Hotel aims to sweep in the punters
The new general manager of the four-star Gibson Hotel in Dublin’s docklands is hoping to clean up this year and he’s planning to hire in some vintage vacuum cleaners to help him.
After seven years running the top-notch Merchant hotel in Belfast, Antrim native Adrian McLaughlin headed south late last year to take over the Gibson, which opened in 2011.
His plan is to shake things up a little and instill a bit of fun into activities at the hotel, hence the vacuum cleaners.
“We’re planning a celebration of the Hoover,” he told me over a coffee this week. “They’re from the Forties and Fifties and some of the them are actually quite cool-looking with chrome noses on the front.”
What the point? “It just colours the experience for the guest. It gives us a story to tell. Last year, in the Merchant, we did one on strawberries.”
McLaughlin is also planning to host exhibitions for local artists and to put a classic Citroen H Van into the entrance area fully equipped with a pizza oven.
It will be situated at the bottom of the escalators that lead you up to the reception area on the third floor.
“It’ll give us another [hospitality] area in the hotel and we’ll serve pizza and beer or cocktails to groups of 30 or 40 people.”
There will also be a Gibson “gathering” to tie in with the Government’s year-long tourism wheeze.
“We’ll be trying to find the head of the Gibson clan on Twitter,” McLaughlin adds. “It’ll be a bit of fun.”
In addition, the Dublin GAA senior football team, under new manager Jim Gavin, is close to agreeing a deal with the Gibson on using the hotel for pre- and post-match get-togethers. This might attract some Dubs fans to the hotel in the hope of mingling with the players.
Plans are also in place for a new restaurant offering, more corporate business tied in with the O2 next door and a few new twists to its cocktails menu.
The Gibson increased revenues by about 25 per cent in 2012 to €10 million and McLaughlin is aiming to take this figure past €11 million this year.
“I see an opportunity to take the brand to a completely different level,” he says.
“The Gibson will mean something when I leave.”