With all the bad news coming from hoteliers across Europe, a spot of light emanating out of Galway in Ireland makes for a nice Sunday read. Pillo Hotel Galway is but one of several classy 4 star affairs sitting under a very cool brand. Formerly a Marriott hotel, the rebranded Pillo Hotel & Spa is benefitted by substantial backing and an experienced hospitality crew.
The focus of this report is on the former Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Galway, no slouch when it came to Irish hospitality, but hit hard be the so called “Great Recession” and Ireland’s special brand of economic woes. The spanking new Irish hotel brand steered by private equity notables ION Equity, has breathed new life into a very needy hospitality market in Ireland and the UK. The reason for our optimism here should be obvious, if there is to be a recovery at all, then investments in hospitality and travel will have to lead the way.
Pillo & Soft Places to Land
Pillo Hotels, founded by Ion Equity back in 2008, set its sites on the premium 3-star and 4 star market. Focused on being centrally located and setting a new, crisp, and trendy appeal (like the brand suggests) Pillo affords the corporate set a particularly suitable prospect in hospitality. When the brand launched, back in 2008, ION boss Neil O’Leary spoke candidly with The Independent about turnaround potential (the only real potential available these days), and clearly ION has embarked on a steady course toward this goal.
As for Pillo Hotel & Spa Galway, the hotel is within a stone’s throw of Eyre Square and Shop Street and is replete with all the amenities anyone could expect from an upscale accommodation. Room service to dry cleaning, Pillo is a soft place to lay your head after plundering the treasures of Galway. 104 guestrooms. two 4th floor penthouse suites, and of course dynamite spa features.
Pillo Hotels currently has building developments, management contracts, and Pillo brand lease arrangements like the one in Galway. ION got approval (PDF) for the brand’s a 285 room 18 story hotel in Manchester’s city center, but there has been no new news as to the hotel’s completion and opening dates as far as we know. We do understand the hotel is a segment of a larger citywide initiative to revitalize Manchester’s center, but we are trying to reach Pillow or ION Equity for status updates and new openings/deals in this part of their portfolio.
Pillo Hotel Galway maintains an active, if new, Twitter feed here, as well as a Facebook contingent here. For the business traveler to Galway in January, Pillo is running several specials to be found on their Facebook pages. Rooms for under €59, and a very nice €5 euro lunch tempt, especially right in the center of town.
We will have another report on Pillo, and Ireland hospitality solutions next week, until then please enjoy the photos and links.