Initially, you would think picking a venue would be pretty straightforward. I mean, there’s a certain set of must-haves: A large conference facility, a certain standard of rooms, quality restaurants (of course!) and nooks and crannies to allow for plenty of mingling and our special features.
Frankly, it does help narrow the field, but at this point, you’re far from done.
We started looking for 2015’s venue quite shortly after 2014. Our emphasis was on quality, and our research suggested that Killarney has the best concentration of great hotels in Ireland.
We narrowed it down to a small number, and arranged a trip. The welcome was amazing. Kerry is known for its friendliness and Killarney is built on this friendliness. Each establishment gave us the 5 star treatment, wonderful tours and first class presenations on why we should have Úll there. We left Kerry undecided.
We spent the week later weighing the pros and cons of the options in front of us. We argued, backtracked, got frustrated with each other, chose one, chose the other, contradicted our own opinions. There really wasn’t much to differentiate our main contenders. But I kept coming back to a single point in the visit.
It was when I saw the view from the Europe for the first time. I mean properly. Our guide brought us outside to look over the lake. Immediately I felt a total sense of wanting to stay there. Not “there” the hotel, but “there” where I was at that moment in time. I wanted the tour to be over right now. I wanted our host and Paul to leave me alone. I wanted to forget about the pressures of work and conference organising and just…be there.
Its a wonderful place. The hotel looks over a lake at the base of a mountain range. That single moment was why the Europe won it for me. My words don’t do it justice
I can’t wait to get back.