We are now in our 4th generation at Bel-Air Hotel.
Tim and Bridie Murphy bought Bel-Air in 1937. They were running Cliff Castle Hotel in Dalkey at that time, and Tim asked Bridie to go to the auction of Bel-Air to buy beds for Cliff Castle. When she returned home, Bridie told her husband she had bought a little more than planned – she had bought Bel-Air!
After leaving school, Tim’s and Bridie’s daughter Fidelma started the riding school, beginning with day treks to Glendalough and Clara Vale. Bel-Air then became a hunting yard and with time she introduced lessons and ride-outs, similar to what we do today. Bel-Air Riding Club was born in the 1980′s, as was the development of Bel-Air as a competition venue for eventing and show jumping. Fidelma’s and her husband Bill’s children continue the family business today.
You find Aileen and Will in the hotel. Will can also be seen on the farm, growing the crops and feed for the horses. We grow our own oats and barley, use the straw for bedding and make our own hay and haylage. – So we know the exact quality of our feeds, with as little processing as possible.
Maggie and Noni will be seen in the Equestrian Centre. Maggie manages the yard, which she keeps running like clockwork, and work with the young horses. Noni does most of the riding and teaching.
Maggie’s and Noni’s children, Kevin, Saranne, Jessie and Jake, can also be seen around Bel-Air Hotel in various roles: they help out in the yard, ride the young horses, cut the grass and serve their time in the hotel.
So as you can see, Bel-Air is a family business in its truest sense!