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Real-Time Retreats

The Emerald Isle in Story & Song

Come celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with us!

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How appropriate that this week we head to the beautiful “Emerald Isle” of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day (talk about the luck of the Irish! It falls on a Wednesday this year!!) to celebrate the lore, the music, the traditions, and the gorgeous resorts of The Europe Hotel & Resort, The K Club, and Adare Manor, all hosted by our good friend Kev Ben Shannon at Odyssey International Incentives & Meetings!

Carol & Whitney
Real Time Retreats: The Emerald Isle in Story and Song

We’re so very excited about bringing this presentation to life on Wednesday! In addition to the virtual tours of these fairytale-like locations, we’ll enjoy live music and storytelling (and, ok, a bit of drinking) while we create our own virtual RealTime Retreats Irish Pub!

Dress in your best Irish this week! Green is in, darlings, as well as anything and everything that reminds you of the Emerald Isle! Aran sweaters, medieval dress, kilts (yes, the Irish wear them, too), or an understated wrap or cape that you’ve been dying to wear. You’ll want to bring out your best this week, because there is a fantastic travel package at stake that will make your friends GREEN with envy!

Our Irish presenters are each offering a 2-night stay with breakfast, making this week’s “ all in ” award a 6-night trip to Ireland! Plus, Odyssey DMC is bonusing one activity per region as well!

Our own personal Irish charmer, Kelly McAlister of Maui Jim, will also be on hand to reward one of you lucky leprechauns with a new pair of sunglasses!

We also award the first five at 3:55 to log into the call (no earlier, please!) with a special gift from the kind folks at Odyssey International Incentives & Meetings- and you are gonna love this one!

Irish pub

Join us at The Real Time Retreats Pub!

This week, our hosts would like to spotlight their own favorite Irish drinks! Learn to properly pour a Guinness, ( we hear there is an art to it! ) brew up an Irish Coffee, think up creative mixers for your favorite Irish gin, or take your Jameson Irish Whiskey straight, and follow it all with a Baileys Irish Cream chaser! Yum! So better make a liquor store run for this one- there will be drinking!

You can find Adare Manor’s speciality drink, the Elegance cocktail, below.

Video Replay

Our hosts
Kev Ben Shannon, Director of Sales and Marketing - Odyssey International Incentives & Meetings

Kev Ben Shannon

Director of Sales and Marketing - Odyssey International Incentives & Meetings

6-8 Garville Lane, Rathgar
Dublin 6, Ireland
tel: +353 1 497 4866
cell: +353 86 385 9575
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Kev was born into this industry. Now a major part of the family business, Kev has a passion for Ireland, mirrored by his love of the hospitality industry. Since he poured his first pint, Kev has a built up great operational background and customer service experience.

A people person, and a lover of travel, Kev enjoys visiting North America and Europe to spread the good word about the Emerald Isle.

Kev is a problem solver and loves identifying a client’s need and matching a programme to their tastes.

In January 2020, Kev joined the board of the company as Sales & Marketing Director.

John Costelloe, Director of Sales & Marketing - The K Club

John Costelloe

Director of Sales & Marketing - The K Club

Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland W23 YX53
tel: +353 1 601 7200
direct: +353 1 601 7200
cell: +353 86 028 8871
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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John has worked in the MICE industry for 12 years. He began his MICE journey in Tourism Ireland, New York and Germany followed by three years with a Dublin based DMC before moving into luxury resorts. This variety of experience gives him a unique understanding of a client’s overall needs and understanding of how to bring all aspects of a successful meeting and incentive program together. John builds long term relationships with clients and enjoys nothing more than seeing a program come to fruition following a long and detailed planning process.

When not at work, John enjoys running and cycling around the scenic trails in Kildare and beach walks with his dogs on the Dublin coastline. He is also known to enjoy a pint of Guinness, good food and even better company!

Liz Godfrey, Assistant Director of Sales - Adare Manor

Liz Godfrey

Assistant Director of Sales - Adare Manor

Co Limerick | V94 W8WR | Ireland
tel: +353 61 605287
cell: +353 87 0547664
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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What’s not to love about the hospitality industry!!! … While in school I worked in hotels & restaurants and from my first day I just loved the industry. So therefore in college I studied Hotel Management and in later years marketing & PR. No one day in the hospitality industry is the same and that’s what I love about the industry.

In my free time, I love to walk and also enjoy spinning & swimming. I also enjoy cooking and travelling is one of my passions.

What do I love about my role? I love the diversity of my job, the people who I meet and the relationships that I have built and continue to build.

David Cronin, Group Sales & Marketing Manager of The Killarney Hotels Collection

David Cronin

Group Sales & Marketing Manager of The Killarney Hotels Collection

The Killarney Hotels Collection consists of:
The Europe Hotel & Resort
The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens &
Ard na Sidhe Country House
Fossa, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 KHN6, Ireland
tel: +353 (0)64 6671340
fax: +353 (0)64 6637900
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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David joined Killarney Hotels Ltd in 2008, with a wealth of hotel management experience and a genuine interest for the Irish tourism and hospitality sector. He studied Hospitality Management and Business Studies in Cork Institute of Technology.

A native Kerryman, born and raised in Tralee and the youngest of 12 children, 8 boys and 4 girls, David loves to travel to experience new cultures and meet new people.

“Incentive travel is an integral part of our business and is so important to tourism both locally and nationally”, he told us.

Ireland resort logos with flag
Irish coast

Ireland - The Ultimate Incentive Destination

Ireland is one of the globe’s most singular travel destinations, a feisty, twinkling country far more famous for the sum of its parts than for any specific site or attraction. Its landscapes are raw, its cities animated, and its history holds endless tales of adversity. Tying all this together is the Irish character, a fabled combination of bright-eyed bonhomie and barroom banter: there’s good reason the world is full of Irish pubs. So grab a pint and join us for a tour of this exhilarating place!

Odyssey collage


In our industry, we can all say we are in the business of creating everlasting memories! What defines a destination as the Ultimate Incentive or Conference destination though? ‘Excellency’ in service and award-winning food, ‘Luxury’ with 5 star properties and castles,‘Exclusivity’ through historical venues is an important ingredient. Ireland offers something more: the exceptionally friendly, welcoming and curious people, living in a beautiful land.

These attributes make Ireland a unique, safe and exciting destination. As a hub in Europe, Ireland has multiple access routes from North America, Europe, UAE and Asia. Funding is available from the Irish Tourism Board to assist with Site Inspections and Program Enhancement. Ireland offers an infinite variety and abundance of immersive experiential activities. Guests leave feeling enriched, motivated and rewarded.

The Europe Hotel & Resort logo
The Europe Hotel & Resort view

A Sublime Five-Star Destination on the Lakes of Killarney

The Europe Hotel & Resort, Killarney, Co. Kerry enjoys the most stunning of locations on the Lakes of Killarney and at the foot of the magnificent Kerry mountains. The five star hotel, which has been welcoming guests for over fifty years, makes the most of its location in every way.

From the moment guests walk through the door they are greeted by a two story high atrium, overlooking the lakes and throughout their stay, whether dining in the restaurant or relaxing in the spa, guests enjoy the peaceful vista over the gardens to the lakes. This breathtaking setting offers guests the chance to experience true luxury in the heart of Ireland’s south west.

The hotel offers an ideal base from which to explore the famed Kerry beauty spots, the nearby National Park, Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. The hotel is adjacent to the Killarney Golf & Fishing Club and is in the heart of the golfing southwest with a number of parkland and links courses within easy driving distance.

Evening view from The Europe Hotel & Resort


The Europe Hotel & Resort Spa, designed by ESPA, is spread over two levels with magnificent views over the lakes and mountains from many of the rooms. The spa area offers 16 treatment rooms including a VIP suite, heat experiences and lifestyle showers.

The leisure area incorporates a large fitness studio with techno gym equipment, kinesis walls and two glazed walls overlooking a landscaped sunken garden. A tai chi studio, lifestyle café and indoor and outdoor infinity pools offer guests a novel relaxation experience.

Horse riding on their own Haflinger ponies is complimentary as is tennis on one of the two indoor courts. The hotel also offers a private pier from which fishing and boating trips may be arranged. For those who wish to sample the southwest the hotel will be delighted to arrange tee times for golf or local day tours.

The Europe Hotel & Resort pool
The Europe Hotel & Resort boat house


Elegant bedrooms and suites in a classic style enjoy either golf course or lake views. All rooms are finished to the highest standard and include satellite television, fully stocked mini bar, soft bathrobes and slippers, direct dial telephone and safe. Most of the bedrooms have spacious balconies offering breathtaking views of the lake or countryside from the privacy of the guests’ bedroom.

Restaurants & Bars
The Brasserie Restaurant with lakeview terrace for al fresco dining is open daily from 11am to 11pm serving light snacks to succulent flame grilled steaks cooked in front of you by our award winning chefs on an open grill.

The Panorama Restaurant has one of the most enviable views in Ireland with vistas of the Lakes of Killarney, mountains and gardens stretching before you and uses the finest of local ingredients to showcase Irish and International cuisine.

The Spa Café is located on the Active Level of ESPA and has a relaxed environment with covered external terrace overlooking the lake and manicured gardens.

The Europe Hotel & Resort is located just 3 miles from Killarney town on the Ring of Kerry and is easily accessible from Kerry, Cork and Shannon Airports with ample free car parking & Heli.

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Adare Manor logo
Ireland bending tree


Adare Manor is a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece, once the family seat of the Earls of Dunraven. Today it is cherished as a warm and welcoming 5 star luxury resort, defined by its spectacular setting, authentic historic character, and the impeccable service of its world-class staff. The 104 guest rooms are air conditioned and lavishly appointed with original art, Georgian-style furnishings, luscious textiles and marble bathrooms.

Adare Manor room


Guests may design a custom itinerary of activities in and around the sweeping 840 acre estate of formal gardens, peaceful forests and rolling parklands. Launched in December 2020, the new Padel Club activities centre offers our guests a wide range of invigorating and restorative activities to explore, such as padel, sports simulation games, pilates, yoga and barre classes, personal training and gym work-out sessions and our new 17-metre swimming pool. Falconry, archery, gun dog displays, clay pigeon shooting, fishing and more are all conducted within our grounds, with further adventures such as horseback riding and shooting available within a short drive of the Manor House.

Adare Manor golf course


Golfers will be tempted by the prospect of a perfect round on the resort’s Tom Fazio designed championship golf course, poised to become one of the continent’s finest courses. Adare Manor boasts the only La Mer spa in the UK and Ireland, as well as a relaxation, manicure and pedicure room, an elegant private cinema and boardroom. Fine dining and world-class libations across the resort’s many restaurants, lounges and bars offer something to tempt every palate; including the Michelin star Oak Room restaurant, The Carriage House grill and indulgent Afternoon Tea.

Just outside the Manor gates, the charming village of Adare is a beautiful blend of traditional thatched cottages, antique shops, boutiques and friendly pubs. Ideally situated at the gateway to the southwest and only 30 minutes from Shannon airport, Adare Manor provides a magnificent base from which to explore some of Ireland’s most compelling sights.

charming village of Adare in Ireland
Elegance cocktail


The signature cocktail of Adare Manor also happens to be the award winning creation of Resort Mixologist, Ariel Sanecki. Enjoy!


  • 40ml Vodka
  • 30ml St. Germain Elderflower
  • 25ml Lemon juice
  • 20ml Pink grapefruit syrup
  • 5ml Lime cordial
  • 5ml Peach purée
  • 5 Dashes of orange bitters


Shake all ingredients together and strain into a glass.

The K Club logo
The K Club

Expansive Luxury Outside Of Dublin

The 5 Star K Club Hotel & Resort in Kildare is Ireland’s first ever AA 5 Red Star Hotel. The luxury hotel in Kildare is located only 30 minutes from Dublin in the beautiful Kildare countryside where the River Liffey meanders through the soft green idyllic surroundings.

The K Club exterior


Steeped in history, the 5 Star K Club hotel and resort in Kildare combines old world elegance with indulgent luxury so guests are treated to luxurious rooms and incredible dining experiences. Guests can also opt to unwind in an oasis of calm at the internationally acclaimed K Spa or experience playing golf on the famous Palmer North golf course.

The K Club afternoon tea


These days, there is often very little time to relax, sit back and indulge the finer things in life. So what better way to savor the serene atmosphere and sumptuous surroundings The K Club than with their signature Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea is served in their luxurious The Drawing Room and has become one of the most sought-after traditions among guests. You will enjoy a three-tiered silver stand of freshly baked scones with jam and cream, delectable pastries and elegant finger sandwiches served with the finest tea and coffee.

Warning: I may be prone to shenanigans and malarkey


Grab a whisky and get in the mood for the wearing of the green.

The history of St. Patrick’s Day. And please notice, there is no mention of green beer anywhere.

Beautiful clothing from Weavers of Ireland. (No, we don’t get commissions from them...)

For those of you who miss the show ”Whose Line Is It, Anyway?“, a compendium of Irish drinking songs.

An adorable movie from 1998, Waking Ned Devine. You’re welcome.

Cheers! The best Irish drinks for St. Patrick’s Day.

And what better sets the Irish mood than beautiful songs by Celtic Woman and Clannad? Rock it out with U2, The Cranberries, and Thin Lizzy! Or chill with Snow Patrol and The Frames.


Some virtual backgrounds for you for our Zoom call, provided by Odyssey International DMC, The K Club, The Europe Hotel & Resort, and Adare Manor Castle & Golf Resort

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim Corporate Gifts

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim

Kelly McAlister of Maui Jim will be with us on the calls each week as judge and jury to see which planner really goes all-in with the theme. So engage, be creative, and have fun... and you may be the winner!

She’ll be doing some gifting that will surely lift your shelter-in-place spirits!

Maui Jim