The Twelve Hotel in Bearna, Co. Galway, has been named Ireland's Hotel of the Year at the 2018 Georgina Campbell Awards.
The four-star was cited for its "fresh, youthful style and an exceptionally focused food and wine offering" convenient to both Connemara and Galway City.
Managed by "an inspired (and inspiring) proprietor" in Fergus O'Halloran, The Twelve "sings of quality and innovation at every level", Campbell said.
The 2018 awards, held today at Bord Bia's Thinking House in Dublin, also saw Dax in Dublin win Restaurant of the Year, while a 'Hospitality Hero' award for services to Irish food and hospitality was given to Beryl and James Kearney and chef Gary O'Hanlon of Viewmount House in Longford.
Full list of award winners:
Campbell's annual awards are the longest running in Ireland, independently assessed, and eagerly awaited as a bellweather of trends in Irish hospitality.
“Through our programme of anonymous assessment we’re always keeping a sharp eye out for those exceptional establishments which are right on top of their game and going the extra mile for customers," Campbell said this afternoon.
"What we seek is not perfection but real food and hospitality with real heart, and we’re continuing to find it in clusters of excellence all over the country."
In delivering the awards, she noted especially good experiences in Northern Ireland, the Burren and the northwest, where communities are working together.
A new Street Food award is a nod to the boom in casual dining in Ireland, though she said there is no sign of fine dining disappearing.
"There are times something special is needed."
As is her custom, Campbell did not shy away from highlighting disappointments - particularly with rising hotel prices and "underperforming" four and five-star hotels.
"Higher prices mean higher expectations, of course, but the high level of dissatisfaction is often down to simple things that could easily be fixed at any level, plus a lack of hospitality (which often means lack of a host) and poor staff training.
"It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that there are too many underperforming four and five star properties, whereas good three stars deserve to be held in higher regard and we would like to see the best ones resist the ambition to move up to the next category.”
She also called on the Government to retain the 9pc VAT rate for the hospitality industry.