Ireland's hotel of the year named at Georgina Campbell awards
Legendary food and travel writer celebrates top businesses, but also identifies "disappointments" at 2020 awards
Marlfield House in Gorey, Co Wexford, has been named Ireland's Hotel of the Year at the 2020 Georgina Campbell Awards.
The annual food and hospitality awards also saw Aimsir win Restaurant of the Year - a 24-seater that opened just this May at the Cliff at Lyons in Co Kildare (read Katy McGuniness's Aimsir review here).
Chef of the Year went to Mickael Viljanen of The GreenHouse, a Michelin Star restaurant in Dublin, while Belfast-based chef Michael Deane won Ireland's Hospitality Hero of the Year Award.
List of 2020 winners:
- Hotel of the Year: Marlfield House Hotel, Co Wexford
- Restaurant of the Year: Aimsir, Co Kildare
- Chef of the Year: Mickael Viljanen, The GreenHouse, Dublin
- Taste of the Waterways: Wineport Lodge, Co Westmeath
- Seafood Restaurant: King Sitric, Co Dublin
- Outstanding Guest Experience: Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites, Co Galway
- Host of the Year: Mary Sweeney, Castle Grove, Co Donegal
- Business Hotel of the Year: The Shelbourne, Dublin
- Wine and Drinks Experience: Chapter One, Dublin
- Pub of the Year: The Roadside Tavern, Co Clare
- Newcomer of the Year: Kileavy Castle, Co Armagh
- Family Friendly Hotel: Newpark Hotel, Co Kilkenny
- Pet-friendly destination: The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Co Mayo
- Hideaway of the Year: The Hideaway at Dromquinna Manor, Co Kerry
- B&B of the Year: Glasha Farmhouse, Co Waterford
- Ethnic Restaurant: Grano, Dublin
- Casual Dining: James St, Belfast
- Cafe of the Year: Grow Cafe, Co Waterdford
- Street food: The Garden Cafe Truck, Ballymaloe, Co Cork
- Country House: Ballyvolane, Co Cork
- Guesthouse of the Year: Perryville House, Co Cork
Now in their 21st year, the Georgina Campbell Awards were held this afternoon at Dublin's InterContinental Hotel, in association with AIB.
Ms Campbell paid tribute to Irish sourcing and provenance, celebrating the legacy of Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House - who died last year - alongside other pioneers of the Irish food and hospitality industries.
"It’s a challenging time to be in food and hospitality right now, but it’s also a very exciting time and, in the main, standards are increasing at every level from ground-breaking new restaurants to casual dining destinations, street food trucks, cafés and bars,” Ms Campbell said.
However, she also identified room for improvement.
“When carrying out our independent and anonymous assessments around the country, we have encountered disappointments once again, and particularly with some four- and five-star hotels, where there really should be no excuses.
"There is a worrying lack of a sense of hospitality in some cases and poor training - or indeed no apparent training at all - and it is baffling that there are still issues with standards at ‘top’ establishments every year.
"Hotel prices are continuing to rise too, especially in the major cities and without any corresponding rise in standards, and it is disappointing to see us losing the competitive edge that was so hard won during the recession,” Campbell said.
A 'Taste the Island' innovation award sponsored by Fáilte Ireland was given to Tartare in Galway, while The Wilds in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, took home the gong for 'Just Ask' Bord Bia Restaurant of the Year.