The Imperial Hotel, Cork City, has announced details of a €400,000 refurbishment project, which has just been completed. The refurbishment sees 45 of the property’s bedrooms upgraded in the iconic city centre, Flynn family-owned hotel.
Cork’s most centrally located hotel has been part of the very fabric and life of the city for over 200 years, exuding an old-world, glamorous charm; and it was important to the Flynn family and hotel management that the latest refurbishments were in keeping with this. General Manager of the Imperial Hotel, Frits Potgieter explained the ethos behind the project “I believe in the character and history of the Imperial, and what it means to the people of Cork. This project was a continuation of the way the property progresses and moves forward; but an important aspect of this was to remember the iconic stature of the hotel, and while upgrading, to stay true to that and maintain the classic feel.”
€300,000 has been spent on the bedrooms which feature specially sourced, bespoke fabrics and furniture designed and sourced by leading Dublin based design company, Global Design Concepts. A vibrant colour scheme of orange, contrasting with light blue, has created an easy on the eye, inviting space for guests to enjoy and relax in, while maintaining the character that the hotel is synonymous with.
Each room features King Koil Club Pocket luxury beds, and newly installed state-of-the-art flat screen, fully interactive, high definition capable in-room entertainment systems; while upgraded bathroom facilities include rain head showers, heated towel rails, upgraded luxury towellery from Lissadel, and upgraded Orla Kiely bathroom amenities.
Works were not purely aesthetic, and the hotel worked with ecoCOOL on a €100,000 upgrade to the air conditioning system, with the installation of the latest Living Environment Air Conditioning System from Mitsubishi. This new in-room system will reduce the property’s energy costs, and ensure the highest level of comfort for guests in their rooms.
The works in the Imperial are part of a €3m investment in refurbishment works across the Flynn Hotel group’s four properties, which also include the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; Old Ground Hotel, Ennis; and The Park Hotel, Dungarvan; and this is not the first significant investment in the Imperial by the Flynn family, who purchased the property in 1998. Prior to the latest upgrades, €10m was invested in a redevelopment that included the addition of the hotel’s Escape Spa in 2006; while in preparation of its bicentenary celebrations in 2016, almost €1 million was spent on upgrades which included a new fitness suite for residents’ use, and the introduction of ‘Seventy Six on the Mall’, a new bar and food offering located just off the lobby, where the old ‘South’s Bar’ used to be.
Designed by Thomas Deane in 1813, the Imperial Hotel was initially used as commercial rooms for city merchants, and in 1816 the building was extended to serve as a hotel and coach yard for the visiting business people, traders and merchants. Down through the years the Imperial has welcomed a sea of famous faces including Charles Dickens, who gave a reading here; Daniel O’Connell, who addressed an assembly at the hotel; and Franz Liszt, who performed a piano recital in 1841. Arguably, the hotel’s most famous guest was Michael Collins, who spent his last night in Room 115, before meeting his fate at Béal na Bláth on August 22, 1922.