On Wednesday, November 12th, 1958 there was only one place to be in Tralee. The Hotel Manhattan, two miles outside Tralee town, opening its powder-blue doors to the public for the first time, with a lavish celebration featuring a gala, seven course banquet and dancing to the Des Cronin Orchestra Band.
Over 330 people from all over Ireland attended the launch of the Manhattan, which brought new levels of elegance and excellence to Tralee.
The showpiece of the newly-renovated and extended hotel was its fabulous ballroom, which boasted a spectacular band-stand, stunning chandeliers and a maple-sprung floor that accommodated up to 500 dancers at any one time.
Size, scale and elegance would help turn The Manhattan into Kerry’s leading night spot, attracting hundreds of thousands of revellers over the years.
But the hotel was more than an unbeatable ballroom. The Hotel Manhattan had it all; nestled in the shadow of the Slieve Mish Mountains and overlooking Ballyseedy Woods, the hotel offered fine dining in luxurious surroundings in its restaurant, comfort and companionship in its elegant lounge bar, and for residents, new standards of superiority in its bedrooms.
Guests at the gala opening that night in 1958 enjoyed an unforgettable experience at the Manhattan. It would be the first of many unforgettable nights in the hotel’s history over the following sixty years, as the Manhattan grew and developed into the luxurious Ballygarry House and Spa of today.