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GONE: Sheraton Fota Resort, Cork, Ireland [Master Thread]

GONE: Sheraton Fota Resort, Cork, Ireland [Master Thread]

Old Jul 26, 09, 7:13 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Westfield, NY (BUF)
Programs: USAirways, SPG gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 451
I'm glad to hear of your change of location. I hope it was of your choosing. Currently at Le Royal Meridian in Hamburg on holiday....first time for this branch of the SPG tree. While this facility is nice, I bet it can't hold a candle to what your expertise brings to London. Two years later and hubby still speaks of your kindness and generosity to a "lowly" Gold.
Can't wait to visit London,
EileenSRN is offline  
Old Aug 22, 09, 4:11 am
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ireland
Programs: BA Gold,Amex Centurion,Marriott LT Plat Prem Elite +AMBASS,Hilton Diamond,Priority Club Plat,VS Gold
Posts: 366
Exclamation Sheraton Fota Resort Leaving Starwood Sept 13th

This is a real shame as I used to regularly stay at this property and it really is a great one. However while travel might be cut next year I will probably find myself now staying in the Westin to keep my stays up. A real shame as they treated me very very well and have a great team......

Fota hotel to split from Sheraton
By Claire O’Sullivan
Saturday, August 22, 2009

STARWOOD, the owners of the luxury Sheraton brand, and the Fota Island Corporation have agreed to go their separate ways from next month.

The five-star hotel will continue to operate as Fota Island Hotel and Spa but will no longer be part of the worldwide Sheraton Hotels and Resorts reservations and sales platforms.

Fota Island say that the decision "to end their relationship" was "mutual and amicably reached". The hotel will no longer use the Sheraton title after September 13.

However, any existing Sheraton bookings will be honoured for the rest of the year.

The Fota Island Resort is owned by the Fleming Group/ Fleming Construction who developed the land at the height of the building boom.

General manager John O’Flynn said that a hotel is not made by its brand but by its staff.

"It is the people who make any venture a success, and the same people who have built the reputation of Fota Island Resort to its current renowned and award-winning levels will not be changing. We will retain all our key personnel and also our current staffing levels. We are communicating with all our customers to inform them that this rebranding will in no way impact on any existing bookings. We are looking forward to this exciting new chapter in Fota Island Resort’s development," he said.

Last year, the east Cork hotel garnered the prestigious title of Ireland’s Leading Spa Resort at the 2008 World Travel Awards, the most prestigious awards programme in the travel industry worldwide.

The premier awards in the travel industry, the World Travel Awards concentrate on identifying companies that consistently excel beyond expectations.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Starwood Hotels & Resorts said they "wished Fota Island Corporation Limited all the best in their future endeavours".

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, August 22, 2009

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...#ixzz0OuBIz2I8
IrishStephen is offline  
Old Aug 24, 09, 4:11 am
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Manchester, England
Programs: Bonvoy LT Plat, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, BMI Gold (RIP)
Posts: 7,511
A surprising update - the hotel has left SPG as of today, 24th August.

Just had an email through:

Dear Mr RAPC:

As a valued Starwood Preferred Guest member, we are contacting you to inform you of a change in the status of the Sheraton Fota Island Golf Resort and Spa. As of Monday, August 24th, 2009, the Sheraton Fota Island Golf Resort and Spa will no longer be part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide or Sheraton and will no longer participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program.

We see you are currently holding a reservation, confirmation number xxxxxxx on September 4, 2009 for 1 night. We are pleased to inform you that the hotel will continue to honor your reservation for a Preferred (free) Night Award as your stay was originally confirmed.

Please remember that you will not earn Starpoints any longer for any eligible charges incurred, and neither will you receive any of your Starwood Preferred Guest membership amenities or benefits at this hotel.

Should you have any queries regarding your reservation, please contact the Customer Contact Center nearest you on one of the following relevant toll-free-numbers:

International: ++800-325-55555

US: 1-888-625-4988

We appreciate your continued patronage of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and we apologize for this unforeseen change and any inconvenience it may cause for you. We look forward to welcoming you to a Starwood Preferred Guest participating property in the near future.


Starwood Preferred Guest
Good news that they are willing to honour the free weekend night award, but I can't say I'm too pleased at losing the paid stay (we've got 2 rooms booked) that I needed as part of my Q4 push for Plat requalification.

Considering this was meant to be an amicable split between the property and the SPG program, something more than no notice whatsoever would have been appreciated. It is great that they are still honoring reservations, but to remove SPG participation overnight is pretty poor form.

Shame to lose a good hotel from the SPG program.

Additional Edit
SPG.com is still selling rooms as normal at present and there is no message on the property page to suggest it is leaving the system. A call to the Plat concierge just now has also been met with confusion as they have no information on it leaving.

Lurkers - any idea on what the actual situation is?
RAPC is offline  
Old Aug 24, 09, 6:51 am
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Manchester, England
Programs: Bonvoy LT Plat, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, BMI Gold (RIP)
Posts: 7,511
2nd update with the Plat Concierge just now. They now know that it is leaving Starwood, but the concierge stated that I would still earn a stay credit for the room as it was booked before the hotel left Starwood. Knowing this wasn't normal, I pushed further and indeed it won't earn a credit as you would expect.

Pretty disappointed at the swift exit from SPG as it appears that the property itself pushed to end participation much immediately.

A call to the hotel prior to the PC call was met with rudeness and I was immediately told 'you won't get an upgrade now' when I asked what the situation was with SPG participation. I politely told the lady that I wasn't asking about an upgrade, only to be told again 'you will have to pay if you want an upgrade' I told her again that I wasn't calling to sort an upgrade, but to ask what the situation was and she again countered that 'you won't get an upgrade as we are not part of the SPG program.' At that point I gave up as it wasn't worth having a conversation with someone who wasn't listening.

I've spoken to someone at SPG customer services who has apologised for the lack of notice, but the long and short of it is that all of us with a reservation are out of luck for any credits etc as you would expect.

Last edited by RAPC; Aug 24, 09 at 9:46 am
RAPC is offline  
Old Aug 24, 09, 9:38 am
Join Date: Aug 2004
Programs: SPG Lifetime Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, JetBlue Mosaic, AA Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 579
Wow. This is a sad day. This was one of my Top 3 favorite hotels in all of Starwood and IMO, *wood should have fought to keep this hotel. (This was the hotel I'd always mention when someone would complain about another hotel--particularly a Sheraton)

My review of the hotel last winter
moulder3 is offline  
Old Aug 24, 09, 2:05 pm
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 180
think the hotel is failing financially.
HOTguy is offline  
Old Aug 24, 09, 6:30 pm
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ORD
Programs: SPG Platinum, United Premier Gold
Posts: 37
i had 1 point night booked for august 24th and 2 point nights booked for august 25th. i hadn't checked the news on the hotel and had no idea it was leaving the program till today morning when i received the email. boy, did i get frightened when i started reading the email, thinking i was out of luck for the rooms that i booked. i was relieved after finishing the email, which was the exact same one RAPC posted.

i checked into the first room today. they confirmed what the email said - they were departing the spg program and would not be rewarding any points for the stay. i think i still received an upgrade to a "premium room". double beds was what i needed for the first night. during check-in, i also asked what time the hot tub was open till and the receptionist, was was very nice gave me a VIP card to try the therapeutic jet massage treatment, which i may have my SO "indulge" in tomorrow.

i'll post an update on the stays tomorrow.
goider is offline  
Old Aug 25, 09, 1:17 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Dublin,Ireland and Nice France
Programs: BA
Posts: 1,763
Originally Posted by moulder3 View Post
Although a month overdue, I wanted to give a review of my trip to Sheraton Cork:

First off, I was traveling to Ireland with my entire family, and had emailed James to get a better sense of the hotel's features & amenities. He was extremely prompt in replying to my email, and very helpful in arranging our reservations.

Now the trip review:

As mentioned previously, this hotel is about 5km outside of Cork, on a lovely tucked-away island. The only downside to the location would be if you don't have a car. If that's the case, I'm not sure it makes sense to stay here. That wasn't an issue for my family though, and we really enjoyed the somewhat secluded location.

As for touristy places to visit nearby, I HIGHLY recommend Kinsale (about 45 minutes away). Make sure to visit Charles Fort when there--it was probably my favorite place in Ireland (and we traveled all over the country).

I also recommend the nearby Jameson distillery (about 15 minutes away), as well as the town of Cobh (about 10 minutes away) which has a museum documenting the genealogy of those who left Ireland for America.

Hotel Amenities
First off, the hotel is practically brand-new. The lobby is among the best looking I've ever seen at a Sheraton. It has a real fireplace, which my mother LOVED, several comfortable couches & chairs and free wi-fi (the rooms also have free wired high-speed internet, via the VOIP phone). The gym and pool are also tops among the chain, although we were somewhat disappointed that the pool closed so early at night (9pm-ish). The restaurant looked great, although we didn't eat there due to the prices (pretty expensive, even by *wood standards). We did have dinner at the bar one evening, which was great (although still pricey, especially for the surrounding area--sandwiches were around 17EUR). Although there are no ice machines (which is common in Europe, although many Starwood hotels have them), we called for ice the first day...and it was waiting for us the next day too!! I'll get to the service later, though...

We had suites on the third floor which were simply amazing. The tvs (at least in our rooms) were HD and had SEVERAL international sports channels, which made us very happy! Each room had a balcony, large living room, separate half-bath & two closets. They also had bath tubs, with a separate, walk-in shower. Again, top-notch among *wood and almost unprecedented for a Sheraton!!!

Hotel Staff
I should start by saying that I stay at 25-50 different Starwood hotels each year (although 95% are in USA) and have been staying at Starwood hotels since 2000. I wanted to mention that first, because I honestly believe this to be the kindest, most accommodating staff of any hotel I've stayed at.

I emailed James (who unfortunately wasn't working during our stay) to tell him about our trip and I'll share with you all what I told him:

From the moment my father and I checked-in we were greeted by Maria, who would also later help us plan our day trips. By the time we left, I think she'd had conversations with almost everyone in my family, and most of them started with her simply coming up to them as they passed through the hotel lobby. And while I didn't know about this until we checked-out, apparently my mother (who had been looking for good Irish glassware & crystal all trip) loved the design of the glasses at your hotel lounge, where we had a late dinner our first night at your hotel. She apparently had spoken to Maria about what stores would have them for sale, and when we checked out, Maria had arranged for us to purchase six of the glasses from the hotel. To put it mildly, my mother was shocked. She ended up hugging Maria before we left, all the while thanking her for truly going above & beyond.

I would be remiss if I did not also call attention to Scott at Concierge for going out of his way to help us during our stay. Our first night we arrived very hungry and wanted to find a restaurant close to the hotel. Scott showed us several menus that your hotel had (kudos for having them, by the way!) After picking a restaurant, I thanked him and started walking away, when he offered to call to verify the restaurant was open. As it turned out, all THREE restaurants were closed! If Scott hadn't called, we would have spent an hour (or more!) driving around looking for a place to eat. Instead, we were able to order dinner without going anywhere. During the rest of our visit, both he and Sean always talked to us every time we came and went. Although it's the job of every concierge to greet guests, Scott & Sean were truly interested to hear about our trip, what brought us to Ireland...etc. I have never felt so welcomed at a hotel in my life (and I travel a LOT!) I truly felt this was the first hotel where EVERY MEMBER of your staff we interacted with not only went out of their way to make us feel welcomed, they truly wanted to help in any way they could. Please thank them for me

While I suppose this trip report probably reads like a PR piece for the hotel, I happily stand by my review. The next time I'm in Ireland I will absolutely stay there, and I have mentioned this hotel to everyone I know planning a trip to Ireland.
I'm quoting your entire post for truth.
It is indeed a hotel that was a great addition to the starwood programme..although having stayed in a basic room there and in a 3rd floor suite,you would have a different experience in the latter-the basic rooms are just ordinary hotel rooms.
Going foward I wouldnt pay over the odds for the suites.They were an excelent touch as a plat upgrade.

Remember theres an equally good sheraton in athlone by the way.
Earthman is offline  
Old Aug 28, 09, 7:07 pm
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,117
Originally Posted by Earthman View Post
I'm quoting your entire post for truth.
It is indeed a hotel that was a great addition to the starwood programme..although having stayed in a basic room there and in a 3rd floor suite,you would have a different experience in the latter-the basic rooms are just ordinary hotel rooms.
Going foward I wouldnt pay over the odds for the suites.They were an excelent touch as a plat upgrade.
I'm in full agreement. This was a great hotel and I'm sad to see it leave the Starwood brand as I'm almost certainly I would have stayed there again in the future, but now I probably won't unfortunately. Glad James was able to get out while the getting was good and that he's still with Starwood at LM Piccadilly. He's an asset to Starwood and his presence here on FT was above and beyond the call of duty IMHO. And if he had anything to do with the fantastic Plat recognition at Sheraton Fota, then two thumbs up (^^) and I can't wait to visit LM Piccadilly now/again!!!
gregorygrady is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 3:08 pm
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 80
First I find out that Conrad Mount Juliet is leaving Hilton, now this. :
Planned on doing reward stay at Sheraton Fota and Conrad Mount Juliet next year to get rid of points I have.
Looks like I'll be going somewhere else.
frankcoton is offline  

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