Why destinations need international chain hotels & InterContinental, Ljubljana

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua I’ve written previously about independent hotels and how they’re in the ascent these days. The pendulum has swung decisively to the left and, all of a sudden, we’re weary of homogeneity, sameness, one-size-fits-all consistency. Now we want diversity, difference, off-the-beaten path authenticity. Conrad Hilton’s vision of a global hotel… Read more »

Dory & Me – from Frustration to Friendship

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua In Feb 2016 Dory came into our lives and all hell broke loose. I started to post occasional updates on Facebook on the vicissitudes of my relationship with this frisky, friendly, frustrating Golden Retriever pup and, over time, received more likes and comments on these posts than anything else… Read more »

Falisia Resort & Spa – Luxury Collection comes to North East Italy

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Like an old married couple When I was 15 I visited Italy for the first time. It was love at first sight and, over time, took on the vicissitudinal trajectory of a life-long commitment which just means, me and Italy, we’re like an old married couple! There’s a comfort… Read more »

Great destinations need great hotels – update on Ljubljana

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua 10 years after Supergreybeard and I are currently working with the National Tourist Authority here in Ireland on a 10 year strategy for Business Tourism. It’s a perfect project for us as it draws on our 25 years of experience as commercially focused, events professionals presenting Ireland to the… Read more »

Adare Manor – the jewel in Ireland’s incentive crown

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua A radically altered landscape The austerity years in Ireland were callous and cruel to those Celtic Tiger vanity investors who fancied themselves as hoteliers but had neither the relationships, the know-how nor the deep pockets to weather the storm. Now, following a furious flurry of financial finagling we have… Read more »

Dublin’s Docklands – new opportunities for incentive travel experiences

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Our work these days has caused us to reflect quite a bit on the way Ireland as a destination for Business Events and MICE has changed over the past couple of decades. Many of the things we wished for in the 1990s – better Transatlantic and European air access,… Read more »

The Camino to Santiago: Experience & Meaning

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Dedicated to our fellow pilgrims, John & Cathie, Niall & Mary, Ken & Stephanie with infinite thanks for the wonderful memories and the great friendship But what about the meaning? The Pilgrim’s Reception Office is run by the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela. It’s where… Read more »

EPIC stories at the Irish Emigration Museum

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua In celebration of EPIC’s first birthday, this is an updated version of the original post “Stories – what makes a destination truly unique” that first appeared on May 13 2016.  Telling Stories In many languages the words for history and story are the same. Telling stories is intrinsically connected with the past,… Read more »