Posts Tagged ‘Fota Island Resort’

A special visitor is coming to Fota Island this Christmas

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Something truly festive and enthralling will be taking place at Fota Island Resort this Christmas… Peter Kelly otherwise known as ‘Franc’ is creating a world of festive wonder at the 5-star resort in his own unique and stylish way!

Under his uniquely creative eye the elves are busy preparing for the arrival of a certain gentleman in red, and the enchanting, fairytale transformation to make a dream Christmas in Cork a real experience is well underway.

The woodlands which surround the renowned Cork Hotel at Fota Island Resort will be transformed by Franc and his magical helpers into a winter wonderland entitled ‘Believe… at Fota Island Resort’. Fota Believe will be a dramatic and exciting Christmas experience for the whole family, and the first of its kind and scale for this part of the world at one of the leading family hotels in Ireland’s.

This is a brand new and breathtaking version of Santa’s grotto, undertaken with Franc’s inventive flair and passion for drama. With a great sackful of gifts, Santa Claus will make sure every child takes home a treat, and every member of the family will enjoy the memory of this special Christmas experience.

‘Believe at Fota Island Resort’ opens on November 30th and runs right through until Christmas Eve, 24th December. Advance booking to meet Santa Claus in Cork is essential, with tickets available from €12.50 per adult, €20 per child and kids under 12 months go free. Book online on the Fota Believe website or contact us at Fota Island Resort on 021 488 3700 or via email at

A New Beginning for Fota Island Resort Cork

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

On Friday 27th September Fota Island Resort welcomed a new chapter in its history, as management announced the official handover to the new owners, the Kang Family Worldwide Group.

The exclusive five star resort in Ireland that is nestled in the heart of a peaceful island, surrounded by glorious woodland an scenery is just eight miles from Cork city and boasts championship golf courses, a luxurious hotel, luxury spa, residential lodges, and a world class golf academy.

Having continually grown from strength to strength in recent years despite the economic backdrop, the vote of confidence and the security that the Kang family brings to the Fota Island Resort brand and dedicated 280 staff at the resort hotel in Cork closes a chapter on much uncertainty.

The new owners, the Kang family, originally from Baoding, Hebei Province in China acquired the 500-acre resort from Nama after falling in love with Ireland’s warmth, hospitality and scenery.

Marking the first investment for the Kang family in Europe the purchase of the Fota Island Resort may not be the last, as they have expressed an invested interest in expanding their hospitality portfolio in the region.

With extensive hospitality experience, operating 2 five star hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, the Kang family confirmed that business at Fota Island Resort would resume as normal, with all current and future commitments from accommodation, weddings and corporate bookings being honored

Now, working with the existing management team, the commitment of the Kang family with their passion for hospitality means the Resort can plan properly for long-term growth of the brand in the Irish and international markets and planned developments for the near future include a refurbishment, completion of the lodges, a destination restaurant, an increase to the leisure facilities, a seasonal Christmas market and Santa experience, plus additional outdoor pursuits and adventure activities to utilise the full potential of the surrounding woodlands.

Fota Island Resort on LinkedIn

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Next Steps

So what did I do when I was first told I would be in charge of the LinkedIn account for Fota Island Resort? Researched! I logged in to Google and looked up how to manage a company page and to be honest everything I found was really helpful. LinkedIn itself provides a really useful introductory leaflet that explains the benefits of LinkedIn for a company and also how to get the most out of it.

Over time I have realised that one social media outlet is not always the same as another, for example in LinkedIn it is more difficult to increase the number of followers you have as opposed to Facebook. Confused at first by this difference and worried how I was to show the actual success of the company page every week to my mentor, I realised after some time that this in face does make sense for this particular social media platform. As LinkedIn is a place where people can connect with other people who are like minded and will hopefully help them further their career in their chosen area, bombarding users every day with invitations from companies and people alike to join them would in fact defeat the purpose of what it stands for and there would be none of the sense and logic present that makes LinkedIn what it is.

However, that is not to say that people should not be looking for companies that they are interested in. I follow companies all the time on LinkedIn because it provides you with more information – be it job news or otherwise on what they are doing and I therefore hope that the company page at Fota Island Resort will be able to offer up to date information that will draw people to follow us.

Next week I make even more progress with the company’s LinkedIn account and I will be giving information and advice on how to become an Administrator for the company page!

Fota Island Resort is on LinkedIn

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

About Me

My name is Sinéad and I am on work placement for five months in Fota Island Resort Hotel Cork, as a Marketing Associate. As a first time blogger bear with me whilst I tell you a little about how I have been getting on so far.

On my first day I discovered that I would be spending the five months of my work placement with Fota Island Spa and their marketing department. I will admit (albeit unwillingly) I had never been to a Spa before! So not only did I have no experience in beauty or working with a luxury spa, but I also had little to no experience, although a lot of interest in Fitness, which was to be my main area of responsibility, in particular ensuring that the social media is kept up to date for the Fota Island Spa and Fota Fitness.

Not the biggest fan of social media, I have nonetheless been keen to develop my social media skills, so when handed the added responsibility of managing the Fota Island Resort LinkedIn account, I was eager to get going.

LinkedIn was new for Fota Island Resort and for me, and I was tasked with creating, managing and developing this, growing the interactions which Fota Island Resort has with the LinkedIn community. Determined to prove that LinkedIn is a useful tool for not only people, but for businesses as well, I began in my mission to show that if you are involved and committed LinkedIn can prove to be a great resource.

Next week I will be writing about where to begin when setting up your company page!

Stay Connected at Fota Island Resort Cork

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Dedicated to providing an unrivalled first class customer service for all guests at our Fota Island Resort Hotel Cork, we are delighted to announce that following some New Year technical work from our team of experts, all of our bedrooms and suites have access to a strong Wi-Fi signal to enable them to connect to their wireless devices with minimal effort!

What’s more, any visitors or guests using our conference facilities and meeting rooms, dining in our restaurants or bar, or maybe relaxing at our luxury spa will also have minimal effort getting connected to our Wi-Fi service.

The only place for all news and updates about the services at Fota Island Resort Cork, be sure never to miss out by checking in with Fota Island Resort Blog

Another Successful Fota Island Wedding Showcase

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

On Sunday 2nd September with the sun finally shining, our much anticipated Wedding Showcase took place here at the Fota Island Resort in Cork.

We had approximately 140 brides in attendance throughout the day, each one accompanied by a supportive spouse, parent or friend, and as they arrived to our exquisite wedding venue in Cork they were greeted by a red carpet welcome, an awaiting concierge in a top hat and coat tails and a complimentary glass of champagne, wine or sparkling water.

Fota Island Cork Wedding Venue Showcase 3 Fota Island Cork Wedding Venue Showcase 5 Fota Island Cork Wedding Venue Showcase 1 Fota Island Cork Wedding Venue Showcase 2
Inside, guests could talk to the finest photographers, stationers, wedding planners, make-up artists, bakers, jewellers, department stores, travel agents and musicians, as well as availing of free manicures at our very own Leisure and Spa stand, enjoying a complimentary tea or coffee and a sweet treat in the clubhouse and spend some time talking to our wedding coordinator and her team about the wedding packages at Fota Island Resort.

Guests were also able to access and attend our very popular wedding forums; Wedding Planning by Karen Buchanan, Hair and Make Up Advice by Leonard Daly, Menu Planning by our very own Executive Head Chef Craig Coady and Travel and Honeymoon Destinations by Linda Cronin of Lee Travel.

Also in attendance and mingling with guests throughout the day was the Cork Rose of 2012, Brid Ryan, who posed for pictures and chatted with guests and our male and female models, who were dressed in some of the supplier’s amazing collections.

Outside the main doors waiting to transport guests from our Cork hotel to our wonderful golf clubhouse, which offers a uniquely different setting for intimate weddings was a collection of exquisite vintage and classic cars, all decorated with ribbons and each with its dressed to impress chauffer.

We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day, the sun was shining, spirits and attendance was high and everyone involved, whether guest, supplier or staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Antioxidant-rich foods

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

We’ve all heard the words “you are what you eat”… But what exactly does this mean? I’ve always taken it to imply that eating well will help you to feel better about yourself! But even if that is what this means, what exactly should we be eating? To help answer this question, I’ve decided to write a little bit about a food nutrient that may help us improve our health and general wellbeing  – antioxidants!

Just in case you’re not familiar with the word antioxidant (I must admit I only learned about it recently!), antioxidants which are present in foods are essentially minerals and vitamins which are strongly involved in preventing cell damage by protecting the cells in our bodies from free radicals (you can find a very reader friendly article explaining the terms antioxidants and free radicals here). Vitamins C and E are examples of these heroic antioxidants. I call them heroic, Dr. Richard Cutler (an expert in antioxidant research) calls them “directly proportional to how long we live” – either way the consensus seems to be that these little guys have an important part to play in our health. Indeed, research has suggested that a diet which contains plenty of antioxidant-rich foods may strengthen your immune system and fight the signs of ageing.

Ok, so to the important bit! In what foods can we find these antioxidants? I could just list all the foods rich in antioxidants, but you can find that easily on google, so instead I’ve put together a list of 5 antioxidant-rich foods that appeal to me most (and hopefully they will appeal to you too):

1. Berries

Not only are they delicious but they are full of antioxidants. You could even try heating up some raspberries and adding a little bit of vanilla ice-cream:  a really yummy treat and so easy to make. Try it on a rainy day when you’re looking out the window feeling depressed and let down by the weather. It’ll help – I promise!

2. Broccoli

Perhaps the healthiest way of preparing broccoli would be to steam it and eat it with your dinner. A favourite of mine, though, is Chicken Broccoli Bake – the first dinner I ever cooked for a group of people, you know when you’re running around the kitchen fearful of anything that could go wrong and for some reason everything does seem to go wrong! But it tasted lovely in the end and it’s been my special dish ever since.

3. Popcorn

Recent research has suggested that popcorn actually has more antioxidants than vegetables and fruits. Obviously the butter and salt in popcorn could diminish the health benefits, but everything in moderation as they say. I’m from Portugal, where we don’t add salt or butter to popcorn. We add sugar! I bet you’ve just thought “that’s horrible!” – if you did I don’t blame you, after all that’s the reaction I get from everyone I mention this to. But if you gave it a chance I bet you would like it. Again, only add a little bit to try and keep it healthy (-ish). A healthier alternative would be adding cinnamon to popcorn. I haven’t tried it myself, but I guess it would be worth a shot. If this still doesn’t appeal to you, you can also click here for some more suggestions of healthy popcorn recipes.

4. Dark Chocolate

Ok, so you might be thinking “is she just listing foods she likes and saying – why yes, they are full of antioxidants!”. But it is a fact that dark chocolate is an antioxidant-rich food. Remember you have to eat it in moderation, and it does have to be the dark type. Unfortunately white and milk chocolate do not provide the same benefits. When I was in primary school, I  remember always thinking dark chocolate wasn’t real chocolate: “if it’s not a Kinder chocolate or taste remotely like it it’s not real chocolate!”. But as I got older and exposed my taste buds to more foods, I found that dark chocolate is actually quite tasty, especially if you let it melt in your mouth.

5. Green Tea

It might not sound as appealing as the comforting Barry’s or Lyon’s Tea with a drop of milk we love so much but green tea is a potent source of antioxidants. At the end of the day, as cliché as it sounds, we should always think about the bigger picture and if you think about the health benefits of drinking green tea it should surely be worth a try (especially when you consider that green tea has been linked with prevention of cancer). Click here for a nice 11 point list of the health benefits of green tea.

Thank you for reading my blog, and if you have anything to add please do leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you, and it would be great to share tips and stories.

Until the next blog! :-)


The last part of my adventure in Ireland

Monday, July 9th, 2012

That’s it… my work placement has reached its conclusion. These three months here at Fota Island Five Stars Resort Ireland have allowed me to learn and discover lots of things. Firstly from an educational perspective and also because I have met a lot of people and I could discover an important part of the Irish culture and heritage located around the city of Cork.

Last weekend I went to visit the Cork City Gaol which was really worth it! The visit lasted approximately one hour and you can choose between either head piece to hear the comments or read from a leaflet. Scenes of the past are recreated with human size mannequins to better imagine how things were before.

I also went to see something typically Irish: a greyhound race! In Curraheen Park in the western suburbs of Cork City. That was the first time for me and I was delighted to go along. I also bet but unfortunately I was not lucky this time!

Going back to my work placement I can say that all the people here in Fota Island Resort have always been very kind and helpful with me.  To end with my last blog I wanted to speak about Irish stereotypes as I started my first blog with that topic. So please have a look at this picture.

  • Indeed Irish people definitely don’t drink green beer! The popular beers here are rather Murphy’s, Beamish and Guinness!
  • In regard to the 2nd image, from my experience I have never seen any Irish men fighting during my stay.
  • All Irish people don’t have freckles! Of course..
  • For the potatoes it would be an understatement to say that Irish people don’t like to eat them. Potatoes come in all shapes and sizes in Ireland!
  • Irish people are certainly not Leprechauns and they don’t wear that kind of hat except to support their football team!
  • And no, don’t worry if you go shopping in Ireland you won’t just find tweed and wool for the clothes! They have a lot’s of shops and in Ireland you can also go shopping on a Sunday!
  • And don’t worry for the phrase: “Will beat the crap out of anyone”, Irish people are very friendly and they will rather speak to you or offering you a pint rather that annoying you.
  • Finally I can safely say that most of those Irish stereotypes are incorrect!

Overall I can safely say that I was very happy to have worked here and it was a very nice and interesting experience over the past few months!


The rich history of Barryscourt Castle

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Time goes quite fast, I have been in Ireland for nearly two months. Last weekend I went to visit the Barryscourt Castle, located near the village of Carrigtwohill.

It is a fine example of an Irish tower house with lots of defensive features such as murder hole, crenulations and stumble steps can be seen. The visit lasted one hour and was very interesting and the guide was very pleasant. The man told me that in the past there was a very important link between the castle and Fota. Indeed Fota Island was the property of the Smith-Barry family who were descendents of Philip de Barry. The original Barry family seat at Barryscourt Castle was built in the 15th century. The motto of the family was “Boutez en Avant”; the same motto is displayed on the main gates to Fota Island Resort and means either “go forward“ and “Advance bodily”.

In 1746 John Barry married a wealthy English heiress called Dorothy Smith beginning the Smith Barry line, which is also the name of the main function room, the Smith Barry Suite, at Fota Island Resort. I learned that the most common origin of the Barry surname comes from de Barri, a French Norman name which may have been derived from a small village in Normandy known as La Barre (Wikipedia) and here you can see the portrait of Dorothy Smith-Barry that insisted to maintain her Family name.

Dorothy Smith was born in 1727. She was the daughter of Hugh Smith and Dorothy Barrett Lennard. She married Hon. John Smith-Barry, son of Lt.-Gen. James Barry, 4th Earl of Barrymore and Lady Anne Chichester, in April 1746.She died in January 1756. From April 1746, her married name became Smith-Barry.

There is also an other link that we can establish between the motto of the Barry’s and the town called Buttevant located on the N20 road between Limerick and Cork and the R522 regional road. As I found on internet that “the origins of the present town are clearly Norman, and closely connected with the settlement of the Barrys from the 13th century. Here they built their principal stronghold in North Cork.”That is also in Buttevant that the 1st steeplechase took place. The steeplechase “is a kind of horse racing that first took place in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia,France, and Ireland. It derives its name from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a churchsteeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside.
In Great Britain and Ireland the official term now used for the sport is National Hunt racing. The steeplechase originated in Ireland in the 18th century as an analogue to cross-country thoroughbred horse races which went from church steeple to church steeple, hence “steeplechase”. The first steeplechase is said to have been the result of a wager in 1752 between Cornelius O’Callaghan and Edmund Blake, racing four miles (6 km) cross-country from Buttevant Church to St. Leger Church in Doneraile, in Cork, Ireland.” (Wikipedia).

Following this link I can speak about the Doneraile Wildlife Park that is located 11kms NorthEast of Mallow. “The Park is almost 166 hectares in size. There are many pathways and woodland walkways where you can observe deer herds, cascades. And I learn that Doneraile Court, the former residence of the St. Leger family, is situated within the Park.

But now let’s go back to Barryscourt Castle. During the visit the guide brought us to the main door, the kitchen, the Oubliettes (that’s a kind of dungeon, in French the word :”oubli” means to forget), the room with toilets (garderobe)! We could not go to the Chapel as it was closed at present due to ongoing archaeological research. The doors tend to be very small and the steps can be dangerous and narrow.

The castle was built over three levels. The ground floor was an exhibition area while on the upper levels there were the Main Hall and the Great Hall with reproductions of furniture and utensils on display. The rooms for parents and children were located upstairs. There is also a garden made in the medieval style ”set out in exactly the same manner as Tower House Gardens would have been designed and maintained in their heyday with an orchard stocked with native fruit trees and a 16th century herb garden surrounded by a wall with corner towers.”

The Castle is open to visitors for four months of the year, from 24th May to mid September and the guided tours, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., are free of charge. There is also a café where you can have a drink and bite to eat. It is located in the old farm that was restored to include a restaurant and a craft shop on the ground floor and living quarters for the manager upstairs. In the picture you can see the Great Hall and behind the big table a white and red curtain: colour of the Smith Barry family and of Cork City.

As the castle was unoccupied since the beginning of the 18th century it had fallen into almost a ruin. So in 1988 an American/Irish foundation decided to renovate the Castle as a cultural and tourist centre. The castle is just seven minutes drive from Fota Island Hotel Cork. To finish I would say that I found the castle and the history of the Barry family very interesting and it worth it visiting the castle.


June’s Myth Buster: “Women will look big and bulky if they do weights”

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Being a woman myself, I know that as women, we all dream of that “perfect body”! And even if we don’t exactly spend time dreaming of it, we wouldn’t be appalled if one day we woke up looking like we could be on the cover of a magazine. But instead we wake up in our onesies (or maybe that part is just me)! We try to do our bit to make ourselves feel somewhat fit and pretty. We try to watch what we eat (or at least pretend we do!), we spend a fortune on clothes that we can’t really afford, we join gyms, go to fitness classes…we hear a couple tips on how to become fit and feel good about ourselves here and there, and there’s not a lot we wouldn’t at least think about trying. Well, except for one thing…yes, the one thing we will not try: WEIGHTS! And why? Because weights will make us big!
But is this fact or fiction? As women, will doing weights really get us looking big and bulky? This month, I made it my mission to check if there is truth behind these claims.

I got my answer fairly quickly when I posed Marc (one of the fitness instructors here at Fota Island Resort) the question:

“Will doing weights make me look big and bulky?”

And he replied:

“You don’t have enough testosterone, so…no!”

And just like that, after spending many aerobic classes developing this sudden thirst that I had to immediately satisfy every time the instructor brought out the weights in an attempt to avoid any contact with these little things that were going to make me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I found out that – it’s virtually impossible for women to get bulky! We’re missing one little thing: testosterone (or at least we’re missing the high amounts that male have)! After some more research into the topic, I’m fully convinced that this myth has indeed been busted! Here are a few things I learned, and I hope you find them useful too:

Short supply of testosterone – No big & bulky appearance

The fact that women don’t have high levels of testosterone like men do means that they will never be big and bulky like men, or at least not from just doing normal weights and classes. At this point you will probably argue: “But I’ve seen females who do have a very bulky and muscular body!” As it turns out, female professional athletes can and do have very muscular bodies, but they get that way through a vigorous and intensive workout routine – not like anything most of us would do in a gym or weekly fitness class. So we don’t have to worry!

We can tone but it’s difficult to get big muscles

We can obviously build up some muscle! But since we don’t have the high levels of testosterone needed to get big muscles, our muscles will develop but, and I must stress this, they will not get big!

Muscle and fat are two separate things

Another common fear is the notion that if we were to gain a bit of muscle by doing weights, it would immediately turn into fat the second we stopped our exercise routine. This is also not possible! Muscle and fat are two separate things, so one can’t turn into the other. Just as apples don’t turn into oranges, muscles don’t turn into fat. (I apologize if my apples and oranges metaphor seems a bit random, but I had a math’s teacher in school that used to always say “you can’t mix apples and or…[pause for the class to finish] and you can’t mix x’s and y’s” to help us learn algebra. To this day…I have nightmares about it!)

So there you have it – fear no more!

I hope you have found this month’s myth buster useful and if you have any thoughts on the subject, or would simply like to suggest another myth that I could look into, please do leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading :-)