Dunmore’s Haven Hotel celebrates a half century

Paul, Sharon, Jean and Jason Kelly of the Haven Hotel

The Kelly family has cause for celebration this year, as it commemorates fifty years of running one of Waterford’s most iconic hotels, Dunmore East’s Haven Hotel.

Purchased by Jean and the late John Kelly in the spring of 1964, the hotel has become a favourite with locals and visitors alike as a welcoming home -from-home with stunning sea views, a relaxing and warm atmosphere, inviting accommodation and locally sourced good food.

Today the hotel is run by the next generation of Kellys; Paul, Sharon and Jason.  While the siblings are determined to retain the unique characteristics of the hotel, there are exciting times ahead for the Haven Hotel.

According to Paul, 2014 is going to be a year of innovative developments.  “We grew up in the hotel, it’s in our blood.  When Dad died earlier this year, we all knew that we wanted to take over the reins, build on his legacy and make him proud of our achievements.  It’s particularly poignant for us as 2014 is the 50th anniversary of Mum and Dad buying the hotel.”

Over the winter hiatus the family invested in refurbishing the hotels 16 bedrooms and suites.  The Haven Hotel started life as a private home and the focus was on retaining the old world charm of a private residence. 

In the restaurant and bar, the Haven Hotel prides itself on its wide- appealing a la carte and bar menus.  The daily catch is landed only yards away in Dunmore Harbour and the Haven Hotel chefs work with local quality food producers to create exciting and sumptuous fine and casual dining options. 

“We have just expanded our options with extensive lunch and dinner menus and bar food served all day.  We are lucky to be situated so close to Dunmore East harbour and are spoiled with the selection of fresh seafood that is landed literally yards from our door.  Locally sourced meat, poultry, fish, fruit and vegetables are a staple of the Haven Hotel’s menus and the kitchen team has nurtured good relationships with local and regional quality food producers,” Paul added.

The stunning setting of the hotel has attracted many weddings.  The Haven Hotel has hosted traditional weddings, civil ceremonies and humanist ceremonies in the gardens set to the stunning coastal backdrop.  The Haven Hotel caters for small and intimate wedding parties to weddings with up to 150 wedding guests.  Sharon Kelly, Wedding Coordinator has worked with hundreds of couples with unique and individual ideas about their big day.

“Weddings have changed.  The traditional wedding with 300 plus guests is a rarity these days.  Couples tend to opt for a more intimate ceremony and reception.  In our experience, when couples visit the Hotel for the first time they are astonished by the magnificent sea views and love the idea of their family and friends mingling and relaxing on the lawn overlooking the bay.  In fact you couldn’t get a more stunning backdrop for wedding photographs.”

Evenings at the Haven Hotel are set to get livelier.  Paul has developed a broad schedule of live musical entertainment over the coming months. “The summer months always had a full live music calendar, however we are determined to develop the schedule throughout the year.”

“Every Friday we hold a very popular traditional Ceili and we’ve had a great reaction to the Country and Western Jukebox, which is superb platform for up and coming local talent. Our Celtic Boogie Night and Garth Brook’s Tribute act were huge successes, so we plan to introduce a wide and varied live music line-up over the coming months.”

Fifty years on, the inimitable Haven Hotel, is renowned as the perfect destination for those who want to explore, those who love good food, those who like to relax and unwind and those who want to spend time with their families, in a setting that can only be described as breath – taking!

The next fifty years hold exciting times for the Kelly family as they continue to develop and enhance one of Waterford’s best loved hotels.

For bookings, queries or further information about the Haven Hotel in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford call 051 383150, visit www.havenhotel.comor like The Haven Hotel Dunmore East on Facebook.