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 ConghaileTravel Editor
ON TRACK FOR SUCCESS...
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...
Ireland’s Favourite Airline
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
- Turkish Airlines
Ireland’s Favourite Visitor Attraction
- Cliffs of Moher
- Dublin Zoo
- Guinness Storehouse
- Tayto Park
Ireland’s Favourite Home Holiday Destination
Ireland’s Favourite Overseas Holiday Destination
- Canary Islands
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
- 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
CLIFF AT LYONS LUXURY
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
ESCAPE TO ICELAND!
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
BUBBLE DOME BLISS
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
EUROPEAN CITY BREAK
A luxury city break for two, including return flights, with ClickAndGo.com. Choose between Prague, Budapest, Berlin or Rome.
Winner: Kerriann Cudden, Dublin
BLUE BOOK BOLTHOLES
Two nights’ B&B with dinner on one night at Longueville House, Co Cork, courtesy of Ireland’s Blue Book.
Winner: Sharon Cosgrove, Cavan
JET OFF WITH JURYS INN
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 Independent.ie. He has five times been named Ireland’s Travel Journalist of the Year.
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.
Director of Marketing with Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority.
Owner, with his brother John, of The Park Hotel, Kenmare. Francis’s new book, 'At Your Service, A Gentleman Abroad', is out now.
Food writer and restaurant critic with the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine.
PRIZE TERMS & CONDITIONS
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.
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 ClickandGo.com. 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.
Prize is subject to availability, non-transferable, not valid Bank Holidays.
GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
- 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.
- The competition is the Reader Travel Awards online voting competition.
- 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”.
- Enter by voting online at independent.ie/travelawards
- The competition opens on 6th October and closes on 11th November 2018 at midnight.
- Each winner will be contacted by INM by 14/12/18. Your details may need to be shared with the individual company who will contact you to arrange your prize.
- Winner’s details will be passed to the relevant Prize Provider who will make direct contact. INM & the Prize Providers are Data Controllers in their own right for the chosen winners.
- By entering, all eligible entrants agree to abide by each and all these terms and conditions. The entry form will be part of the overall terms and conditions. Misrepresentative or fraudulent entries will invalidate an entry. Where a competition involves a voting process: offering or receiving any incentive for voting is not permitted and will invalidate the vote, and may disqualify the recipient of the vote. INM reserves the right, with or without cause, to exclude entrants and withhold prizes for violating any of these terms and conditions. INM reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions. Any amendments will be published on the website.
- Promotion is open to anybody over 18 years of age. INM reserves the right to request written proof of age from the winner .
- Employees and agents of INM or any company connected with the promotion or any of INM’s associated companies are not eligible to take part in the applicable competition, nor are their immediate family members. For these purposes an "immediate family member" includes a spouse, partner, child, step child, grandchild, brother, step brother, sister, step sister, parent, step parent or legal guardian.
- Each entrant can enter an email address once only .
- Use of a false email, name or address by an entrant will disqualify them from receiving any prize.
- The competition winning entry will be selected in a draw by an independent judge. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence or communication will be entered into. Winner (s) will be contacted by email, telephone or post.
- In the case of conflict between these rules and such specific directions/terms and conditions, these rules shall prevail. By participating in this competition, you are deemed to accept these rules and the specific directions/terms and conditions applicable to the individual prizes, as specified above.
- Failure to claim a prize within 7 days will make any claim invalid. Prizes not claimed within the specified time limit will be deemed to have been forfeited and may be disposed of by INM without any liability to the winner.
- No responsibility is accepted for entries damaged, lost or mislaid and proof of posting will not be accepted as proof of delivery. No entries will be accepted by agents, in bulk or from third parties.
- Winners will be notified within 20 days of the relevant closing date and names of winners of major promotions are available by sending an SAE to Independent News & Media, 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1 up to one month after the closing date.
- INM will endeavour to deliver all prizes within 14 days of winning. Where this is not possible the winner will be notified of the delay.
- Any additional costs and expenses incurred by the prize winner are to be the responsibility of the prize winner.
- Unless otherwise stated, all taxes, insurances, fees and surcharges are to be the sole responsibility of the prize winner.
- The determination and decision of INM on all matters shall be final and no competition correspondence will be entered into. INM reserve the right in their reasonable discretion: (a) to disqualify any claimant, competitor or nominee whose conduct is contrary to the spirit of the rules or the intention of the promotion and to declare as void any or all of their claims or entries based on such conduct; (b) to declare as void any claims or entries resulting from any printing, production and/or distribution errors (including but not limited to any error(s) in the magazine, this website, and/or other printed materials, or where there has been error(s) in any aspect of the preparation for or conduct of the promotion materially affecting the result of the promotion or the number of claimants or the value of claims; (c) to add to or to waive any rules on reasonable notice; and/or (d) to cancel the promotion or any part of it at any stage in the event of circumstances beyond INM’s reasonable control.
- Prizes are non-transferable and may not be re-sold. All prizes, including holiday dates, are subject to availability . If a prize is unavailable due to circumstances out of INM’s control, INM will take all reasonable steps to substitute the prize with a suitable alternative. No cash alternative will be awarded in lieu of stated prize(s).
- INM accepts no responsibility for the supply, non-supply, purported non-supply or delay in supply of prizes to be provided by a third party including, without limitation, failure of the prize winner to receive ownership of the prize. Prize winners are responsible for booking and/or completing other formalities directly with the specified third party.
- The promotion may also be declared void should a printing or production error in connection with the competition appear in the magazine or on this website.
- Entrants acknowledge and accept that publicity may be given to competition winners and winners’ names and images may be published on Independent.ie website, social media channels and other website(s) relating to the promotion. Winners must co-operate fully for publicity purposes if so required .
- All entrants agree not to engage in any interviews or make any statements in connection with or arising from the competition without the written consent of INM.
- INM reserves the right to publish entries (including parts of entries) other than the winning entry and publication does not necessarily mean the entrant has won a prize.
- All competition entrants can opt-in to marketing materials by ticking the appropriate box(es) on the online form.
- INM will not be liable for technical, hardware, or software failures of any kind or lost or unavailable network connections that may limit or prohibit an eligible entrant’s ability to participate in the competition. Other than death or personal injury arising from the acts or omissions of INM or its employees, INM will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of the winner’s (or their guest’s) enjoyment of the prize.
- INM reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend a competition and/or vary competition rules at any time without prior notice.