotel until 1980. Hastings Hotels purchased the Everglades in 1993 and has continued to invest in the property through its continuous renovation programme; most recently a £1.5m refurbishment of the Grand Ballroom last year.
EMPLOYEES: 85-plus including 10 managers, 20 full-time, 10 part-time & 45-plus casual staff
ROOM NUMBERS: 64
STAR RATING: 4
STYLE: Overlooking the River Foyle with views across the hills of Donegal, the hotel is tastefully decorated and furnished to the highest standards.
MARKET POSITIONING: Mid-market.
GUEST PROFILE: The Everglades is the perfect base for business and leisure guests and attracts guests from around the world; particularly America, Australia, Asia and Canada.
USPs: The hotel boasts elegant décor, a contemporary restaurant, bustling bar and relaxing lounge and offers a versatile choice of event space that can cater for everything from small meetings to large conferences and gala dinners. The Grand Ballroom is the largest facility of its kind in the North West and can accommodate up to 650 people.
FOOD & BEVERAGE:
Grill Restaurant: Full A La Carte.
Library Bar: Light lunches and pub grub style menu in evenings.
Function Bar: Extensive range of beverages.
Five function rooms with Grand Ballroom hosting up to 650 people.
All food in the hotel is locally sourced where possible and its chefs create a wide array of dishes using the finest locally-produced and seasonal produce.