Two Irish resorts named among world's Top 10 for 2019
Condé Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards have brought good news for Ireland, writes Pól Ó Conghaile
Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle have been named Europe's top two resorts in Condé Nast Traveler's 2019 Readers' Choice Awards
The Co Limerick and Co Clare resorts have also been ranked No.5 and No.7 in the world respectively, after a record 600,000 readers' votes were counted.
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"While retaining an old-school, aristocratic vibe, Adare's fanciful gargoyles, genuinely warm staff, grand and intimate spaces and super-comfortable rooms make it somewhere uniquely and unabashedly the Ireland of now," the magazine says (read our Adare Manor review here).
The world's No.1 resort was named as Sirikoi Lodge in Kenya.
Fresh off a €20 million renovation, Dromoland is described as an "historic hotel upgraded for today's traveller without losing the charm that's helped make it such an iconic place to stay".
Our Dromoland Castle review is here.
Separately, another pair of Irish properties features on a list of the world's Top 50 hotels - Ballyfin in Co Laois (No.48) and The Westbury in Dublin (No.47).
"From the second you walk into The Westbury and up the grand, bifurcated staircase, it's hard not to be impressed," Condé Nast says of the five-star.
"Upstairs, the rooms and suite are light-filled and tranquil, with large bathtubs and Irish art. You'll feel a strong, welcoming vibe at every turn - the staff here is endearingly helpful."
Ballyfin, previously named Conde Nast's No.1 hotel in the world, is described as a "head-turner... there is no finer Irish country house experience."
Ireland also features prominently in the awards, ranking 18th among the world's Top 20 countries to visit - a list topped by Indonesia,Thailand and Portugal.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, welcomed the news.
"[This accolade] reminds people everywhere that the island of Ireland is a great choice for a holiday and gives Tourism Ireland a great platform to continue to promote it around the world as a 'must see' destination."
The citations come as warning signals are emerging from Ireland's tourist industry in advance of Budget 2020, however.
Last week, the Irish Hotels Federation reported that 57pc of its members had seen a drop in business this year, while 10pc of visitor attractions have also experienced a slowdown.
That's according to AVEA, the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions, which is holding its national conference today in Thomond Park, Limerick.
The spectre of Brexit and higher VAT levels, which increased from 9pc to 13.5pc for the tourism and hospitality industries in the last budget, are taking a toll, the organisations say.
Ireland's Top 10 Hotels (Conde Nast Traveler, 2019)
- The Westbury, Dublin
- Ballyfin, Co Laois
- Kilkea Castle, Co Kildare
- Ballynahinch Castle, Co Galway
- InterContinental, Dublin
- The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Co Mayo
- Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry
- Lough Eske Castle, Co Donegal
- Clontarf Castle, Dublin
- The Shelbourne, Dublin
In other Readers' Choice Awards, Mexico's San Miguel de Allende was named the world's best city, Singapore its best airline, and Hvar in Croatia as Europe's top island.
Read the full list of award-winners here.