Irish hotels book 9 of the top 20 slots in travel magazine poll

Irish hotel resorts have taken the top two places and feature in nine of Europe’s 20 best in the latest survey by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Irish hotels book 9 of the top 20 slots in travel magazine poll

The awards, which are chosen by Condé Nast Traveler readers, saw Irish resorts beat those in France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Britain.

The magazine’s Best Resorts in Europe: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014 put Sheen Falls in Kenmare, Co Kerry, at the top spot, closely followed by Ashford Castle in Cong, Co Mayo.

Kildare Hotel at the K Club came in fourth place, followed by Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, which came eighth.

The magazine praises Sheen Falls’ “first-class service”, notes the wandering deer on the 300-acre estate and remarks on the “very pretty views over the Sheen Falls” through the floor-to­ceiling windows.

“Rooms are decorated in hues of peaches and cream. The design is Irish manor home with traditional furnishings of a very high quality.”

Condé Nast Traveler describes Ashford Castle as being “in a class of its own” and says that “service throughout is outstanding”.

Irish resorts feature the most in the top 20 list. Adare Manor in Co Limerick came in at eleventh while Trump International Hotel & Golf Links in Doonbeg, Co Clare, was twelfth.

Dromoland Castle Hotel & Country Estate in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, came in at number 14, followed by Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, on 16 and the Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, at No 18.

The awards follow a slew of recent similar accolades for Irish hotels and tourist regions.

Earlier this week, the Lonely Planet travel guide ranked Ireland fifth on its list of the Top 10 in the world to visit in 2015, saying “the cosmopolitan, contemporary Irish are just as friendly and welcoming as their forebears were known to be”.

A further boost to tourism was received recently when Tourism Ireland’s global marketing website, Ireland.com, scooped three awards at the ‘W’ Awards in New York, which recognise creative excellence on the web. Tourism Ireland picked up gold for its Wild Atlantic Way website design, silver for visual appeal of its Wild Atlantic Way website, and a silver for its St Patrick’s Day campaign.

Brian Harte, Tourism Ireland’s head of customer engagement and e-marketing, said: “To win three awards is fantastic and a reflection of the work we have put into developing and leveraging Ireland.com over the past two years.

“These awards acknowledge that the site is up there with the best and we are confident that it will continue to inform and inspire potential visitors to choose the island of Ireland, showcasing our superb tourism offering and the many things to see and do on a holiday here,” said Mr Harte.

Top resorts

1. Sheen Falls Lodge Kenmare, Co Kerry

2. Ashford Castle Hotel, Cong, Co Mayo

3. Blue Palace Resort (Luxury Collection), Elounda, Crete, Greece

4. Kildare Hotel at the K Club, Straffan, Co Kildare

5. The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Scotland

6. Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz, Switzerland

7. Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Zermatt, Switzerland

8. Powerscourt Hotel (formerly Ritz-Carlton), Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

9. Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy

10. Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

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