The 5-day study trip gave the students an opportunity to visit several companies in Ireland and experience the Irish culture. Another goal of this study trip was to gain more knowledge about hostmanship and servicescape and learn how to use methods like mobile ethnography and service safari.
23-year old Lasma from Latvia and 32-year old Alexandra from Romania participated in the study trip and are sharing their travel logbook with us.
Jameson Distillery - a tasteful experience
Dublin was the first city marked in our trip, where we visited Jameson Distillery Bow St. It was founded by John Jameson in 1780. Nowadays the former factory is functioning as a pub, where unique (and mouth-watering) tours are organized by Jameson Ambassadors. We chose the tour - Bow St. experience – a 40 minute fully guided tour with a multi-sensory approach, which included exploring the distillery and its processes, interactive story-telling of the captivating history of Jameson brand, whiskey tasting and a complimentary drink in JJ’s bar. It was a fascinating experience, and for some of us – also the first contact with the well-known Irish hostmanship.
Discovering the city of Galway
Our experience continued with a visit to Galway 2020’s headquarters. The company presented their program and strategy for the following year, how the entire community and local businesses are integrated in the promotion of the city and how big is the impact of their volunteers - Wave Makers.
We received a guided tour in the city held by a few volunteers, discovering the history and hidden gems of Galway. It is a small city, but very authentic, colorful and full of life. The city center is always full of tourists and locals. A big diversity of shops and pubs which maintain the architecture of the old buildings are awaiting to be visited. For example, some shops and houses have arcades of the old city as entrances. The streets of Galway are always filled with musicians singing and playing various instruments, turning even the darkest rainy day into a magical and welcoming experience for the city visitors.
The Hotel of the Year 2018
Adare Manor Hotel is not a typical 5-star hotel and it is nothing like you have seen before in your life. Built in 1720 as a Georgian house, it was transformed by the 1860s into the Gothic Revival chateau that today is Adare Manor. The inspiration for its design came from architectural buildings from Ireland, England and continental Europe.
Our class took part in a guided tour of the hotel and attended a video presentation in the hotel’s very own cinema. The luxurious rooms with wide windows, lavishly ornamented fire-places, hand-painted golden ceilings and tremendous paintings transferred us into a completely different era.
There are quite a few outstanding features within the hotel - The Drawing Room – overlooking the formal gardens, decorated in exquisite style, an ideal spot for a breakfast or an evening cocktail, The Oak Room also known as the heart of the house is a place where you can experience contemporary Irish cuisine, the Tack Room, where fine drinks can be tasted, The Gallery, a spa, a cinema and so on. Adare Manor is producing their own whiskey, have their own bakery, and are currently developing their own gin.
Transformed into a hotel in 2017, due to the professionalism, passion and involvement of the staff, and the high-quality services provided, Adare Manor was awarded the Hotel of the Year 2018, besides more than 40 other awards and accolades.
Learning with students from Shannon College
The last stop was at Shannon College of Hotel Management. After a tour of the college, where we were introduced to their teaching and learning methods, we had lunch at the College’s Restaurant. It was a delicious 3-course lunch, prepared and served by Shannon College students. Afterwards, an interesting presentation about revenue management was held by Sarah Duignan from STR. Among Shannon College students, we had the opportunity to learn about benchmarking around the world and in Ireland and do some caseworks.
Bucket list checked and ticked off
The study trip also involved a lot of networking and bonding between the students and lecturers. Savoring Irish cuisine, spending quality time together, organizing tours in Galway and nearby and working on assignments in the study groups. It helped the students to bond and find out new things about each other. Let’s not forget about the fun part as well. We visited some of Ireland’s most remarkable attractions, including the Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaire Castle, The Burren and the Doolin village, where we had a delicious lunch in Gus O’Connor’s Pub. We managed to tick off some of our bucket list items – tried the traditional dishes of Ireland, such as Fish & Chips, and Irish stew, had a pint of Guinness in a good pub, enjoyed Irish music and explored phenomenal must-see places.