A familiar face for many, our Front Office Supervisor, Shane Adams, celebrates 18 years at Ashford Castle this month, with 17 years spent working at reception and the front office.

What is your full name?

Shane Adams

What is your role at Ashford Castle?

I am the Front Office Supervisor here at Ashford Castle.

What was your background before you worked at Ashford Castle?

I studied Business & Tourism in Sligo I.T., and whilst I hadn't considered carving a career out in the hotel industry, it is strange what life has in store for us.

What was your first experience of Ashford Castle?

I can’t remember my first experience of Ashford Castle; however, a few years ago when I was moving house I came across an old photo. It was taken when I was around 3 years old, out by the fountain.

What were your thoughts when you saw the castle for the first time after the restoration?

It was a very exciting time. During the closure, we were getting snippets of some of the work that was being carried out. A particular point of focus was the ceiling of The Drawing Room which was being painted white; when I saw the finished product, it was even more beautiful than it was before!

The main thing that both staff and guests were saying prior to the restoration was how nervous they were, and whether something as beautiful as the castle can be enhanced even more. Lo and behold, it was! Everyone was in awe of this old/new, wonderful offering. The impossible had been achieved - that something that was so beautiful had been restored and enhanced to a totally different level.

Tell me something about Ashford that people might not know.

Up until three years ago, it was not well known, but it is public knowledge now... Everyone was under the impression that Ashford Castle is in County Mayo. It was only during one of the Covid restrictions, when only county-wide travel was allowed, that people became aware that Ashford Castle is technically situated in County Galway. It was an interesting time, to say the least!

What makes Ashford so special?

It’s a cliché, but it really is the people. It is the staff and guests that I come across. I have been very lucky to have met and become friends with some of the most amazing people. 

We are just like a family here at Ashford; we are all there for each other when needed. This was very evident during the Covid lockdowns: a lot of us kept in contact with each other, chatting on Zoom and through other social media platforms.

What does a typical day at Ashford Castle look like for you?

That is one thing about hospitality, there’s no such thing as a typical day!

What is your favourite part of your role?

Getting to meet so many different people. Knowing that just by doing my job I am enhancing a guest's stay and adding to the wonderful experience that Ashford offers.      

There are certainly special moments where you do realise that what we do in our everyday work really does make a difference to people.

What do you do to relax when you are not working?

I do enjoy my soap operas! Similar to a lot of other people, I also enjoy going away somewhere for a night or two.

What three words would you use to describe Ashford?

Awesome, beautiful, and amazing.

What is your proudest achievement of your time at Ashford Castle?

There is no one moment. What makes me laugh at times is that I came for what I thought was a summer job, and here I am 18 years later!

I think my proudest achievement, as I have already said, is the connections and the people that I have had the privilege to work alongside; knowing that I have made an impact on them, both personally and professionally.