Hotel Woodstock owners Sean and Elaine Lally were recently presented with a new COVID Hero Comedy Award for the comedic joy they brought to the county online throughout the lockdowns.
The official handover took place at the 67 roomed family-owned establishment on Thursday last as Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) presented the Clare COVID Hero Comedy Award to the Lallys for their efforts in “making a difference throughout the difficulty of the pandemic.”
The singular award is the only comedy themed accolade, alongside several other COVID Hero Awards created by Clare County Council that will be presented to individuals throughout the county for their voluntary commitment to bettering lives within the community.
Since taking over four and a half years ago, the Lallys have been vying for “a way to stand out from other hotels that all have a similar strategy.” Looking to separate themselves from traditional corporate weddings, they sought out Dom McInerney, a video editor from Dublin to do a wedding video, who “drew out the lateral comical side of us,” Elaine admitted.
Some of their most viewed and liked online exploits include ‘Wedding Proposal Tutorial’ by Sean (59k views), ‘First Dates Disaster Hotel Woodstock’ (52k views), a video of Sean dancing to the Taoiseach Michael Martin’s announcement on hotels reopening (88k views) and their latest venture ‘See you all June 2nd’ (116k views) where Elaine cracks the whip, showing Sean how to set the place shining as he ruminates on the future prospect of pints with the lads.
Aside from the comical element, the “level of business we have gotten out of it has been unbelievable,” Sean stated. Bookings are flowing in from people throughout the county, who are not afraid to admit that the only reason being is the value of the online videos. Guests are greeted by the couple at the door as they arrive for a waiting welcome, quickly realising that the on-screen relationship dynamic isn’t too far from the truth, Sean jokes.
“The whole time you walk in, to the time you leave here, it’s the Sean and Elaine show. It was virtually like a new reopening when we took over here, so we had to position ourselves front and centre and build it up. Incrementally, people come back for occasions like weddings and christenings. Our next thing is to do videos of us visiting tourist attractions in Clare, getting out and showing what the county can offer, even if it is humorous. There is always a message behind everything that we do,” the couple concluded.