Supporting its growth strategy, Choice Hotels EMEA today welcomed a new hotel to its portfolio, The Hardiman, Ascend Hotel Collection in Galway, Ireland, in collaboration with its master franchisee in Ireland, Choice Hotel Group, Ireland.
Located in the heart of Galway City, The Hardiman, an Ascend Hotel Collection is a historic 105-bedroom hotel that first opened its doors in 1852 to cater to well-heeled Victorian travellers.
The Hardiman, celebrating 170 years, has overlooked the famous Eyre Square since 1852 and for over a century and a half, has played host to many notable guests and special occasions. Its history is evident in its grand features and sumptuous furnishings that evoke memories of an era of elegance and romance.
The hotel is at the heart of Galway’s social scene and its unparalleled location sees it perfectly positioned within walking distance of the best amenities Galway has to offer. It is just a minute walk from both the train and bus stations and within walking distance of shopping areas, theatres, pubs and restaurants. It is also the ideal base to explore iconic tourist destinations including the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, the Aran Islands and the wild beauty of Connemara.
Commenting on the growth and new hotel, Choice Hotels EMEA CEO, Jonathan Mills said: “The Hardiman is a great addition to our Choice Hotels EMEA portfolio, and I am confident guests will enjoy its impressive history and superb location.
“Despite challenging times for hospitality, EMEA remains an important growth market for us and this addition not only supports our growth strategy but also our focus on investing in growing our business for our stakeholders.
“This year is an exciting one for us as we continue our commitment to being proactive in shaping the future for all our franchisees, and in turn optimising the guest experience, especially during this important recovery period. It will not only see us focus on growth opportunities but also embark upon our recently announced brand refresh that provides the opportunity for us to meet the evolving requirements of our franchisees and guests.
“As we continue through this year, I am confident our combination of market-specific knowledge and the specialist functional expertise of the leadership team will further strengthen the quality of the service and support offered to Choice Hotels franchisees throughout the region.”
Andy O’Neill, CEO of Choice Hotel Group, Ireland adds: “Historic, boutique and one of a kind are the qualities you can expect from an Ascend Hotel Collection. The Hardiman certainly is the perfect fit, located for over 170 years on Eyre Square. It is steeped in history and woven into the culture and fabric of our Galway community. We are proud to have this hotel as our fourth Ascend Collection property in our group, and indeed are confident of the benefits this global brand will bring to the hotel and Galway.
Our strategic approach to The Hardiman joining this collection allows us greater global visibility and will attract more international corporate, conference and leisure business through Choice GDS and distribution partners. After a challenging time for international travel, we are encouraged by the return of corporate business and our leisure guests from Europe and USA. We are confident that becoming a part of an Ascend Collection will only strengthen our position in the Galway market.”
Choice Hotel Group, Ireland have a long-standing master franchise partnership with Choice Hotels. For more than 20 years in Ireland the group have been operating several Choice brands since 2000, including Clarion Hotels. Most recently their properties have become members of an Ascend Hotel Collection, when they opened the first European Ascend Hotel in Dublin just over 10 years ago. The group, led by CEO Andy O’Neill, continue to grow their Ascend Collection, with the addition of The Hardiman.
This portfolio addition comes shortly after Choice Hotels EMEA announced it has commenced a refresh of its regional brand portfolio, starting with its Comfort brand. Alongside the refresh of its Comfort, Clarion and Quality brands, Sleep which is a popular Choice Hotels brand in other regions, will also be introduced to EMEA. The brand refresh follows analysis of research into post pandemic travel requirements in key markets and comes as Choice Hotels EMEA celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first hotel opening in Europe.