Hotel standards suffering in 'race to the bottom'
STANDARDS have slipped at many hotels and restaurants around the country as the third year of the recession takes its toll, hospitality guru Georgina Campbell has warned.
Peeling wallpaper, grotty grouting and cracked tiles are all signs that the drive for ever cheaper prices is taking its toll on upkeep, making it necessary to introduce new "back to basics" awards for housekeeping and service, she said at the 2012 Georgina Campbell awards.
However, top award winners have avoided the race to the bottom by making superhuman efforts to give customers quality at a fair price, she said.
This includes Chef of the Year Aidan McGrath of the Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna.
Mr McGrath said he was convinced there was a market for quality local and wild food at affordable prices.
The Restaurant of the Year was announced as Restaurant Forty One at Residence on Dublin's St Stephens Green, the private members' club which, under new ownership and management, has risen from the ashes of the Stokes brothers' disastrous venture there.
Chef Graham Neville, previously at Thorntons, said the restaurant which is open to non-members fed the growing appetite for local and organic food.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in Recess, Co Galway won the Hotel of the Year award.
Georgina Campbell urged accommodation providers to go after the valuable niche market of animal lovers who want to take their beloved pets with them on holidays.
The winner of their reinstated Pet Friendly award was Hotel Dunloe Castle in Killarney.