The Reader Travel Awards 2019 shortlists are here! Scroll down to find the destinations, attractions and tourism businesses shortlisted as the best in travel for 2019. You have voted, our judges have judged, and here are the nominees. They are not the contenders with the biggest marketing teams, or the most money. They are people and places that have won your trust, where you spend your savings, and which you’d genuinely recommend to a friend. Enjoy the read, and stay tuned for our winners' reveal next January 19th!

Pól Ó Conghaile 

Travel Editor


The Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards team are delighted to announce Iarnród Éireann as our print and digital awards sponsor for 2019. Click here for more...


This year, we had seven super holidays to give away to those of you who voted in our Reader Travel Awards. Click here to see who the winners are...

Previous years' results

2018 Reader Travel Awards
2017 Reader Travel Awards


Ireland’s Favourite Airline

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Ryanair
  • Turkish Airlines

Ireland’s Favourite Visitor Attraction

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Dublin Zoo
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Newgrange
  • Tayto Park

Ireland’s Favourite Home Holiday Destination

  • Cork
  • Donegal
  • Galway
  • Kerry
  • Wexford

Ireland’s Favourite Overseas Holiday Destination

  • Canary Islands
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain

Best Irish Welcome

  • Castlewood House, Co Kerry
  • Clontarf Castle, Dublin
  • Harvey’s Point, Co Donegal
  • Hayfield Manor, Cork
  • Moher Cottage, Co Clare

Ireland’s Favourite Hotel

  • Ashford Castle, Co Mayo
  • Kelly’s Resort, Co Wexford
  • Monart, Co Wexford
  • The Europe, Co Kerry
  • The Shelbourne, Dublin

Ireland’s Favourite Small Stay

  • Aldridge Lodge, Co Wexford
  • Castlewood House, Co Kerry
  • Dunowen House, Co Cork
  • Hidden Valley, Co Wicklow
  • MacNean House, Co Cavan

Best Breakfast in Ireland

  • Brother Hubbard, Dublin
  • Castlewood House, Co Kerry
  • Dela Restaurant, Galway
  • Liberty Grill, Cork
  • MacNean House, Co Cavan

Ireland’s Favourite Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator

  • Cassidy Travel
  • Sunway
  • Trailfinders
  • Travel Counsellors
  • Travel Department

Ireland’s Favourite Food Experience

  • Ballymaloe House, Co Cork
  • Chapter One, Dublin
  • Eatyard, Dublin
  • English Market, Cork
  • MacNean House, Co Cavan

Ireland’s Favourite Spa

  • ESPA at The Europe, Co Kerry
  • Monart, Co Wexford
  • Oceo Spa at Seafield, Co Wexford
  • The Spa at Farnham Estate, Co Cavan
  • The Spa at Galgorm, Co Antrim

Ireland’s Favourite Ferry Experience

  • Stena Line
  • Brittany Ferries
  • Irish Ferries

Ireland’s Favourite Cruise Line

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • MSC Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean

Ireland’s Favourite Beach

  • Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow
  • Curracloe, Co Wexford
  • Inch Beach, Co Kerry
  • Inchydoney, Co Cork
  • Keem Bay, Co Mayo

Ireland’s Favourite Adventure

  • Bray to Greystones Walk, Co Wicklow
  • Carlingford Adventure Centre, Co Louth
  • Castlecomer Adventure Park, Co Kilkenny
  • Lough Key Forest Park, Co Roscommon
  • Waterford Greenway, Co Waterford

Ireland’s Favourite Local Attraction

  • Glendalough, Co Wicklow
  • Hook Lighthouse, Co Wexford
  • Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny
  • National Gallery, Dublin
  • Phoenix Park, Dublin



A three-night luxury escape for two with dinner and a spa treatment in The Well in the Garden at Cliff at Lyons, Co Kildare.

Winner: John Nealon, Dublin


A trip for two to Iceland with WOW air, including a two-night stay at the Fosshótel Reykjavík. WOW operates daily flights from Dublin to Iceland.

Winner: Una Milton, Dublin


A two-night stay at Finn Lough, Co Fermanagh for two, including one night in a Bubble Dome, one in a luxury suite, an evening meal and access to the Elements Trail Spa Experience.

Winner: Philip Murphy, Down


A luxury city break for two, including return flights, with Choose between Prague, Budapest, Berlin or Rome.

Winner: Kerriann Cudden, Dublin


Two nights’ B&B with dinner on one night at Longueville House, Co Cork, courtesy of Ireland’s Blue Book.

Winner: Sharon Cosgrove, Cavan


A two-night B&B stay in the newly refurbished Jurys Inn Liverpool hotel with return flights.

Winner: Joan Mitchell, Kildare


Enjoy a two-night B&B stay with dinner on a night of your choice at the Step House Hotel in Borris, Co Carlow.

Winner: Nuala Curran, Fermanagh


Pól Ó Conghaile

Travel Editor of Weekend magazine and He has five times been named Ireland’s Travel Journalist of the Year.

John Brennan

Owner, with his brother Francis, of The Park Hotel, Kenmare and co-host of RTE's 'At Your Service'.

Leslie Ann Horgan

Editor of the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine.

Niall Tracey

Director of Marketing with Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority.

Francis Brennan

Owner, with his brother John, of The Park Hotel, Kenmare. Francis’s new book, 'At Your Service, A Gentleman Abroad', is out now.

Katy McGuinness

Food writer and restaurant critic with the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine.


Cliff at Lyons luxury

Non-transferable, subject to availability, valid for two people sharing, does not include beverages, 60-minute spa treatment per person.

Escape to Iceland!

Blackout dates 15.12.2018-10.01.2019. Two return tickets from Dublin to Reykjavik. One carry-on bag and one check in bag per person. Seat selection. Valid for one year (until September 2019). Fosshotel valid from October to May (blackout dates 20 Dec – 2 Jan).

Bubble dome bliss

Prize is as stated and non-transferable. Prize can be taken midweek from Sunday to Thursday, subject to availability. Travel is the winner’s own responsibility, as is any item, service, or cost not expressly stated to be included in the prize. See Discover Northern Ireland for full terms and conditions.

Four-star holiday

4* City Break to choice of following destinations: Prague, Budapest, Berlin or Rome subject to availability. Winner provides Click&Go with 3 preferred dates for travel. Travel period must be between January 2019 to February 2019. Excludes school mid-term breaks and bank holidays. 4* Hotel will be chosen by Click&Go and will be one of the hotels featured on No spending money, no cash in lieu, non-transferable. Other T&C’s apply. Transfers not included in the city break.

Blue Book boltholes

Services are subject to availability, no cash in lieu of voucher, prize is non-transferable.

Jet off with Jurys Inn

Prize includes return flights from Dublin to Liverpool and two nights B&B for two adults sharing at Jurys Inn Liverpool. The prize is valid for nine months, is non-transferable, subject to availability and there is no cash alternative available. Blackout dates apply. The winner must be over 18 and hold a valid passport. Prize will be dispatched within 28 days.

Step out!

Prize is subject to availability, non-transferable, not valid Bank Holidays.


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  2. The promoters are Independent News and Media Public Limited Company, 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1 (“INM”). INM will provide the prize to the winner.
  3. The competition is the Reader Travel Awards online voting competition.
  4. There are seven prizes available provided by Jurys Inn, Discover Northern Ireland, Click & Go, Ireland's Blue Book, Wow Air, Cliff at Lyons, Foss Hotel and Step House. These are the “Prize Providers”.
  5. Enter by voting online at
  6. The competition opens on 6th October and closes on 11th November 2018 at midnight.
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