What was your background before you worked at Ashford Castle?

I studied Accounting for four years and later studied International Hotel Management in Cathal Brugha St. My first hotel job was in the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore Co. Waterford as a waitress. My second hotel job was in the family-run hotel in Co. Tipperary, which is recommended as the place to visit in Ireland in 2022 by Forbes. After 5 years I applied for a post at Ashford Castle and was successful!

What was your first experience of Ashford Castle?

I first joined the team as a Receptionist in their Front of House team.

What were your thoughts when you saw the Castle for the first time after the restoration?

I was overwhelmed. The Tollman family has created a legacy for the hospitality industry in Ireland and has raised the standard of a five-star luxury hotel.

Tell me something about Ashford that people might not know?

Ashford Castle’s farmyard is home to 'The Beatrice Tollman Rose'. Born in 2012 and named in 2020. Her rose was created by hybridist Colin Dickson.

What makes Ashford so special?

The staff of Ashford Castle create a home away from home for all our guests and which makes the hotel so special. 

What does a typical day at Ashford look like for you?

The day begins with a morning catch-up with colleagues of all departments. We discuss the day ahead, how many guests are arriving, how many guests are leaving, any large parties coming into the castle, and any special guest requests for the day ahead. Throughout the day there are various meetings to attend as communication is key to achieving a wonderful guest experience.

What is your favourite part of your role?

Working with the team and empowering them to succeed is very satisfying. More importantly, I love looking after our guests as a happy guest makes my job worthwhile.

What do you do to relax when you are not working?

I like to read, walk and I enjoy a good film.

What three words would you use to describe Ashford?

Traditional, hospitable, luxurious.

What is the proudest achievement of your time at Ashford Castle?

I was the Wedding Coordinator for actor Pierce Brosnan (James Bond at the time) and his lovely wife Keely Shaye Smith. Everyone worked to create a magical day for the couple and their family. I have great memories of that experience and the knowledge I gained will stay with me.

Many years later, I was again fortunate enough to be a part of the wedding event for golfer Rory McIlroy and his beautiful wife Erica Stoll. Two wonderful wedding experiences that I am proud of. Both were made successful by the team at Ashford Castle working together.