Castle Oaks House Hotel
The next owner of Woodlands was Brian Hanrahan, a Limerick man who transformed the convent into a hotel while retaining the character of the original building. So Woodlands was reborn - & renamed Castle Oaks House Hotel. A few years later Brian Hanrahan decided to retire from the hotel business. This left the way open for Michael Fagan who had previously wanted to buy the property.
In 1989 Glentworth Catering Services, headed by Michael Fagan became the owners of Castle Oaks. Since it re-opened in March 1989 after renovations, Castle Oaks House Hotel has gone from strength to strength, beginning with the building of a Holiday Village opened in 1993 on a site overlooking the Shannon. April 1996 saw the addition of ten new bedrooms, boardroom & offices to the hotel. In 2003 a further extension of 22 Executive Suites was added to the hotel & nineteen 4 star quality self-catering holiday homes. Despite all the growth & expansion Castle Oaks has seen in its recent history, the planners have been careful & most successful in preserving the beauty & grandeur of the Woodlands of another day.
The great house has kept its character & its links with its historic surroundings. Old names, old places are treasured - such as the Hermitage Room, that takes its name from the townland where the noble Massey family had its principal seat. The spacious Stradbally Room, the Hotel's main function area, named after the most ancient part of Castleconnell, was originally the Presentation Sister's Chapel. The stained glass windows are still retained there giving testimony to the fact. History- they say - has a habit of repeating itself, & this is certainly true in Castle Oaks, for when the brides of today in all their finery grace the Stradbally wedding reception room it is in some strange way a reception of another time - a time when radiant young women veiled & garbed in flowing white knelt here to become brides of Christ.
A visit to Castle Oaks House Hotel is a worthwhile & rewarding experience. Here is the best of both worlds - Grade A comforts & cuisine of a modern day blending with the old worlds charms of yesteryear in an idyllic setting on the banks of Ireland's Premier waterway. Small wonder it is often referred to as "Our Little bit of Heaven".