HOTELIERS in Limerick are reporting an “incredible demand” for dinner with all the trimmings in their establishments on Christmas Day.
The Strand, Radisson Blu, Absolute and George Boutique hotels are all at close to peak levels for dinner sittings this Christmas - proving that the hospitality business truly is an all year round industry.
“Our Christmas Day lunch has been booked out for the past three months,” said Sean Lally, manager of the Strand Hotel.
The hotel will seat 280 people for a five course Christmas Day dinner, with champagne, canapes and music in the riverside hotel, with some guests staying for three or four days from Christmas Eve, taking in racing, rugby, pantos and more.
“There is an incredible demand and we could have filled it three or four times over. It is all part of the business and you get used to it. We have people coming in here and staying from all over,” explained Mr Lally.
Likewise the Absolute Hotel is reporting “phenomenal” interest in their Christmas Day offering, an equally sumptuous five course affair that is completely sold out.
“We have been booked out since the start of November,” said manager Donnacha Hurley. “This year lots of people are looking to go out and have booked early and I have to say I am quite shocked with the take-up - there is phenomenal interest. We will have over 90 for dinner,” he added.
Mr Hurley said that the Absolute’s Christmas Day lunch was “good value and a good choice for people” with families and older couples particularly interested, but stressed that it wasn’t cheap and was intended to be a “special experience”.
“It is a good experience and good value - we do it nicely and we buy proper presents for the kids. It is a nice day,” he explained.
The Absolute manager said it was mostly families booked in, but there were some tables for couples, and several with just one for dinner.
Altaf Khan, general manager of the George Boutique Hotel, said he expected to welcome 100 people for lunch, a mixture both of residents and guests.
“It is a sizable number, and it is popular. We never did these before, this is our second year doing it,” he explained.
“We never close during the year and there will be plenty of Christmas cheer here on the day,” he added.
While the Adare Manor, Dromoland Castle and the Dunraven Arms all close for Christmas Day, the Radisson Blu Hotel will be open, offering a bumper package to guests, with a Christmas Day buffet, a resident pianist, an in-house cinema and Santa’s Grotto available for children throughout the day.
“We have two sittings, at 12pm and 4pm, and they are both full. There are about 100 at each sitting,” said Geraldine McCarthy, sales manager in the Radisson Blu.
“We get a lot of regulars in every year so it is the same people a lot of the time.”