Condé Nast's top 20 hotels in Europe ....... and look who's on the list !!!!!!

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Well Hello There

Now then - some of you might have picked up that as well as starting up Natural Calico and contributing to the major interior magazines, we also shoot hotels. Is it any wonder I feel a tad exhausted at times !!!!!!! But I love what we do and wouldn't have it any other way :) 

When Ashley first asked me to join him on a hotel shoot, I genuinely wondered what my role would be - when all's said and done, hotels are sitting pretty much tickety boo !!! Why would a stylist be needed ??? 

But that was ten years ago - and I can honestly say that a stylist can actually work very darned hard on a hotel shoot - in some ways shooting a hotel is similar to a home but on a huge scale - composition, lighting, injecting lifestyle etc etc ........ all of these things add up to us creating images that show potential guests just how lovely the hotel really is. 

It's usually the "three musketeers" who work on the hotel shoots - Ashley, Stuart (who does the wonderful artwork for us) and yours truly ...... at the end of a looooong day - hotel shoots are exhausting - trust me !!!! ...... the three of us invariably end up in the bar - beers for Stuart and me - Guinness for Ashley ...... we just chill, relax, chat about the day's work, plan the next day's work, put the world to rights and just generally have a good laugh about stuff too :)

Anyway, we were thrilled to learn that four of the hotels we shot here in Ireland are in the Top 20 Resorts in Europe, Readers’ Choice Awards list, by Condé Nast Traveler - and indeed one of them is number one !!!

As a team, it was a true privilege for us to work in such gorgeous hotels - and each and every time, the staff made us feel so welcome. A hotel shoot can potentially be pretty disruptive - the amount of lighting and camera gear is pretty staggering - not to mention all my styling props and flowers etc - but with all of these hotels, nothing was ever a problem.

So here are just a few of our images: 
 
The Lodge at Doonbeg...
 

I adore the decor in the Doonbeg cottages and will be sharing more of these cottages with you.

 

 

Yip - that's your truly gazing out the window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean :) We usually take the shots with and without a person and let the hotel decide which they prefer - sometimes a person in a shot injects a little bit of personality - on that occasion, needless to say I was in my comfy working duds and would have loved to spruce myself up a bit - but Ashley insisted "you're grand Marie" ..... flip me, if I'd thought I'd end up in Conde Nast, I'd have requested "wardrobe and make-up Dahling" :)

It occurs to me that I should perhaps explain ..... we use the word "grand" here in Ireland to describe anything that's fine or good - Ashley wasn't saying I looked stately or regal or anything like that ...... mind you, we also call stately things "grand" too - hmmmmmm. 

Anyway - next up .....
 
Dromoland Castle...
 
Another superb hotel with more...
 
 

 .. than a touch of grandeur !!!

 
 
Ashford Castle...
 

You know as you drive along the approach to this hotel and see the turrets looming ahead that it's going to be something special...

 
 
 

.. and it doesn't disappoint...

 
 
 
 
Mount Juliet...
 

Once again this is a very beautiful place...

  

..  with exceptionally friendly staff...

 
  
 

 

.. I celebrated my birthday there last year and they even organised a wee cake and candles :)

Anyway - having spent quite a bit of time working in all of these hotels, I can totally and unreservedly say that they all deserve their place on this prestigious list !!! One of these days, Himself and me are going to do a little road trip and stay in them all - we shall just totally relax, walk, read, take in the beautiful scenery and the little traditional Irish towns close by. No doubt Himself will be following a little white ball as they all have superb golf courses !!

 

A huge congratulations from all of us here in Natural Calico.

Marie x

I don't think I have ever mentioned that we have a separate site for our hotel work - we operate under the name AMPImage and here is our link AMPImage