Hillgrove Hotel & Spa, Monaghan — part of The iNUA Collection, Ireland’s largest regional hotel group — have launched a new sensory swimming hour in their leisure centre.
Twice a week the hotel now hosts sensory friendly hours, where adjustments have been made to make the pool more comfortable and accessible for those with autism or additional needs. Lights and music are dimmed and numbers are capped to ensure the atmosphere is welcoming and suitable for participants’ needs.
The initiative began from an internal brainstorming session with the group’s Innovation Team, a regular focus of The iNUA Collection, designed to prompt new ideas to promote the group’s values of sustainability, inclusivity, community and growth.
Speaking on the initiative, Dean Coyne, Wedding Coordinator at Hillgrove Hotel & Spa, Monaghan who submitted the idea to the Innovation Team, said “I got the idea for this initiative from my own daughter – I wanted to let her have as much fun as possible in the place she absolutely loves and not have everyone stare at her or ask her to be quiet.”
David Jordan, Innovation Director at Cliste Hospitality said “Innovation at The iNUA Collection isn’t just about embracing new technologies or trends, it’s about understanding and responding to the diverse needs of our community. The Sensory Swimming Hour at Hillgrove Hotel & Spa is a testament to this philosophy. It’s a step towards making our properties more inclusive, and a reflection of our dedication to create spaces that are comfortable and accessible for all”
As well as launching a sensory bedroom, The iNUA Collection are now working with AsIAm, Ireland’s national autism charity, with training, introduction of sensory maps and other initiatives with a view to gaining accreditation as an autism-friendly business.
The sensory bedroom was specially designed for guests with autism, dementia, ADHD and a variety of other abilities who may find it hard to switch off and relax by providing a positive effect on the five senses – smell, sight, touch, sound and movement.
The sensory swimming hour at Hillgrove Hotel & Spa Monaghan is available on Wednesdays and Sundays from 3pm to 4pm and is free to members and for €4 pay as you go for non-members.