History of Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City

In 1720 it was known as something completely different, The North Infirmary Hospital, the first general hospital to be opened in Cork. Originally it had accommodation for 24 patients and was 70 feet long by 24 feet wide and mainly gave basic medical services to the poor people in the city, with the majority of patients being Catholic.

It was not an easy ride for the hospital. It was funded by donations but with the cities ongoing population growth and the development of the northern suburbs, The Infirmary was under pressure for money and space.

The North Infirmary was caught up one way or another in Irelands political upheaval. There was the First World War, the 1916 Rising, the tragic deaths of the cities two Lord mayors, the burning of the city centre, The War of Independence, The Civil War and the Second World War. A 5 o’clock curfew was vigorously enforced and if you broke it, you were shot. They were exciting but dangerously traumatic times in Cork. Wounded volunteers were often brought in the hospital backdoor and secretly treated before being released again.

In the early 80’s there were talks about the hospital’s future. The Irish Government was sending out daily reminders to tighten their belts and that health cuts were on the way. There was mounting speculation that several hospitals were to close. There was disbelief when it was discovered that the North Infirmary was among them. It was unthinkable that the only hospital in the vast Northside was to close.

On May 12th 1987, 5,000 staff from 14 hospitals in the county marched through Cork in protest at the cutbacks. Still the Irish Government stubbornly refused funds to upgrade the hospital.

At precisely 4.46pm on the 26th November 1987, the North Infirmary passed into the realms of memory as the nearby Butter Exchange Band and Shandon Bells played a duet of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ 2,000 people, each with a lighted candle, looked on as the lights were slowly switched off from the top to the ground floor.

How Maldron Hotel Cork came to be

After the closure of the building as The North Infirmary Hospital, the next few years the building was never out of the news. The legal ownership was being questioned. Vandals wrecked the vacant building. A fire badly damaged the ground floor, it was declared a derelict building and there were calls to have it demolished. Two million pounds was paid to redevelop the building into The Shandon Court, which was aimed at the corporate and business sector. After a few short years the Choice Hotel Group took over and extended the building to give it 101 guest rooms, a bar, 2 meeting rooms, a restaurant and a state of the art leisure club. Finally, Dalata Hotel Group PLC purchased the hotel and in 2008 the hotel became Maldron Hotel Cork we all know and love, was launched.

The Irishness of Maldron Hotels is here to be experienced. When compared to the function of its predecessor, The North Infirmary, today’s hotel is the same but different: you’ll be made welcome, everything will be done to make you comfortable and you will be sent home happy.


1720 – North Infirmary Erected
1744 – Musical Society of Cork donates money to build a large extension to the hospital. It now had 11 physicians and 5 surgeons who attend the hospital free of charge.
1751 – An Act of Parliament was passed, which gave the right to purchase property to develop the Infirmary.
1759 – Doctors Frankland and Sleigh were appointed at a fixed salary of 20 pounds p.a. and the hospital had 20 beds
1783 – Trustees of the North Infirmary beg leave to return thanks to Mrs Sarah Creed for the supply of old linen.
1787 – John Howard, a prison reformer inspects the North Infirmary
1799 – A fancy dress ball raised £397 for the Infirmary
1808 – Funds were low, the building was in poor condition and there was an appeal for donations for a new roof. “We are forced to appeal to the charitable feelings of the humane public, and we do so with confidence on behalf of an extensive institution, which for fifty years past has never ceased to shelter the homeless wanderer, feed the hungry, solace pain in poverty, and heal wounds”
1829 – A committee was formed to urgently raise money, eventually raising £3,200. Fr. Mathew the famous temperance priest donated £250
1832 – There was a serious outbreak of cholera in the city which led to the Infirmary being turned in a cholera hospital even though it was deemed to be in a “ruinous state and totally unfit”. Its patients were transferred to the South Infirmary
1834 – The poor Law Act was passed which meant the state had responsibility for providing basic support for poor people
1836 – The new hospital was opened for patients. The architect of the building was William Hill
1840 – There were 1,369 admissions, extern was 16,128 and 90 beds were available
1844 – 33,951 prescriptions were issued and gas lighting was introduced to the building
1847 – The Irish Famine decimated the country. The North Infirmary was taken over and used as a temporary Fever Hospital
1866 – One of the medical staff, Dr. O’Sullivan, won the consent of the management committee to introduce trained nursing sisters to care for the needs of the patients.
1867 – Four nuns from the Daughters of Charity, led by Sr. Teresa arrive at the North Infirmary. They initially met with opposition to their presence from both members of the management and the current staff but they persisted.
1869 – Management pays tribute to the Sisters in their annual report “The Sisters of charity who have the care of the RC patients, have not only realized our expectations of their efficiency, but have surprised us by exceeding our greatest hopes. We foresee that the good work which they have already done gives fair promise for the future. It would appear that their desire is constantly to increase their sphere of usefulness, without any consideration for their own temporary interests, which they value only so far as they can be devoted to the serving of the poor”
1884 – Lady Combermere leaves £28,000 for the erection of the Gibbings Memorial Wing, a training school for nurses, which was located at the foot of Roman Street and opened in 1893.
1909 – Sr. Teresa dies but at her death the hospital had beds for 115 patients, a modern operating room, spacious wards and an excellent nursing staff.
1913 – An x-ray department was established as well as the outpatient department and dental hospital and nursing school.
1914 – The outpatient department and dental hospital was established.
1916 – Dr. C Y Pearson of the North Infirmary was appointed Hon. Surgeon to the King of England; George V.
1987 – 5,000 staff from 14 hospitals in the county marched though Cork and brought the city to a halt in protest at the governments suggested cut backs.
1987 – The North Infirmary closes

Search our FAQs

Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    This Summer, check-in is from 3.00pm on the day of arrival. We understand that you might want to make the most of your time in Cork this Summer, so in the case of an earlier arrival, we will try our best to accommodate our guests, where possible, at no extra cost. Please note that an early check-in is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed until the day of arrival. If we cannot check you in early, we will store your luggage for you, ensuring you maximise your time exploring Cork this Summer. As our desk is manned 24/7, late arrivals are possible as well.

    What time is check-out?

    This Summer, check-out is by 12 noon on the day of departure. We do understand that you might want to extend your time in Cork this Summer and we will try our best to accommodate our guests, where possible, with a late departure. Please note that a late check-out is subject to room availability, is charged at €10 per hour and must be arranged with the reception during your stay.

    Does the hotel offer baggage storage?

    Yes, we can store your luggage until your room is ready or you are ready to depart. Its important to us that you have the opportunity maximise your time in Cork this Summer 

    Does the hotel have WiFi? 

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City is pleased to offer complimentary WiFi in all public areas and bedrooms, to allow you to research all the amazing things to do in Cork this Summer

    Is there a laundry service available? 

    Yes, we offer a laundry service in the hotel for an additional charge.

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel? 

    If you have left any items behind following your stay at the hotel, please contact our reception team directly via phone on +353 (0)21 452 9200 and if found, we will return to you via post. 

    Are pets permitted in the hotel? 

    No, pets are not permitted in the hotel, with the exception of guide and service dogs.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day? 

    Yes, our reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day. We’re here to help you with everything. From printing Boarding Passes, directions and recommendations on the best places to eat and visit in Cork during the Summer Season 

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City operates a strictly smoke-free policy within the entire building and therefore also in all bedrooms. Please note that a failure to adhere to this policy will result in an additional cleaning charge.

    Is the hotel accessible? 

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering very good levels of accessibility throughout our hotel, with all being accessible by lift. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility


    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, we have Maldron Hotels gift cards available to purchase at reception or online. Our gift cards can be used in any Maldron Hotel or Clayton Hotel. 

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, our reception team can assist with printing your boarding pass.

    Do you supply travel adapters?

    No, we don’t have any travel adapters available for purchase at the hotel.

  • Location & Parking

    How far away is Cork city centre? 

    We are located in the historic Shandon district of Cork city at John Redmond Street. The famous Cork Opera House is just a 3 minute walk, across the River Lee with St Patrick’s Street a short stroll beyond, making us your perfect city centre hotel for Summer 2022 in Cork. Our hotel is also conveniently located near Cork’s premiere concert venues; Pairc Ui ChaoimhMusgrave Park and Live at the Marquee, University College Cork and Cork University Hospital are also a short drive from our hotel. 

    What is the history of the hotel? 

    Constructed in 1720, our building was the North Infirmary Hospital serving the people of Cork until its closure in 1987. After a period of dereliction, it was converted into a hotel and subsequently acquired and upgraded to the 4 star Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City. Read here more of our history. 

    How far is Cork Airport from the Hotel?

    Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City is just a short 15-minute drive from Cork Airport, making us your perfect base for exploring Cork during your 2022 Summer vacation. There is a frequent bus to the city centre from and to the airport available. Alternativity, taxis are available outside arrivals. The journey time and fares depend on traffic.

    How far are Kent Train Station and Parnell Bus Station from the Hotel?

    Kent train station is a 15-minute walk from the hotel and Parnell bus station is only a 10-minute walk from our hotel. Our proximity to Cork’s main transport services makes travelling to or from Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City for your 2022 Cork Summer Vacation easy and stress-free.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Yes, for everyone planning a shopping trip to Cork this summer, you will be spoiled for choices right at our doorstep. Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City is located just a 5-minute walk from Opera Lane Shopping Centre and a 7-minute walk from Merchants Quay. Both have a wide range of high street shops and unique boutiques. For those looking for an authentic Cork experience, The English Market, which has many local food stalls selling wines, meats and cheeses, is also only a 10-minute walk from our hotel, the perfect place to stock up on local produce for your summer time picnic in Cork.

    How close are public transport links to the hotel? 

    There is a bus stop, servicing the 202, 203, 215 and 248 bus routes on the doorstep of the hotel, which will take you to many locations around the city. The 215 bus will take you to Blarney Castle and Gardens or Cork Largest Shopping Centre, Mahon Point. Either of these places are perfect day trips for Summer 2022. 

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    Yes, there is Hertz Car Hire just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Please ask our reception team and they’ll provide you with directions and recommendations for road trips to take while in Cork for Summer 2022.

    Is car parking available at the hotel?

    Due to our city centre location, there is only a very limited number of parking spaces at the hotel allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. On-street metered parking is available in the immediate locality at €2 for 2 hours. Parking is also available at Q- Park Carrolls Quay Car Park located only 3 minutes walk from the hotel. For more details, please visit our parking at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City page.

    What are the top things to do as a family in Cork City for Summer 2022?

    There are louds of things to do as a family in Cork city for Summer 2022. We would recommend checking out our Fun Family Things to do in Cork  page to find out more.

    What are the top things to see and do in Cork city for Summer 2022?

    Cork is a vibrant place to be throughout the year, but it really comes alive during the Summer season. For Culture Vultures there are many events throughout the summer in Cork including concerts in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Live at the Marquee or Musgrave Park. Alternatively soak up the atmosphere at one of Cork’s many festivals, including Cork Pride.  Find Out more on our Events in Cork Page.  For those who want to explore all the city has to offer check out our see and do page.

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City boasts 101 spacious and comfortable hotel rooms. Depending on your needs, you can choose between 5 different room types, including Standard Double Rooms, Standard Twin Rooms, Executive King Rooms, Double & Single Bedded Rooms and Family Rooms. Our family rooms can accommodate either 2 adults and 2 children or 2 adults and 3 children. We also have a number of Interconnecting Rooms available at the hotel.

    Are there wheelchair accessible rooms available?

    Yes, we have wheelchair-accessible rooms available at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City. These are spacious rooms which include a walk-in shower and grab rails. 3 of these rooms are available on a request basis. To check availability or to book an accessible room, please contact our reservations team on +353 (0)21 452 9200.

    Does the hotel have family rooms?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City has a number of family rooms that can cater for up 5 guests,  2 adults and 3 children. For all families that need some extra space, we also have interconnecting rooms available. To book one of our amazing Cork Summer Family packages click here.

    Can I get a cot in my room?

    Yes, cots are available upon request. Please make sure to book your cot at the time of the booking as they are on a first booked, first served basis. To book one of our amazing Cork Summer Family packages click here.

    Are the hotel rooms air-conditioned?

    No, unfortunately, our bedrooms are not air-conditioned.

    Do the bathrooms have a shower or a bath?

    All hotel bedrooms have both a bath and a shower.

    Does the hotel offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, we offer wake-up calls for guests. Please speak to a member of the reception team to arrange a wake-up call.

    What amenities are included in the room?

    All our bedrooms feature a hairdryer, iron and ironing board, flatscreen TV, safe, tea and coffee making facilities as well as toiletries.

  • Dining

    What dining options are available at the hotel?

    Our famous Vitality Breakfast is served Monday to Friday from 7:00am – 10:30am and Weekends from 8:00am to 11:00am in our Grain & Grill Restaurant. Bells Bar is opened for food 7 days a week from 12:30pm right through to 9:30pm, serving light bites, lunch and dinner. Special Occasions can be booked in our Grain & Grill Restaurant.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, Our famous Vitality Breakfast is served Monday to Friday from 7:00am – 10:30am and Weekends from 8:00am to 11:00am in our Grain & Grill Restaurant. we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Choose from a full Irish breakfast as well as healthier and nutritious options to kickstart your morning. Add Breakfast for just €14.00 per adult or €8.00 per child, if booked on check-in with our reception team. On the day Breakfast is €15.50 per adult or €8.00 per child.

    The Maldron Vitality Breakfast is the perfect way to start your day while on holidays in Cork this Summer.

    What times is food served?

    Breakfast is served in Grain & Grill Restaurant Monday to Friday from 7:00am – 10:30am and Weekends from 8:00am to 11:00am. While light bites, lunch and dinner are served in Bells Bar daily from 12:30pm until 9:30pm.

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all of our menus have a full allergy listing. Please inform your waiter if you have any allergies, vegetarian or dietary requirements and our kitchen team will be delighted to assist.

    Does the Bell’s Bar offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we offer a separate kid’s menu for our younger diners.

    Do you provide room service?

    Yes, in-room dining is available daily. You can order from our Click & Go menu, available through our Guest Service Platform. The food can be collected at the collection point in our restaurant at your requested time.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    No, a dining reservation is in general not required. However, we advise you to reserve your table to avoid disappointment. To book, please contact our reception team on +353 (0)21 452 9200.

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    Yes, we offer a private dining space for groups or special occasions such as birthday parties, Anniversary parties, first communions, Confirmations and graduations. For more information or to book, please contact us via phone on +353 (0)21 452 9200 or email iginnell@maldronhotels.com

  • Leisure Facilities

    Does the hotel offer a swimming pool, spa and gym facilities on-site?

    Yes, our leisure centre has a 20m swimming pool with a separate kiddies pool. We also have a poolside jacuzzi, sauna and steam room on-site. For our more active guests, we also provide a fully equipped and air-conditioned gym on-site with Precor resistance machines, free weights area and cardio equipment. Whether you want to maintain your workout routine or take a dip in the pool, you can do both in Club Vitae at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City.

    What are the opening hours of the swimming pool and gym?

    The leisure facilities at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City opens from 6:30am to 9:15pm Monday to Thursday, 6:30am to 8:00pm Friday and from 8am to 8pm at weekends and bank holidays. Please note that children must vacate the pool area already at 7pm each day of the week. We would recommend pre-booking on our website or by phoning Club Vitae directly on +353(0)21 452 9226 or emailing cork@clubvitae.com.

    Is there an age limit for using the leisure facilities?

    Yes, children under 16 are not permitted to use the jacuzzi, sauna, steam room or the gym. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times and must be fully supervised when using the facilities. Children must vacate the facilities at 7pm.

    Is the use of the leisure facilities complimentary for guests?

    Yes, all hotel guests have full complimentary use of our leisure facilities.

  • Meetings & Events

    Are there meeting and event room facilities available at the hotel?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City has 2 recently refurbished and air-conditioned meeting rooms available, catering for interviews, board meetings, training sessions and group/community talks and events. For prices and availability, please contact us via phone on +353 (0)21 452 9200 or email reservations.shandon@maldronhotels.com.

    Does the hotel facilitate conferences?

    Yes, we host small conferences on-site for up to 80 delegates..

    How many people do your meeting rooms accommodate?

    Our meeting rooms can accommodate up to 80 delegates depending on the room chosen.

    What equipment is included in the meeting rooms?

    All our meeting rooms are equipped with standard presentation facilities (LCD projector and screen), flipcharts, water, mints as well as delegate stationery. Free WiFi will be provided complimentary in all meeting rooms.

    Are there food and beverage options available?

    Yes, we have a variety of dining options as well as customised menus available for meetings to suit your budget and requirements.

    Do you have corporate rates available?

    Yes, we have corporate rates available at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City. Please contact us directly via phone on +353 (0)21 452 9200 or email reservations.shandon@maldronhotels.com for more information and to discuss a reduced corporate rate.

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    Reservations can be made via our online secure booking process on our hotel website where you can easily see our best rates and also find all our exclusive offers and packages available. Alternatively, you can call the hotel reservations team directly on +353 (0)21 452 9200 or email reservations.shandon@maldronhotels.com.

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    If you have not yet received a booking confirmation by email, please check your junk/spam folder of your emails. Alternatively, you can also contact our reservations team via phone on +353 (0)21 452 9200 or email reservations.shandon@maldronhotels.com and they’re happy to help you or re-issue a new confirmation to you immediately.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    At Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City, we accept all major credit/debit cards and cash payments.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    A valid credit/debit card is required to secure all bookings made online or over the phone, unless in cases where this is otherwise stated. Please note nothing is charged to the card at booking stage when booking directly with the hotel (with the exception of advance purchase offers or bookings that require a deposit. This will be clearly noted on the booking offer).

    For all rooms that are being paid for in cash must be accompanied with photographic ID. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Children under the age of 2 can stay complimentary in the hotel. For the purposes of packages, a child is noted as being between the ages of 2 and 12.

    How do I make a group or multiple room booking?

    To make a group or multiple-room booking, please contact our reservations team via phone on +353 (0)21 452 9200 or email reservations.shandon@maldronhotels.com.

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    One guest must be 18 or older to guarantee the booking. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, you can. However, as rooms are subject to availability, pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment at arrival. Please note that an ID must be provided on check-in.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Simply let our reception team know by calling +353 (0)21 452 9200.

    How can I amend or cancel my booking?

    If you booked on our website, you can amend or cancel your booking online by clicking the ‘Manage Booking’ at the top of our website. Alternatively, you can call us directly on +353 (0)21 452 9200 to cancel or amend your booking.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City offers free cancellation up to 2pm on the day of arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    If your reservation was booked through a third-party website or online travel agent, you must cancel your booking through the same website or agent as we are unable to do this on your behalf. Please note that they have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.

    What does our “no show” policy entail?

    If you do not successfully cancel your booking or show up on the selected date of arrival, you will be charged the full amount for your first night’s stay. If your booking is advance purchase, the total amount will be non-refundable and you will incur a 100% penalty charge for the entire duration of your stay.


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