Ireland's B&B of the Year has been named... and you can stay from €40pp
Daniel & Majella's awards road trip
Daniel and Majella O'Donnell took a B&B road trip to Dublin today to unveil Ireland's B&B of the Year 2018.
Gallows View B&B took the gong - a Bunratty, Co. Clare-based B&B where guests can stay overnight from €80 per room.
The €40pp price tag includes a slap-up Irish breakfast, of course.
"We have met many wonderful B&B owners while filming our B&B road trip series around Ireland, and are very aware and proud of the great work they do for Irish tourism," said Daniel, presenting the award to owner, Mary McKenna.
Ireland's B&Bs account for just 5pc of its bed spaces, according to Fáilte Ireland figures, and the sector has sometimes struggled to compete with new hotels, online and mobile technologies and pass the baton to younger generations.
Visitor numbers appear to be rising again, however - with B&B bookings up by 12pc last year, according to national representative body, B&B Ireland.
“B&B’s are usually run by just one or two people, yet they make a huge contribution to their local economies, particularly by attracting overseas visitors into rural areas," said Helena Healy, the body's chief executive.
Overseas visitors make up 90pc of B&B guests in Ireland, and the sector is worth around €11 million a year to Irish tourism and communities.
"It's not just about good rooms and great home-cooked breakfasts," Healy added. "It's also about the welcome, the atmosphere and the local knowledge."
Gallow's View was selected from 10 finalists in a list based on user reviews by guests who booked stays with B&B Ireland members.
B&B of the Year Finalists 2018:
- Gallow's View, Bunratty, Co. Clare
- Ardmor Country House, Spiddal, Co. Galway
- Emorhuo B&B: Doolin, Co. Clare
- Imeall na Mara, Dingle, Co. Kerry
- Taobh Coille, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry
- Ardfield Farmhouse, Ballinhassig, Co. Cork
- Oldtown Farmhouse, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
- Aaronbeg, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
- Rosdarrig House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
- Lough Owel lodge, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
"We just loved our hostess," said one Gallow's View customer.
"Mary treated us with such kindness and ensured all our needs were met and therefore made our stay feel like home. She prepared us a breakfast of champions. The B&B was beautiful and the rooms very clean and tasteful."