'Labour of love' is best bargain hotel in world
A BOUTIQUE hotel in scenic Dingle has been named the best bargain hotel in the world.
Castlewood House received the prestigious accolade from the influential TripAdvisor website, as voted by travellers.
As the results of its 2014 Travellers' Choice awards were unveiled, the Kerry hotel also scooped the ranking 70th in the world and second in Europe in the category of small hotels.
Owners Helen and Brian Heaton said they were delighted with the award.
Helen said: "It's great for us and our whole team here. We put our heart and soul into the whole operation, and when you get an accolade like that it is a great morale booster for everybody.
"We provide boutique accommodation. We have 12 rooms," she said.
The couple bought the site, built it and then opened the doors of their property in 2005.
"The key to running a business like this is that you are here yourself, it's very much a labour of love," she said.
"Another key to our operation is the attention to detail," she added. Their boutique guesthouse rates vary from low season to high season, starting from €45 per person sharing.
In the Irish category of the TripAdvisor awards, Harvey's Point in Donegal Town was named the country's top hotel.
And the Killarney Park Hotel was crowned number one luxury hotel, while Kelly's Resort Hotel & Spa in Rosslare topped the Family Hotel category.
Bay View House Bed and Breakfast in Clonakilty was named Ireland's best B&B.
Ireland's best performing town was Killarney, home to 16 winning properties.
Elsewhere, the residents of Pontresina in Switzerland have much cause for celebration as the city's Grand Hotel Kronenhof takes the big win and claims the coveted title of world's top hotel for 2014 in this year's awards.