Revealed: Reader Travel Awards 2020 winners, from Ireland's top hotel to its best breakfast

The results of the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 have been revealed at a gala awards ceremony in Dublin's Mansion House.

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Winners: ‘Weekend’ editor Rachel Dugan (left) with (centre) Neven and Amelda Maguire and travel editor Pól Ó Conghaile. Photo: Fran Veale

Winners: ‘Weekend’ editor Rachel Dugan (left) with (centre) Neven and Amelda Maguire and travel editor Pól Ó Conghaile. Photo: Fran Veale

Pat Kenny at The Irish Independent Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Pat Kenny at The Irish Independent Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Catherine Fulvio and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Catherine Fulvio and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Cormac Downes (Iarnród Eireann), Pól Conghaile, Barry Kenny (Iarnród Eireann) and Celene Duffy of INM at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Cormac Downes (Iarnród Eireann), Pól Conghaile, Barry Kenny (Iarnród Eireann) and Celene Duffy of INM at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Pat Kenny and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020. Photograph: Fran Veale

Pat Kenny and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020. Photograph: Fran Veale

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Winners: ‘Weekend’ editor Rachel Dugan (left) with (centre) Neven and Amelda Maguire and travel editor Pól Ó Conghaile. Photo: Fran Veale

Delighted Neven and Amelda Maguire were last night celebrating after MacNean House & Restaurant clinched one of the Irish Independent's top Reader Travel Awards 2020.

Readers raved about the welcome and the "sublime" food at the 19-bed establishment in Blacklion, Co Cavan - named Ireland's Favourite Small Stay for 2020.

Little touches like a great breakfast porridge (famously served with Irish Mist) and retro radios tuned to Lyric FM helped secure the win for the business that has 75 people on the payroll.

"We are absolutely thrilled to win this award which is fantastic recognition for our team and it is a wonderful start to the new year," said Neven. "We try to create lovely memories for people. It's all about having a great team and treating staff like family."

The Reader Travel Awards, sponsored by Iarnród Éireann, attracted thousands of nominations across 16 categories and the winners were announced at a gala luncheon held at Dublin's Mansion House.

Ireland's Favourite Hotel went to Adare Manor, the 104-bed resort in Co Limerick which has undergone a multi-million euro refurbishment by its new owners, JP McManus and family.

Galway, European Capital of Culture for 2020, won Ireland's Favourite Home Holiday.

It attracted lavish praise as "a city that's alive, a place that allows you to have solitude in the morning, adventure in the afternoon and a great nightlife in the evening".

Ireland's Favourite Overseas Holiday, meanwhile, was announced as Italy - a country readers described as "good for the soul" and which just "wraps itself around you".

Ireland's Best Breakfast was named as "a feed you can't beat" with "poached eggs to die for at Liberty Grill, a bistro-style restaurant on Cork's Washington street.

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Hosted by Travel Editor Pól Ó Conghaile and Sinéad Ryan, the awards drew finalists and travel industry figures from all over the island (and beyond) to the Mansion House, mixing with celeb food, hospitality and media faces including Pat Kenny, Catherine Fulvio and Doireann Garrihy.

New York was named as Ireland's favourite city break, Aer Lingus our favourite airline and the Cliffs of Moher the country's favourite visitor attraction.

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Catherine Fulvio and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Catherine Fulvio and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Pat Kenny at The Irish Independent Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Pat Kenny at The Irish Independent Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

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Catherine Fulvio and Pól Ó Conghaile at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2020 Photograph: Fran Veale

Small was certainly beautiful in the case of the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk, which won Ireland's Favourite Local Attraction, while Curracloe in Co Wexford was Ireland's Favourite Beach.

Reader-nominated finalists were adjudicated by a panel including Pól Ó Conghaile, 'Weekend' editor Rachel Dugan, Francis and John Brennan, Niall Tracey of Fáilte Ireland and food writer Katy McGuinness.

Read the full Reader Travel Awards 2020 results here.


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