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Five star Park leads the way out of ash

ONE of Ireland's best hotels is offering complimentary stays to guests left in limbo by the crisis.

The five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare is one of Ireland's plushest addresses and renowned for its food and hospitality.

Today the hotel -- run by brothers Francis and John Brennan who have their own RTE series -- said it wanted to offer tourists peace of mind.

Guests who have stayed in the hotel for two consecutive nights in the seven days prior to their flight being cancelled, due to ash cloud, will be welcomed back "on a complimentary room only basis", even if they have departed and moved on to another hotel, they said.

The unique offer requires proof of flight cancellation, is valid for first rescheduled flight departure and is subject to availability.

The Park has long been the discreet hotel of choice of film stars and celebrities visiting Ireland.

Only last weekend it played host to TV crews from the US and Britain to showcase the best of Irish food on TV screens in Europe and the US.

Several of Ireland's top chefs moved to the Kenmare hotel for a celebrity cook-off.

Amongst them were the chef/patron Derry Clarke, from fine dining restaurant L'Ecrivain, and Ross Lewis from Chapter One.

They were joined by the hotel's Mark Johnston and Mickael Vijlanen, from Gregans Castle in the Burren, for the extravagant cook-off.

Guests enjoyed a tasting menu dreamed up by the chefs which showed off the best of Irish fare.

Others taking part included TV presenter George Hirsch and John and Sally McKenna.