If they are prepared to bet on the weather, Irish couples will soon be able to exchange vows in the shadow of the Sugar Loaf mountain following a €250,000 investment by the Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow in a 240-seater outdoor wedding venue.
This forms part of a €750,000 upgrade of the resort’s facilities, that will allow it to host weddings in an amphitheatre that will have tiered seating and spectacular views of the Sugar Loaf and the neighbouring 1,000-acre estate.
In addition, the hotel’s Sugar Loaf Lounge has been given a €500,000 upgrade, which increases the capacity of the restaurant and bar area to 120. It has also been fitted with with bespoke furniture designed by Irish manufacturers.
Measuring 1,600 sq m, the amphitheatre has been fitted with high-speed broadband and a modern sound system. It will also have direct car access and will be capable of hosting product launches, team building exercises, concerts, and outdoor cinema screenings.
It will sit alongside the hotel’s purpose-built 6,000 sq m ballroom and 1,100 sq m of conference and meeting space, which are accessed through a private entrance.
The Powerscourt Hotel is this week celebrating its 10th anniversary, having originally been developed at a reported cost of €120 million by Treasury Holdings.
Treasury, which was owned by developers Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett, collapsed post the property crash here a decade ago, with Irish investment group Tetrarch Capital purchasing the resort for an undisclosed sum in 2013.
The hotel was originally operated by the Ritz-Carlton global chain but its brand name changed five years ago, and it is now part of the Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
The hotel has 194 rooms, an indoor pool, a spa with 20 treatment rooms, and access to two golf courses on the Powerscourt estate.
Damien Gaffney, managing director of Tetrarch Hospitality, described the development of the amphitheatre as a "mammoth project".
“The finished product is an outstanding reflection of everyone’s hard work and we hope that every single guest that comes to stay with us, or to use our facilities, feels the same way as we for a long time to come,” he said.
Further refurbishment of the hotel is planned for 2018 as part of the multi-phased programme of improvement.