Two Marks are leaving their mark on Westlodge Hotel

June 21st, 2020 2:25 PM

By Jackie Keogh

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ATTENTION to detail – every detail – is what has the owners and staff excited about the reopening of the Westlodge Hotel in Bantry on Monday, June 29th next.

Annette O’Donovan who has worked at the hotel for the last 22 years – having started as a junior receptionist while on placement from college – has recently been appointed general manager and financial controller.

‘But,’ according to her, ‘what has got everyone talking is the appointment of Mark Golden, as operations manager, and Mark Johnson as executive chef.’

Mark and Mark are well known, having previously made their ‘mark’ at the Beara Coast Hotel in Castletownbere. Annette said: ‘Everyone in West Cork knows how good these guys are at turning out fabulous food and making guests feel welcome.’

People are already talking about the fact that Mark’s menu for the newly reimagined “Hannie’s Café” will feature everything from his brilliant eggs benedict to his must-have burgers.

Annette described to The Southern Star all the work that has been done to ensure a safe and successful reopening of the hotel and its new café on June 29th.

Two lucky winners of a competition on The Southern Star’s Facebook page will be able to celebrate the re-opening with a champagne Sunday brunch for two.

Everyone else will be happy enough to simply enjoy the daily menu at “Hannie’s” and the fact that there is loads of room to dine outdoors.

For all that the hotel has to offer, Annette believes it is the friendliness – not to mention the professionalism – of its long-serving and loyal staff that is the key ingredient in making this such a popular local venue for every occasion.

A unique feature of this catering and accommodation business is that it is owned by a group of locals, all of whom are personally invested in its development and continued success.

During the three-month lockdown, the investors, the staff, and the hotel’s maintenance teams not have not been idle. They have worked hard to carry out significant refurbishments, including the re-painting the Sugar Loaf Restaurant.

The outside of the hotel has also been given a new colour treatment and is now more eye-catching than ever on its elevated site at the entrance to Bantry town.

The gardens have not only been maintained, great time and attention has gone into making the lawns, the formal gardens, and the pond, an oasis for all to enjoy.

The Westlodge Hotel, with its high vaulted ceiling, has all the roominess of a colonial style country club and offers guests a range of stylish accommodation throughout its 100 bedrooms, two honeymoon suites, and nine self-catering cottages.

Annette said: ‘Anyone who would like to make Bantry their staycation destination this summer would be given a warm welcome here. We have lots of multi-room options so families can vacation together in comfort and ease.’The hotel manager confirmed: ‘Bookings are brisk but we have the capacity – not only to maintain the very highest standards of hygiene and excellence but also to create an atmosphere of safety and seclusion.’

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