Anne Marie Kelly is to become the new general manager of Renvyle House Hotel following the decision by current CEO Ronnie Counihan to retire next year after 20 years at the helm of the historic property, and after a stellar 45 years in hospitality.
A native of county Galway, Ms Kelly has more than 30 years’ experience in hospitality. A graduate of GMIT, Ms. Kelly has held significant management positions with the Copthorne Tara Kensington, The Shelbourne, Jurys Hotels, The Keadeen Hotel and, more recently, The Station House Hotel in Clifden where she was general manager. She is a familiar face in Connemara, having run her own bar, restaurant and accommodation offering in The Forge, Moycullen for 14 years.
She will work alongside Mr Counihan for the next two months before he steps down in January.
“As one of the country’s most respected hoteliers, Ronnie is loved by guests and staff alike and is a mentor, colleague and friend to many. Under his stewardship, Renvyle House Hotel has risen to become a beloved and celebrated retreat, noted for its wonderful food and hospitality.
“We knew that the person who takes over his mantle would have to imbibe and continue the culture and values we hold so dear at Renvyle House. We are delighted to have found this person in Anne Marie Kelly”, said Zoe Coyle Fitzgerald, Chairman and Director of Renvyle House Hotel.
“Anne Marie is from the area and understands the special place both Renvyle and Connemara hold for people. We know her reputation as an incredible hostess and leader who puts her guests at the centre of everything. She is a real food lover and supporter of seasonal, locally sourced food and is liked and respected by the people she works with.
“On behalf of the board of Renvyle House, I wish Anne Marie every success and she will receive our full support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ronnie for his leadership and great friendship over the last 20 years. He will be sorely missed”, added Ms. Coyle Fitzgerald.
Anne Marie Kelly said she is honoured to be taking up the position.
“Renvyle House Hotel which is a very special place and I am look forward to working with Ronnie over the next few months and building on his incredible work over the last 20 years”, Ms Kelly commented.
Renvyle House bears a fascinating history. It was home to the powerful O’Flaherty clan, the seat of 19th century landowner Henry Blake, the country resident of the famous Dublin poet, wit, statesman and surgeon Oliver St. John Gogarty and a meeting place for the poets and writers who helped create the new Irish Free State. WB Yeats spent his honeymoon there. First opened as a hotel in 1883, Renvyle House Hotel has been owned by the Coyle family for more than 60 years.
Retiring Chief Executive Ronnie Counihan said it is with great appreciation and wonderful memories that he will reminisce about his career as a hotelier in the years to come.
“In particular, about the last 20 years I have spent working with the Coyle family and alongside a wonderful team at Renvyle House. Renvyle is a very special place and I would like to thank the many amazing guests, friends, ‘guests-who-became-friends’ and many colleagues who have contributed over the years to the fulfilling career I have been so privileged to enjoy.
“I will retire in a few months knowing that, in its incoming GM Anne Marie Kelly, Renvyle is in great hands. I wish her all the happiness that I have enjoyed at this wonderful, historic property,” he said.
From Gort, Co. Galway, Ronnie’s distinguished international career includes experiences in London, New York, Switzerland and Hong Kong. He ran his own restaurant, Ronnie’s Bistro, in Oranmore before being appointed chief executive of Renvyle House Hotel in November 2000 and set about transforming the former home of Oliver St. John Gogarty into a first-class country retreat famed for its hospitality.
Under Mr. Counihan, Renvyle House Hotel has won every significant food and hospitality award and has been consistently in the Top 100 Places to Stay since 2006.