Bill Kelly is the Managing Director of Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa in Rosslare. He partners with Java Republic because he knows the value of providing a premium coffee experience for his guests.
You are the 4th generation Kelly to look after the business. When you joined the running of the hotel, how did you decide to put your own stamp on it?
I had studied for 4 years in Lausanne Hotel School and after that I’d worked in London and Paris, in Taiwan and also in Florida so, (especially the resort property in Florida), so I think it had given me the inspiration to come back and implement new ideas and new things to Kelly’s and bring it up to where it is today and maybe where we want to go in the future.
Your daughter Laura works alongside you in the management of the hotel. How have her experiences and insights from the hotel industry abroad added to the business?
She’s been a huge help to me. Laura likewise went to Lausanne Hotel School so followed very much in the old man’s footsteps and it’s great to have her back just to bring more youthfulness and new ideas to the property. So it’s been wonderful to have her for the last 3 years and recently she’s out at the moment on maternity leave, but the plus side is we’ve a beautiful grandchild.
What was the inspiration behind opening Kelly’s Café in Drinagh?
Good question. Eh… “inspiration” I’m not sure yet but a friend of mine, Barry Keogh had owned the property and it was empty for a number of years and he had put together a number of partners, notably Meadows & Byrne and the garden centre and, again he was looking for an operator for a café/restaurant and I said look why don’t we give it a go. It’s been open now 5 years and it’s really gone from strength to strength so ya we’re delighted with the operation and we’ve a wonderful team running it in there so it doesn’t take up as much time as it did in the initial period but it’s great, it’s great to have it.
Why did you partner with Java Republic and in your opinion, how important is a good coffee offering for a hotel business?
I think it’s essential nowadays. I mean it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were using instant coffees in hotels and serving instant coffees. But the whole coffee market has changed dramatically and people are much more discerning when it comes to coffee. It’s not good enough just to have a coffee bean you know. People want the bean and want the freshly brewed coffee. It’s so important that the quality of the coffee and the quality of the barista is there, that we’re really serving a top class coffee.
Did you notice changes in your guests coffee requirements in the past few years that ultimately led you to work with Java Republic?
Yes certainly. Just more and more demand for the barista coffees. It’s incredible the change in such a short period of time. I mean coffee is taking over from bars really you know. It’s amazing to see. It’s a much more European style culture that’s moving into Ireland and I think it’s a good thing. So we’re trying to keep moving with the trend with Java Republic.