Work continues on the facade at Lawlor's Hotel, Naas
Work on a major extension to the iconic Lawlor’s of Naas enterprise is continuing - but it won’t be open for Christmas.
Instead the new wing, which will more than double the overall size of the premises, is likely to open at the end of February next or early March.
A combination of circumstances including the Covid-19 pandemic, delays in importing goods as a result of Brexit, the blocking of the Suez Canal last March have conspired to slow progress.
Nevertheless work is at an advanced stage and all of the 74 bedrooms have finished.
A view of the conference centre
This will bring total bedroom capacity to 138.
The extension will also boast three conference rooms of varying sizes - one on each level which can accommodate a cumulative 240 people.
Apart from that the venue includes a conference centre which can take 400 people and which is constructed using wood and fitting taken from an old courthouse in Wales.
General manager Richie Nugent said that the project has a strong upcycling theme with furniture and fittings bought in France, bought from at least one prominent Dublin church, well known Dublin hotels and London’s Savoy Hotel.
Also incorporated is a casino bank from Las Vegas and a couch owned by former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey.
The extension will have a separate reception, a restaurant and a ballroom and will be adjacent to a new wedding garden.
Mr Nugent also said that various building materials are still awaited and the cost of many of these has increased; for example the price of rolls of copper, used for cladding, has doubled.
Hotel management is also trying to tackle the staff shortage problem.
Currently Lawlor’s employs 78 people.
An exterior view
“We could do with more staff as it is but we’ll need another 70 people for the extension opening,” said Mr Nugent, adding it may be necessary to seek staff abroad.
The historic Christian Brothers’ house in Naas, which was sold to the hotel owners last April is likely to be more or less assimilated into the hotel extension.
The building at Friary Road is a protected structure and came with extensive gardens and occupies a site slightly in excess of an acre.
Part of the extension interior
It’s understood to have been sold for €900,000.
The structure is 117 years old and the Christian Brothers came to Naas in 1871.
A separate project is underway to draw up plans for the future of the house and a planning application hasn’t been made yet. But it’s likely to be the location for a leisure centre, spa and medical rooms.
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