Food and Drink Festivals around Ireland that everyone can enjoy!

Ireland’s food festivals are the place to be (and to eat!) this summer. Ireland has blossomed over the last couple of years in terms of our knowledge and expertise in food manufacturing. Artisan producers and local specialities are available the length and breadth of the country, which has naturally lead to a celebration of food…. Read more »

Luxury & Sustainability – what trends & innovations are driving the incentive experience?

Written by Guy Bigwood. Is sustainability all about doing more with less? Can a 5-star venue truly be sustainable? Traditional luxury hotels and venues have been defined by their lavish interior designs, opulent chandeliers and linen thread counts. It could be the unwilling compromise of getting pampered endlessly that caused certain disassociation between luxury and sustainability…. Read more »

12 gems of Christmas – Ovation Ireland

  As the year draws to a close and we look back at the range of fantastic trips that have taken place this year, we take a moment to consider a few of the special features Ireland has to offer. Known as the Emerald Isle we have taken inspiration from all over the country in… Read more »

Christmas Moments from Ovation Ireland

Christmas is a time of year spent with family and filled with annual traditions. Whether it’s a favourite Christmas song or a festive get together with friends, the team in Ovation prepare for this time of year with great excitement. Here we share some of our best Christmas memories and tips…            … Read more »

#Ooovation Competition

Halloween is fast approaching and in an effort to get in the spirit of all things ‘spooky’ we asked some of the Ovation team to share their Halloween plans with us. See who is a big fan of Halloween and who would rather fast forward to Christmas. We have three vouchers for Brown Thomas to… Read more »

The Wonderful Westbury…

The Westbury hotel is one of the most well-known 5* hotels in the centre of the city located just off the main thoroughfare of Grafton St. Established in 1984 by Irish businessman P.V. Doyle, the hotel  is member of prestigious Leading Hotels of the World and remains a firm favourite with locals and international guests… Read more »

Industry Insider – Katie Farrell

Katie Farrell has been working in the industry for years and here in Ovation, we were delighted to hear when she had been appointed to Director of Sales of The Westbury Hotel located in the heart of Dublin. To celebrate, we caught up with Katie to find out about her new role, her ideal day… Read more »

Genuinely Green Series: Cnoc Suain

This week in our Genuinely Green Series, we are looking to the West and at a fantastic heritage village and venue – Cnoc Suain.   Cnoc Suain is a beautifully restored hill village spanning 200 acres in rural Connemara in Galway which offers an immersion into local culture and offers guests the opportunity to travel back… Read more »

Genuinely Green Series: Sandymount Hotel

Next up on our Genuinely Green Screening is Dublin’s 4* Sandymount Hotel, located right beside the Aviva Stadium. The Sandymount Hotel is committed to the long term “greening” of their hotel and have a tonne of awards including Highly Commended Green Hotelier 2016, Green Leader 2016, winner of Responsible Travel and Tourism Award etc.     They… Read more »

Genuinely Green Series: Powerscourt Hotel & Estate

AA Hotel of the Year, the 5* Powerscourt Hotel takes pride in its environmental credentials especially given the hotel’s location nestled in the heart of the Garden of Ireland! Recently the hotel replaced 12,138 lightbulbs with more efficient LED lights and have lowered its carbon footprint by over 831 tonnes this year alone.    … Read more »

Genuinely Green Series: Convention Centre Dublin

This week we are heading back to Dublin for the next in our Genuinely Green Series. As the world’s first carbon-neutral constructed convention centre, The Convention Centre Dublin is one of Europe’s most environmentally-friendly venues and iconic in the capital’s skyline. Located in the heart of Dublin and with the capacity for up to 5,500 guests,… Read more »

Genuinely Green Venue: Ballymaloe House

Last week we launched our Genuinely Green series and started to explore venues in Ireland and what they do for the environment. This week we look down to a very famous corner in Co. Cork – Ballymaloe House, Cookery School and Farm run by the Allen family. Ballymaloe have sustainability at the heart of everything… Read more »

Caoimhe’s Corner

Recently we launched #OvationInspiration on Twitter – every Friday we put the spotlight on our favourite things going on around Ireland – restaurants, cafes, festivals, books, plays, music, pop-ups, gigs, independent shops, markets… Anything that catches our eye, hidden gems that the regular tourist might not know about it! The idea is to inspire our… Read more »

Wild West of Ireland…

Dromoland Castle is one of Ireland’s finest 5 Star Castle properties. Located only 15 minutes from Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland and 45 minutes from the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, it pampers to the Irish Castle dream. It is the ideal base to really explore this magnificent part of Ireland. ACCESS TO THE WEST… Read more »

Spotlight On… John Hehir

John Hehir took up the position as Director of Sales & Marketing with Dromoland Castle in 1986. He spent the previous six years with Shannon Development Company and Shannon Castle Tours in the US promoting leisure and Incentive travel to Ireland. He has been based at the castle since the early ’90s and frequently visits all… Read more »

Genuinely Green Series: Ireland’s Sustainable Venues

Amongst many other things, Ireland is renowned the world over for its rolling green fields, its green army of football fans and its lush green shamrocks, but did you know that ‘The Emerald Isle’ is fast becoming a green destination for meetings, events and incentive programmes? The Sustainability Team at Ovation Ireland have advocated eco-friendly… Read more »

‘Random acts of Irishness’ invade France at Euro 2016

Down through the years visitors to Ireland’s shores have been greeted with the Gaelic phrase ‘Céad míle fáilte,’ meaning ‘a hundred thousand welcomes’. Whether the visitor be a returning expat, a business traveller or a first-time holidaymaker, it’s fair to say that the typical first impression of the Irish people is one of a welcoming,… Read more »

1916 Commemorations

Ireland 2016 Centenary Year 2016 marks the centenary of The Easter Rising. This uprising was one of the defining moments of the struggle for Irish independence which began on Easter Monday 1916 with the reading of the proclamation, Poblacht na h-Eireann by Pádraig Pearse. After days of fighting on Dublin city streets, there were approximately… Read more »

Caoimhe’s Corner

The end of January usually means more salads, empty bank accounts and staying in however Tradfest in Dublin has turned all of that on its head to create one of the best weekends in Irish traditional music all year. What had started as a humble festival in 2005 has turned into a fantastic weekend celebrating… Read more »

Ovation’s Lonely Heart’s Club

We reached out to the team expecting to be wooed by their stories d’amour and show what an amorous lot we Irish are – contrary to popular belief. What came back from the team is basically a who’s who of the lonely hearts club… Read it and weep!     And we finally we have… Read more »

Spotlight on… St Patrick’s Day

We are so excited to launch our St Patrick’s Day Selfie Competition #BeSeenInGreen – get involved for a chance to win some special Ovation surprises!   Don’t forget to tag @OvationIreland in your tweet, keep an eye on our Twitter feed to eye up the competition! Any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch Happy Snapping!

Into the West… SITE Ireland in Ashford Castle

Site Ireland was fortunate to partner with Ashford Castle for their 2015 educational trip. The magnificent five star Ashford Castle is set on 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib. Dating back to 1228, the castle now enters a new chapter in its history, as part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. It has… Read more »

Ovation Christmas Crackers

  Merry Christmas to all our valued customers and friends from Ovation Ireland – looking forward to a very prosperous and Happy New Year!  

Caoimhe’s Christmas Corner

The end of the year is nigh and I’m shocked at how quickly my first year in Ovation has gone by!! One major milestone for the incentive industry this year was the launch of Site Young Leaders Ireland which I was delighted to be a part of as a committee member. We had our launch… Read more »

Spotlight on Niall Rochford…

Since graduating from DIT’s School of Hospitality Management and Tourism over 23 years ago, Niall Rochford has embraced the industry whole heartedly. Previously Deputy General Manager at Dromoland Castle, Niall has now been General Manager of Ashford Castle since May 2002. He is responsible for the day to day running of the iconic 82 bedroom castle. Continually ensuring the… Read more »

From Dublin to Dehli…

  Director of Sales for Ovation Ireland and SITE Ireland Chapter President Aine O’Keefe travelled to India for the Site Global Conference – here she reports…   I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Site Global Conference 2015 in New Dehli at the end of October, following on hot on the heels… Read more »

The New and Improved K Club

Having completed a €20 million renovation project, there is no better time to stay at the K Club. With newly appointed elegant and luxurious bedrooms, refurbished dining spaces and an all en-compassing resort experience, the offering for the incentive and corporate market is better than ever at the K Club, Co. Kildare.     A… Read more »

Spotlight On… Adrian Mooney

  Working with The K Club since 2011, Adrian joined from The Football Association of Ireland where he had been for the previous 5 years. He is married with with two kids (more below!) and a big Manchester United fan, this has not made for easy viewing of late! Adrian loves sports in general and… Read more »

Caoimhe’s Corner

The culture of Halloween has taken off across the world with ghouls and ghosts, bonfires and bon bons – however not many people know it originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain – “Feast of the Dead”. This tradition has carried down through the years and has evolved into Halloween as we know it today…. Read more »

Scrum time: Ireland’s MICE dream team

The world’s third largest sporting event, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, kicked off across the Irish Sea a few weeks ago to great fanfare and pageantry. Once the pyrotechnics and impressive opening ceremony stage were cleared away, it was show time as the teams took to the pitch – teams that had spent four years… Read more »

Caoimhe’s Corner

This quarter, it was all about cultural musings here in Ovation Ireland. With the 100 year anniversary of one of Ireland’s most lauded poets W.B. Yeats, where better to celebrate his memory than the Abbey Theatre – the National Theatre he set up in 1906 with Lady Gregory, that played a huge role in the… Read more »

Uisce Beatha – Whiskey Revival in Ireland

Some things are just inherently Irish; like Bono, Father Ted and Tayto crisps. Then you have whiskey. “Whiskey” or “Whisky” has its roots in various countries such as Scotland, the US and Ireland. However having the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, Bushmills Distillery, located here on the island of Ireland, we are claiming… Read more »

Here Come The Girls…

How can one DMC salesman cover North America? The simple answer is he can’t. Well, not effectively anyway. Consequently, how does Ovation Ireland cover North America for sales? With girl power on the treble! As Ireland’s leading DMC, Ovation Ireland thrives on making and building long-lasting, personal relationships with our cousins across the pond. This… Read more »

Spotlight on… John Callely

After 25 years as CEO of the Jameson Visitor Centres and overseeing visitor numbers grow from 11,000 to 400,000, John decided this time last year to “do his own thing” while youth is still on his side and set up his own tourism consultancy ‘John Callely International Ltd’ (JCI ) For the past year he… Read more »

Spotlight on… Caitriona Lavery

Caitriona Lavery is a woman on a mission; to put Northern Ireland on the map. Having worked with Hastings Hotels since 1997, she has helped to establish it as the most luxurious four and five star hotel group in NI working with key industry stakeholders such as Visit Belfast Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland. With… Read more »

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Castle Leslie Meets Downton Abbey

You’ve seen Downton Abbey – now live the experience at Castle Leslie “Spend a luxurious weekend in a magical Irish Castle” should be on every person’s bucket list and you don’t get much more picturesque than Castle Leslie, a 1,000 acre estate in Co. Monaghan. A firm favourite with the Ovation team – Castle Leslie… Read more »

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Caoimhe’s Corner

Hello and welcome to Caoimhe’s Corner, the shiny new part of Ovation Ireland’s newsletter and blog where I will be exploring all that Dublin has to offer sharing my local knowledge on restaurants, bars, pubs, festivals, art, culture, comedy, tours, activities… For the non-Irish among us let me, for the record, introduce my name. It’s an… Read more »

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Shiny New Northern Ireland

As many of our regular readers know, our Sales Director, Aine O’Keefe, is Belfast born & bred, however, she felt if was time to revisit her hometown and view it from the perspective of a visitor. Aine happily took up an offer from NITB to check out the ‘Shiny New North.’ Detailed below are some… Read more »

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Natural ingredients stimulate Ireland’s
foodie revolution

The team at Ovation Ireland have been celebrating Ireland’s emergence on the culinary scene for several years now, but from a visitor’s point-of-view the proof is in the pudding. Many of Ovation Ireland’s clients couldn’t mask their surprise and delight on recent site inspections and programmes at just how resoundingly good the restaurants are, so much…

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It’s not just us saying Ireland is the best!!!

We were worried in case you thought there was a hint of bias when we proclaimed how wonderful Ireland is, how friendly the people are and how outstanding the scenery, well, in the last few months, it seems everyone has been agreeing! A new worldwide index of places to live has named Ireland as the… Read more »

Spotlight on…Aoife Delaney

Spotlight on…Aoife Delaney, Global Director of Sales at Ovation  Being born in Missouri and having attained an Honours degree in International Business from the American College Dublin, Aoife was always going to be one of Ovation’s globally savvy talents. Having cut her teeth in the UK and Ireland region, she now has responsibility for Ovation’s… Read more »

A Georgian road less travelled…

Dublin is over 1000 years old but reached its architectural zenith during the Georgian era, which spanned the 18th century. The elegant neo-classical town houses from this era are among the most magnificent examples of Georgian architecture anywhere and enjoy a particular reputation for the quality of the interior plasterwork. Most people are familiar with… Read more »

What’s new in Ireland

What’s new…? The terrific thing about working in this industry is that it is constantly evolving. New products and ideas ensure that we stay on top of our game in order to offer you the absolute best and latest experiences available in Ireland. Where to start? Well, Donald Trump has become a player in the hotel market in… Read more »