Hotel Hub: Beech Hill Hotel, Derry~Londonderry
Five new jobs have already been added at the Beech Hill since the House Collection acquired the hotel in September 2018. The group has ambitious growth plans to become the best four-star hotel in Ireland, capitalising on the hotel’s prime location between Derry~Londonderry and the North Coast.
“We feel honoured to be part of the story of the Beech Hill Hotel whose character and charm have captured the hearts of local people for generations,” said Sam Harding, co-owner of The House Collection with Barry Kemp and Adam Kemp.
The new owners hope to build on the venue’s existing strong client base, including its focus on tour groups and weddings in the summer months.
“We have a very clear focus to put The Beech Hill on the map as one of the best hotels in Ireland, delivered through enhancements across the board,” said Harding. “The property, which has a rich 400-year history, has played host to former US President, Bill Clinton (who ranked it as his favourite place to stay in Ireland) and we hope to bring that history into our upcoming projects.
“The first such project is our new bistro bar and restaurant that will be unlike anything in the region, with fun and exciting food in a casual setting. We want to personally welcome the people of the northwest to the Beech Hill to experience our new menus and enjoy the comfortable surroundings of the historic house.”
And plans are also in place to address the hospitality skills gap by using effective management and staff development to create opportunities for personal and professional growth and clear career paths.
“Hospitality is an amazing industry, one of the most stable sectors in terms of jobs with a consistent year-on-year increase and one that is under less pressure with technological advancements as we are so heavily people-orientated,” said Harding. “Any hotel can have great facilities but not every hotel has the people in place to create an exceptional hospitality experience.”
HOTEL OPENED: 1991
OWNERSHIP/REFURBISHMENT HISTORY: The Beech Hill Hotel was sold by the O’Kane and Donnelly families, the previous owners for more than two decades, and was acquired by The House Collection in September 2018.
EMPLOYEES: 42 total employees (20 full and 20 part time)
ROOM NUMBERS: 28
STAR RATING: 4
STYLE: 400-year-old country house hotel
MARKET POSITIONING: Wedding venue, leisure, tour groups
GUEST PROFILE: All
USPs: The 32-acre estate at Ardmore has a rich 400-year history; the house suffered a catastrophic fire during the Siege of Derry in 1689 and was subsequently rebuilt by the Skipton family. It was then taken over by US Marines during World War Two where it acted as a temporary base for soldiers, before being transformed into a hotel in 1989. The Beech Hill has hosted many famous names over the years from US presidents to musicians such as U2 and Ed Sheeran. The Beech Hill is situated on 30 acres of private woodlands, with its own walled garden, thought to be one of the oldest in the country, supplying food for the various dining experiences offered by the hotel.
FOOD & BEVERAGE: To celebrate the provenance of food heritage in the North West, it has updated its fine and casual dining experiences to reflect produce grown and sourced locally. Ardmore Restaurant is is a fine dining experience, with a Lounge for Afternoon Tea and plans in place for a new casual dining restaurant in April.