Thursday 27 October 2016

Ireland's Top 20 hotels revealed - but how many have you heard of?

Return of the B&B?

Published 16/11/2015 | 15:50

Harvey's Point, Co. Donegal: Aerial view
Harvey's Point, Co. Donegal: Aerial view
Trivago: Ireland's Top 20 hotels

A list of Ireland's top hotels by one of the world's largest hotel search sites is surprisingly short on... erm, hotels.

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You might herald it as the return of the B&B.

Fans of country houses and guesthouses are also likely to be pleased... as are those of self-catering holiday homes in Salthill, Co. Galway.

But hotels? trivago's list of Ireland's Top 20 - which it says is based on over 190 million online ratings - contains no more than a handful.

  1. Harvey’s Point, Co. Donegal
  2. The Killarney Park Hotel, Co. Kerry
  3. Heaton’s Guesthouse, Dingle, Co. Kerry
  4. Pinetrees B&B, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim
  5. Avlon House, Carlow
  6. Ballybunion Guesthouse, Co. Kerry
  7. Emlagh House, Dingle, Co. Kerry
  8. Oranhill Lodge, Oranmore, Co. Galway
  9. The Ross, Killarney, Co. Kerry
  10. Algret House, Killarney, Co. Kerry
  11. Waterfront House, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo
  12. Jameson Court, Galway
  13. Adare Country House, Adare, Co. Limerick
  14. The Gregory, Belfast
  15. Woodside Lodge, Westport, Co. Mayo
  16. Evergreen, Swords, Co. Dublin
  17. Rose Park House, Derry
  18. Augusta Lodge, Westport, Co. Mayo
  19. The Marker, Dublin
  20. Keef Halla, Crumlin, Co. Antrim

Five-stars such as Ashford Castle, recently voted best in the world by luxury travel network Virtuoso, or Wicklow's Powerscourt Hotel, named AA Ireland's Hotel of the Year for 2016, are conspicuous by their absence.

Furthermore, trivago's expanded list of Ireland's Top 50 hotels includes a whopping total of 22 B&Bs, according to the hotel search site.

“The trivago Top Hotel Awards aim to judge all accommodation fairly, whether they are a guest house in Dingle, a B&B in Ballybunion or a luxury hotel in Dublin," according to David Lintott of the website's UK & Ireland Public Relations office.

However, Stephen McNally, President of the Irish Hotels Federation - which represents almost 1,000 hotels and guesthouses - took issue with the list.

"The survey is based on a narrow sample of B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels and is clearly not representative of the wide range of superb hotel accommodation available throughout the country," he told Travel.

Separately, trivago's list of the top hotels in Northern Ireland has been questioned by US travel expert and radio host, Stephanie Abrams.

The list "features many small hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&Bs which provide fine service to travellers looking for that level of accommodation, but cannot possibly be designated as 'top' hotels," Abrams said.

"The list only presents a few of the best hotels NI has to offer."

trivago says it is the world’s largest online hotel search site, comparing rates from more than 700,000 hotels on over 200 booking sites worldwide.

Its ratings are aggregated using an algorithm that provides "a dependable and impartial score, whether a hotel has 400 reviews or 4,000" it adds.

"It is fascinating that B&Bs are rated as highly as four and five-star hotels," Lintott commented. "It appears that holidaymakers in Ireland are attracted to the family-run nature and personalised service of B&Bs."

Kerry dominates trivago's Top 10 with four inclusions from Killarney and two from Dingle, while just one Dublin hotel (The Marker) makes its Top 20.

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