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The Imperial Hotel
Cork City

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Christmas
Cork's Grinch-inspired ‘Whotel’ welcomes Hollywood actor Bill Irwin
The Imperial Hotel puts a Grinch twist on their 2022 Christmas plans
 Fri 25th November 2022


Cork’s luxury boutique Imperial Hotel recently enjoyed a visit from Hollywood Actor Bill Irwin. Irwin, who hails from California, is an award-winning actor and clown who has an impressive resume with including films like The Grinch who Stole Christmas’, ‘Rachel Getting Married’, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Lady in the Water’ as well as hit tv series such as ‘Star Trek Discovery’, ’Law and Order Special Victims Unit’, ‘This is Us’ and even children’s favourite ‘Sesame Street’.

Irwin couldn’t have timed his visit to Cork any better as when he stepped into the iconic lobby of the Imperial Hotel he was wonderstruck by the seasonally themed display which he immediately recognised as being inspired by his very own film, The Grinch who Stole Christmas.

Incredibly this Grinch connection was not something he was aware of before arranging his visit to Cork’s Imperial. The hotel has embraced a full-on Grinch and Whoville theme for the festive season, with whimsical, theatrical, and luxurious décor featuring flourishes of Grinch green and candy canes to bring some extra festive magic to their guest experience in the lead up to Christmas.

Impressed by the welcome and the lavishly executed Grinch theme, Mr. Irwin took time out to sit down for video interview about his role in the Academy award winning movie released in 2000, starring Jim Carey and directed by Ron Howard. Bill played the role of the Grinch’s neighbour Lou Lou Who, Cindy Lou’s Dad, and recalled how they would sit for as long as 3 hours each day in hair and makeup followed by 12 gruelling hours of filming. He remarked that filming commenced in June so that by the time Christmas came around they felt it had been an extra-long season. The full video of the Imperials conversation with Bill about his memories of making the Grinch who Stole Christmas can be seen on the hotel’s social media (link).

The Imperial, which is well versed in hosting high profile personalities including royalty and historical figures down through the years was very honoured to host Bill Irwin and see how much he appreciated the hotels historic and the warmth of the people of Cork, which he remarked would undoubtedly entice him to visit again.

This is the second year The Imperial were inspired to put a Grinch twist on their Christmas plans as it was so positively received last year, with guests raving about all the fun little details dotted throughout the hotel, from a temporary rebrand to ‘The Imperial WHOtel’ in a nod to the village where the Grinch grew up, to the Grinch’s sleigh dangling from the lobby ceiling! This year’s display is naturally even bigger, better, and greener, than ever before, with added Grinch themed décor, afternoon teas, signature cocktails, guest room amenities, Instagramable moments and more to look forward to!

Sitting centre stage in the lobby is a highly detailed Whoville Christmas Village handcrafted from gingerbread and embellished with detailed icing work by the hotel’s talented pastry chefs. The installation also features a working train set and looks like it has been lifted straight out of the Dr Seuss storybook!

Guests will bask in lots of Grinchly green, twinkly lighting, candy canes, and curving Christmas trees just like in the movie. The hotel’s iconic lobby is festooned in beautiful baubles, wreaths and lights everywhere echoing the extravagance of Whoville decorating traditions. In fact, there are signs of the Grinch scattered throughout the ‘whotel’ including cheeky notes, framed portraits by artist John Bell, and Grinch movie memorabilia – plenty of Instagram moments for any grinches out there!


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