HAVING SWAPPED the beautiful scenery of her native Cooley penninsula for that of Dingle, Co Kerry, local woman Helen Woods and her husband Brian Heaton have made a name for themselves running the award winning Woodlands Hotel.
Earlier this year they were voted the 2012 Best Hotel in Ireland by Tripadvisor independent travellers and were also finalists in the Hotel and Catering Review Annual Gold medal Awards in the Townhouse Category. Recently they were presented with the overall award for Best Value Hotel at the National Hospitality Awards.
Their family-run hotel combines old world charm with modern conveniences with guests enjoying the best of home cooked food, cosy log fires and stunning views.
'We get quite a lot of visitors from Dundalk and Co. Louth,' said Helen, who is a daughter of Liam and Irene Woods, Castletowncooley.
'Brian and I opened Castlewood House back in May 2005 after having worked in quite a few hotels in Ireland such as Ashford Castle, O'Callaghan Hotels (Brian) and the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross which I worked in for nearly ten years, I suppose we really wanted to make the dream of owning your own business a reality and Dingle was the place to do it.
'We wanted to create an elegant, comfortable and welcoming experience for our guests and we are delighted that over the past seven years our business has grown and we now welcome guest from all over the world including the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Germany the UK and all over Ireland and we are very fortunate to have lots of very loyal customers who come back to us again and again.'