Ireland’s hotel of the year named at Georgina Campbell Awards

Harvey's Point - TripAdvisor's top hotel in Ireland for four years running.

Harvey’s Point has been announced as Ireland’s Hotel of the Year at the 2017 Georgina Campbell Awards.

The Donegal four-star – also Ireland’s No.1 on TripAdvisor – was cited for its stunning location, luxurious accommodation and waterside fine dining restaurant.

“But the real USPs are its people,” Campbell said.

The 2017 awards, held today at Bord Bia in Dublin, also saw Good Things @ Dillon’s Corner in Skibbereen, Co. Cork, named Restaurant of the Year.

A special award for services to Irish food and hospitality was given to Peter & Mary Ward of Country Choice in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Full list of award winners:

  • Hotel of the Year: Harvey’s Point, Co. Donegal
  • Restaurant of the Year: Good Things @ Dillon’s Corner, Skibbereen, Co. Cork
  • Chef of the Year: Sebastien Masi, Pearl Brasserie, Dublin
  • Outstanding Guest Experience: Ballyvolane House, Fermoy, Co. Cork
  • Host of the Year: Kathleen O’Sullivan, Seaview House Hotel, Ballylickey, Co. Cork
  • Business hotel of the Year: The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin & Belfast
  • Newcomer of the Year: Nook Café and Restaurant, Collooney, Co. Sligo
  • Country House of the Year: Viewmount House, Longford
  • Guesthouse of the Year: Number 31, Dublin
  • B&B of the Year: Carbery Cottage Guest Lodge, Durrus, Co. Cork
  • Farmhouse of the Year: Killiane Castle, Drinagh, Co. Wexford
  • Bord Bia ‘Just Ask’ Restaurant of the Year: 1826 Adare, Co. Limerick
  • Taste of the Waterways Award: Two Cooks Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sallins, Co. Kildare
  • Seafood Restaurant of the Year: Jack’s Coastguard Restaurant, Cromane, Co. Kerry
  • Wine Award of the Year: ely, Ely Place & IFSC, Dublin
  • Pub of the Year: O’Dowd’s of Roundstone, Roundstone, Co. Galway
  • Family Friendly Destination: Brigit’s Garden, Rosscahill, Co. Galway
  • Pet-friendly Hotel of the Year: The Salty Dog, Bangor, Co. Down
  • Hideaway of the Year: Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry
  • Atmospheric Restaurant of the Year: The Duck Terrace Restaurant, Marlfield House, Gorey, Co. Wexford
  • Ethnic Restaurant of the Year: Pickle, Dublin 2
  • Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year: 4 Vicars, Armagh, Co. Armagh
  • Cafe of the Year: An Fear Gorta/The Tea & Garden Rooms, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
  • Natural Food Award: Burren Glamping, Burren Free Range Pork Farm, Kilfenora, Co. Clare

Campbell’s annual food and hospitality awards, the longest running in Ireland, are independently assessed and notable for their unexpected choices and surprises, providing a September snapshot of the best in Irish hospitality.

In compiling this year’s awards, Campbell and her team kept “a sharp eye out for those exceptional establishments which are right on top of their game and going the extra mile for customers,” she said in Dublin.

“What we seek is not perfection but real food and hospitality with real heart, and we’re finding it in clusters of excellence all over the country.”

Campbell also noted Ireland’s growing sense of momentum as a food tourism destination, an “explosion” of casual dining and an investment in long overdue refurbishment “following years of stagnation”., in 2016.
However, this year also brought its disappointments.

“Our least satisfactory experiences have again tended to be in four and five-star hotels,” she said. “Higher prices mean higher expectations, of course, but the high level of dissatisfaction is often down to simple things that could easily be fixed at any level, plus a lack of hospitality (which often means lack of a host) and poor staff training.”
“One thing is certain, there are many more people – Irish residents and visitors from all over the globe – now wanting to have the full on experience of real Irish food and hospitality. So, however they find it, let’s make sure it’s real.”



Four Irish hotels named among Europe’s Top 10 resorts

Last Week the country featured on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 to visit in 2015.

Now comes the news that readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine have named four Irish hotels among their Top 10 European Resorts.

Sheen Falls Lodge tops the list at No.1, with Ashford Castle ranked second, the K Club fourth and Adare Manor rounding off the Irish showing in tenth place.

The Top 10 Resorts in Europe is as follows:

Sheen Falls Lodge, Co. Kerry
Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
Blue Palace Resort, Crete
Kildare Hotel at the K Club, Co. Kildare
The Gleneagles hotel, Scotland
Badrutt’s Palace, Switzerland
Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Switzerland
Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
Old Course Hotel, Scotland
Adare Manor, Co. Limerick
Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards are published annually, and this year featured over one million votes from almost 77,000 readers. Several lists of best cities, islands, hotels, resorts and cruise lines are drawn up from the results.

Sheen Falls Lodge, which overlooks the picturesque Sheen Waterfalls, also ranks 82nd on the global list of Top 100 Hotels & Resorts.

“We are extremely honoured to be named the number one resort in Europe and to be one of four hotels from the UK and Ireland in the Top 100 hotels and resorts in the world,” said Patrick Hanley, General Manager, Sheen Falls Lodge.

“A special thank you must be extended to the team here who dedicate themselves and make an exceptional effort to ensure all guests have a pleasant and memorable stay.”

The Kenmare five-star is commended by readers for its “first-class service” and “very pretty views”, according to the magazine. Its “very high-quality design” also merits a mention.

The Cong, Co. Mayo five-star has “beautiful grounds, fantastic recreational activities” and “outstanding service”, according to readers.

Formerly the Guinness family home, the hotel’s guest rooms come with high ceilings and four-poster beds, the magazine points out, “though they can be tired looking.”

The five-star is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment programme.

Connemara’s Ballynahinch Castle also features, ranking 23rd of 25 Top Hotels in Europe.

“The setting is something out of a fairy-tale book – lush greenery, lake, silence,” readers report. “It’s just gorgeous, like a rich uncle’s country estate.”

The Condé Nast citations cap an extraordinary run of international recognition for Irish destinations and hotels overseas. In addition to Lonely Planet’s Top 10, Enniskillen’s Lough Erne resort recently topped the Huffington Post’s “Best Hotels for Winter 2014/15” round-up.

The full list of Readers’ Choice Awards winners can be accessed here.


Top Restaurants in Ireland announced

Top Restaurants in Ireland announced

at Irish Restaurant Awards 2014 in association with the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine

Irish Restaurants Awards





Kilkenny Restaurant Campagne named Best Restaurant in Ireland


Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant crowned Best Chef in Ireland

Kilkenny Restaurant Campagne took home the prize of Best Restaurant in Ireland and Neven Maguire, Head Chef of MacNean House and Restaurant, was crowned Best Chef in Ireland at the Irish Restaurant Awards 2014 in association with the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine, in The DoubleTree by Hilton, Monday June 9th. Over 900 restaurateurs and industry players turned out to attend Ireland’s biggest ever Restaurant awards where Regional and All-Ireland winners were announced in the following categories;

Best Restaurant in Ireland Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Wakefield Wines
· Campagne
Best Chef in Ireland Sponsored by La Rousse Foods
· Neven Maguire of MacNean House & Restaurant
Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland Sponsored by Pallas Foods
· The Lady Helen @ Mount Juliet
Best Casual Dining in Ireland Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin
Best Gastro Pub in Ireland Sponsored by Total Produce
· The Chop House
Best Wine Experience in Ireland Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Champagne Pannier
· Fallon & Byrne
Best Customer Service in Ireland Sponsored by
· Renvyle House Hotel
Best Restaurant Manager in Ireland Supported by The Restaurants Association of Ireland
· Alain Kerloc’H of Ox
Best Kids Size Me in Ireland Sponsored by Heinz
· ely gastro bar
Best ‘Foodie Town’ in Ireland Sponsored by
· Dingle / Daingean Uí Chuis
Best Café in Ireland Sponsored by Bewley’s
· Kelly’s Café
Best Cocktail Experience in Ireland Sponsored by Ketel One, Diageo Reserve
· Saba
Best Cookery School in Ireland Sponsored by Avonmore
· Ballymaloe Cookery School
Best Digital Marketing in Ireland Sponsored by Nomos Productions
· Canteen
Best Emerging Irish Cuisine in Ireland Sponsored by Odaios Foods
· The Global Village Restaurant
Best Newcomer in Ireland Sponsored by Dalcassian and Cielo
· Forest Avenue
Best Practice in Energy Management in Ireland Sponsored by Calor
· The Ocean Restaurant at The Maritime Hotel
Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant in Ireland Sponsored by San Pellegrino
· Restaurant Forty One at Residence
Best Restaurant Design in Ireland Supported by The Restaurants Association of Ireland
· Kay’s Kitchen, Jervis Shopping Centre
Best Seafood Experience in Ireland Sponsored by Burren Smokehouse
· O’Grady’s on the Pier
Sustainable Restaurant of the Year in Ireland Sponsored by Unilever
· West @ The Twelve
Best World Cuisine in Ireland Sponsored by Elavon
· China Sichaun
Best Value Dining in Ireland Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
· Fenton’s of Dingle

For a full list of winners, see below.

Pádraic Óg Gallagher, President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said;

“This year’s awards have been the biggest, brightest- and the best. They are the awards everyone wants to be associated with, and everyone wants to be a winner. As a testament to their success, we’ve seen a huge increase in nominations and votes since last year, with over 19,000 nominations for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants, restaurant managers and ‘foodie towns’ throughout the country. The Irish Restaurant Awards are all about celebrating those who have brought acclaim to the Irish food scene from abroad and who keep the restaurant industry thriving at home.

Ireland has so much to offer to the culinary tourist, and these Awards remind everyone of the quality and class of Irish restaurants and Chefs. The Irish restaurant scene is vital to the economy, employing 64,000 people and generating revenue in excess of €2 billion per year, it’s great to celebrate the work that all of our restaurateurs around the country do to keep this aspect of our culture alive and kicking.”

The Menu for the five-course Gala was created by five chefs who have previously won Best Chef titles at the Irish Restaurant Awards. This year’s sumptuous menu was devised by the following Chefs;

Opening Course- Ian Orr, Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge
Slow cooked Cavan Pork neck with Toffee Apple Purée & Poached Rhubarb
Kindly sponsored by Pallas Foods

Soup Course- Gary O’Hanlon, VM Restaurant, Viewmount House
Oven Roasted Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup
Donegal Chilli Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Milk
Kindly sponsored by Total Produce & Bretzel Bakery

Fish Course- Tom Flavin, Limerick Strand Hotel
Irish Trout, Smoked Salmon, Herring, Beetroot, Organic leaves
Kindly sponsored by Burren Smokehouse, Rene Cusack Limerick and Silver Darlings of the Sea Limerick

Main Course- Sunil Ghai, Ananda
48hrs Kildare Lamb Shank
with Cardamom, Saffron & Fennel and served with Baby Turnip, Pearl Potatoes & Caramelised Baby Fennel
Kindly sponsored by La Rousse Roods & Total Produce

Dessert Course- JP McMahon, Aniar
Elderflower, Yogurt, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Dill
Elderflower and Yogurt Mousse, Cucumber Granita, Dill Oil, Dried Cauliflower Crisp
Kindly sponsored by La Rousse Foods


The 2014 Irish Restaurant Awards are brought to you by The Restaurants Association of Ireland in association with the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine. The awards are the largest and most coveted awards in the Irish Restaurant Industry.

The Awards recognise achievement and excellence in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry throughout the 32 counties of the Island of Ireland in 25 categories and celebrate all aspects of the Industry from Chefs and Restaurants, Cafes and Gastro Pubs, to Food Producers, Restaurant Managers and Cookery Schools.

Nominations for the Awards are made by readers of the Sunday Independent LIFE Magazine and members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

The nomination & awards selection process is also independently audited by Ernst & Young to ensure that best practices & standards have been adhered to throughout the process.

The 2014 Awards process ran from February 16th until 9th June 2014. It is a detailed and thorough process whereby nominated Restaurants face rigorous scrutiny from the Consumer, Regional Judges, a Mystery Guest Visitor and finally the National Awards Academy. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the only kind restaurant awards in the country that carry out mystery guest inspections.

County winners were announced at a number of Regional Awards during March and April and the All-Ireland Awards took place last night, Monday 9th June 2014 in the DoubleTree by Hilton, Dublin.

There are two phases of voting. Phase one comprises of the public nomination, which went online on bringing in over 19,000 votes in the three weeks of the public voting, almost double the figure of the 2013 voting record.

There are 3 components to phase two of the process;
1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.
2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and meet in May to Judge the County Winners.
3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.

Best Restaurant Kindly Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Wakefield Wines

v Connaught- An Port Mór, Mayo
v Dublin – Dax Restaurant
v Leinster – Campagne, Kilkenny
v Munster – 1826 Adare, Limerick
v Ulster – Ox, Antrim
v All-Ireland- Campagne, Kilkenny

Best Chef Kindly Sponsored by La Rousse Foods

v Connaught- Frankie Mallon of An Port Mór, Mayo
v Dublin – John Wyer of Forest Avenue
v Leinster – Billy Whitty of Aldridge Lodge, Wexford
v Munster – Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, Cork
v Ulster – Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant, Cavan
v All-Ireland- Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant, Cavan

Best Hotel Restaurant Kindly Sponsored by Pallas Foods

v Connaught- The Restaurant at Belleek Castle, Mayo
v Dublin – The Cellar Restaurant at Merrion Hotel
v Leinster – The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny
v Munster – The Dining Room at Gregan’s Castle Hotel, Clare
v Ulster – Newforge House, Armagh
v All-Ireland- The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Best Casual Dining Kindly Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin

v Connaught- Shells Seaside Bakery & Café, Sligo
v Dublin – ETTO
v Leinster – Avenue Café & Restaurant, Kildare
v Munster – Nash 19, Cork
v Ulster – Hadskis, Antrim
v All-Ireland- ETTO, Dublin

Best Gastro Pub Kindly Sponsored by Total Produce

v Connaught- The Pins at The Twelve, Galway
v Dublin –The Chop House
v Leinster – The Fatted Calf, Westmeath
v Munster – The Derg Inn, Tipperary
v Ulster – The Brewer’s House, Tyrone
v All-Ireland- The Chop House, Dublin

Best Wine Experience Kindly Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Champagne Pannier

v Connaught- West at The Twelve, Galway
v Dublin –Fallon & Byrne
v Leinster – Sha-Roe Bistro, Carlow
v Munster – Killarney Wine Rooms at The Malton, Kerry
v Ulster – Ox, Antrim
v All-Ireland- Fallon & Byrne, Dublin

Best Customer Service Kindly Sponsored by

v Connaught- Renvyle House Hotel, Galway
v Dublin –Chapter One
v Leinster – The Restaurant at Marlfield House, Wexford
v Munster – Earl of Thomond at Dromoland Castle Hotel, Clare
v Ulster – Vanilla Restaurant, Down
v All-Ireland- Renvyle House Hotel, Galway

Best Kids Size Me Kindly Sponsored by Heinz

v Dublin- ely gastro bar
v All-Ireland- ely gastro bar

Best Restaurant Manager Supported by The Restaurants Association of Ireland

v Dublin – Stéphane Robin of Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
v All-Ireland – Alain Kerloc’H of Ox


Powerscourt Voted no. 3 in the World’s Top 10 Gardens by National Geographic

Powerscourt Gardens has been voted No. 3 in the World’s Top 10 Gardens by the National Geographic!
This news comes just days after being awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor, an award for businesses that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on the site.

These fantastic reviews will give both Powerscourt and the travel trade more reasons for travellers to visit Ireland.

Powerscourt House
Powerscourt House

Powerscourt’s a Winner


From Powerscourt Estate

We are thrilled that Powerscourt Golf Club has been voted the best Parkland Course in Ireland for 2014 by the Golfers Guide to Ireland.

The annual awards are organised by the Golfers Guide to Ireland, one of the most popular golf magazines in Ireland, to recognise outstanding performers in the Irish Golf Industry. Paddy McCarthy, Publisher of the Golfers Guide to Ireland commented: “Powerscourt Golf Club situated in the magnificent Powerscourt Estate offers the golfer a choice of two terrific courses with stunning scenery and beautifully manicured greens and fairways. Its location only a short distance from Dublin City makes it a popular choice for visitors who are assured of a five star experience from start to finish. It is therefore no surprise that Powerscourt has been voted Best Parkland Course overall in the 2014 Golfers Guide to Ireland Awards.”

“To be honoured with such a prestigious award is a true testament to both the quality and service which is synonymous with Powerscourt Estate. This award is representative of all the hard work, effort and commitment to excellence put in by the entire team at Powerscourt Golf Club”. Bernard Gibbons, Golf Manager.

We encourage golfers and non-golfers alike to visit and get a sense of something truly spectacular on the grounds of the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow.