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History - Grand Hotel Tramore

The Grand Hotel has been providing an exceedingly high standard of accommodation for visitors to Tramore since 1790.

The Hotel was built by Bartholomew Rivers, a wealthy banker, merchant and ship owner, as part of his plan to develop the little seaside village as a thriving tourist resort. By 1801, the Hotel was leased to a John Walsh, and for a time it was known as Walsh's Hotel, but an advertisement in the Waterford Mirror in 1807 referred to it as the Great Hotel, and the name stuck.

Sometime in the 1830's the Hotel was purchased by the Phelan family, who had been running a smaller hotel known as the Little Hotel. It was undoubtedly a big jump for them to move to the Great Hotel, but they were quite successful in turning around the fortunes of the premises, which had been declining since the death of Mrs. Walsh some years previously. Under John Phelan's guidance the hotel was returned to prosperity. He also acted as secretary to the Tramore Races, a position which seemed to go hand in hand with the hotel.

The hotel then changed hands a number of times before it passed to Margaret Kavanagh. In 1894 the writer P.M. Egan produced his well known History of Waterford, and wrote of the hotel as follows: "Miss Kavanagh's Great Hotel has the highest repute for possessing all the qualifications befitting a first class establishment."

The Hotel was leased to Martin J. Murphy in 1897. He continued the tradition as secretary of the Tramore Racecourse, and invested heavily in the old racecourse at the backstrand. It was Murphy who changed the name of the hotel to The Grand Hotel and, in keeping with the name, he enlarged the hotel considerably with a building programme that commenced in 1907, the results of which can be seen to the right in the photographs above.

Martin J. Murphy died in 1919 and the hotel has passed through the hands of a number of families since then, most notably, the Cunningham's and the Cusacks, until it was purchased by the present owners, Tom and Anna Treacy.

The Treacy family have refurbished the hotel extensively, so that it combines a very high standard of luxury with the elegance of a bygone age, and the tradition of efficient service in a warm and hospitable atmosphere has been maintained.

We hope you enjoy this virtual visit to the Grand Hotel Tramore, and that you will choose to come and visit us in the near future.