“We feel it's no coincidence that hotel came up for sale. We were determined to decorate it, to renovate it, in a way that reflects the spirit of Dorthy and the elegance of the Festival.”
We’re in great company with Richard & Eibhlin Henggeler, owners of The Rose Hotel, in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. Now, before they took on this hotel as a labor of love, I must share my personal connection with and admiration for the Henggeler family.
Eibhlin, who to me will always be Mrs. Henggeler, was one of my favorite elementary school teachers growing up outside of Baltimore, MD. We held a special bond, that of an Irish Celtic Knot one could say, because as my younger sisters and I traveled the country and soon the world, competing in and performing Irish Dance, Mrs. Henggeler was always the one to approve of our absent papers and to be there every year without fail, watching us dance in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, while her daughter Dott proudly represented The Rose of Tralee.
Now many years have gone by and while the Henggeler’s have faced many hardships, their love for their Irish heritage and the relationships like ours, that have blossomed as a result, are stronger than ever.
For this episode, I’d like to honor Dorthy’s spirit with an Irish Blessing, "May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you."
[2:20] From pen pals to a proposal, Dick shares how he fell in love with Eibhlin, her family, and her home in Ireland.
[6:45] Eibhlin explains how over time she’s honored her Irish heritage by staying closely tied to family, football and of course, Irish dancing.
[8:30] What about The Rose of Tralee International Festival changed the Henggeler family’s lives and inspired their legacy.
[14:45] When The Fels Point Hotel went up for sale, Dick and Eibhlin were determined to restore it in a way that reflected the spirit of their Dorthy and the elegance of the Festival.
[24:00] Wanting to create a true family atmosphere, Dick thought it would be a good idea to bring the tradition of an American Thanksgiving to a hotel in Ireland and what resulted was…
[33:45] Whether you enjoy a spa day while sipping on afternoon tea or watching a football match cozied up to Dott’s Bar, everyone is welcome!
[40:40] Eibhlin shares what she believes Dott would be most proud of in seeing The Rose Hotel and all that it embodies today.
[45:05] What it's like to walk down the cobblestone streets of Tralee, listening to traditional Irish music and meeting the Irish people.
[57:10] The meaning of St. Patrick's Day as an immigrant, celebrating the culture of a small little island with people around the world.
- The Rose of Tralee International Festival
- The Coast of Ballyheigue, Ballybunion, Fenit
- Denny Street
- Seán Óg’s Traditional Irish Bar
- Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland
- Blennerville Windmill