Ireland scored a stunning result in the world-renowned Travel+Leisure awards with four out of the top five places in the World’s Best Resort in the UK and Ireland Category being won by Irish resorts.
Ireland Scoops Four out of Five Best Resorts in World Awards
The No.1 slot went to Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo, a resort that has also won this award in 2020. It was followed by Ballyfin in Co. Laois, Adare Manor Resort in Co. Limerick in 4th place, and Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare in the 5th spot. The famed Gleneagles Resort in Scotland took the middle spot at 3rd place in the world.
Hundreds and thousands of readers of Travel + Leisure voted in the awards. It is a US travel magazine founded over 50 years ago that shares reviews, tips and recommendations on everything from hotels and B&Bs, to airlines and cruises.
Each year it holds its annual World’s Best Awards, inviting readers to send in their votes for the best hotels, islands, sights to see and more. According to their site, “hundreds of thousands” of readers responded across numerous categories.
“And it will come as a surprise to no one who knows and loves Irish hospitality that Irish hotels dominated four out of five spots in the 5 Best Resorts in the U.K. and Ireland category, with Ashford Castle leading the charge.”
Hosted Presidents and Royalty
Ashford Castle was noted for having hosted everyone from US presidents to British royalty, and many lucky guests in between. “Several readers praised the stately grounds, calling the setting ‘absolutely lovely’ and ‘magnificent'”, the editors wrote.
“One particularly enthusiastic reader looked back fondly, saying, ‘Just writing this makes me remember the beautifully served and delicious tea service, complete with Irish scones, mini sandwiches, and sweets enjoyed by the bay windows overlooking gorgeously manicured lawns and fountains.'”
Speaking of the award, Niall Rochford, general manager at Ashford Castle said: “Given the challenges over the past two years, this award will mean the world to our team at Ashford Castle and our owners at Red Carnation, particularly as they were voted for by Travel + Leisure’s discerning and well-travelled readers, making them even more rewarding.
Readers also chose the 5 Best Hotels in Dublin, a new category introduced just this year. Editors wrote that “voters favoured properties in prime locations — especially neighbourhoods south of the River Liffey and walkable to iconic sites such as Trinity College, The National Gallery and museums.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising they chose The Merrion Hotel in Dublin’s city centre for the top spot. Editors wrote, “The four row houses that make up the Merrion date back to the 1760s, and the antiques-filled rooms and impeccable service are equally classic.
“Though the National Gallery and Douglas Hyde Gallery at Trinity College are nearby, it’s worth devoting time to the hotel’s private collection of 19th- and 20th-century art, which also inspires the hotel’s signature afternoon tea.”
The other award winners in sequence, were The Westbury, the Shelbourne, The Conrad and the Intercontinental Hotels.