Powerscourt Hotel named as AA Hotel of the Year
Hotel's 'transformative journey' hailed
County Wicklow's Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa has been named as the AA's Hotel of the Year for 2015/16.
The award was presented by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD in a ceremony held in Dublin's Westbury Hotel this evening.
Other awards saw The Red Door Country House in Fahan, Co. Donegal win AA Guest Accommodation of the Year, while The Lodge at Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan won the AA Courtesy & Care Award for excellence in customer care.
In its previous guise as a Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt Hotel was widely seen as symbol of Celtic Tiger excess. Since changing ownership in 2013, however, the AA said the five-star has been "on a transformative journey".
“It is an old hotel and a new one,” said AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “Old in that the location has been globally renowned for many years, and new in that custody passed to a fantastic new team not even two years ago.
"In that time they have made huge strides.”
The AA Inspectorate, who personally visit every hotel accredited by the organisation throughout the year, singled out Powerscourt's "superb standards" and the way in which it had become and integral part of the local community.
"It is a five-star hotel that also manages to be an intimate and friendly place for the people of the area who have rightly become very proud of it," the AA said.
On accepting the award, General Manager David Webster said:
“It’s a huge accolade for the whole team who have worked so hard and constantly deliver five-star service to anyone who comes in the door.”
As we publish, B&B rates at the hotel, now a member of Marriott's Autograph Collection, were available from €220 per room in October.
In compiling its awards, the AA conducts anonymous visits in which exacting standards of hospitality, service, cuisine, facilities and staff are assessed. Winners demonstrate continuous improvement in the preceding 12-18 months, it says.
Read more: Secret Diary of a Hotel Inspector
"A hotel that achieves the accolade of AA Hotel of the Year can reasonably claim to be the best hotel in Ireland in its category," it added.
The AA Hotel of the Year is not always a five-star. Last year's winner was the four-star Maryborough Hotel & Spa in Cork, for instance.
Other major award winners at the ceremony included:
- AA Hotel of the Year: Powerscourt Hotel, Co. Wicklow
- AA Guest Accommodation of the Year: The Red Door Country House, Co. Donegal
- AA Courtesy & Care Award: The Lodge at Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan
- AA Foodie of the Year: Niamh O'Shaughnessy
- AA Delicious Dish of the Year: Faithlegg House Hotel, Co. Waterford
Jenny Flynn, chef at Faithlegg House Hotel, won 'Delicious Dish of the Year' for her Scallops & Black Pudding, serve with apple and locally brewed cider.