WEST Cork now boasts the country’s best B&B and best three-star hotel.
This week the Castle in Castletownshend was honoured in the prestigious Georgina Campbell Awards, while Rosscarbery’s Celtic Ross Hotel took the top 3-star title at The Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Awards 2018.
Celtic Ross manager Neil Grant said a lot of the Rosscarbery hotel’s success came down to their tremendous staff.
‘We’ve been up for this award twice before, but this is our first time taking it and a lot of it comes down to our fantastic staff – their warmth, their friendliness and the fact that they are always willing to go that extra mile,’ said Mr Grant.
The hotel was also nominated in the ‘Best Casual Dining’ and the ‘Menu Provenance’ categories, and Mr Grant said food had also been key to driving improvements in the hotel.
‘But that food still has to be delivered by our staff,’ he said, adding that there was nothing stopping the hotel from now pursuing a fourth star.
Meanwhile, Sharon Poulter, who runs The Castle in Castletownshend with partner Justin Cochrane-Townshend, was praised for running an ‘absolute gem.’ The Georgina Campbell Awards have been running for 20 years with locations judged through anonymous assessments.
Presenting the couple with their prize, Georgina said: ‘A true Irish B&B – where genuine hospitality combines with good, simple food and a desire for guests to be really comfortable and have the best possible experience of the area.’
She added: ‘No ordinary B&B, the Townshend family’s fascinating and beautifully located castellated property opened for guests as a boutique B&B in 2016, offering a unique opportunity to stay in one of Ireland’s most interesting historic houses. It’s been in the family for 11 generations and much of the original furniture, portraits and oak panelling still remain, so its character is intact, and the guest rooms are elegant and very comfortably furnished, with individually styled en-suite bathrooms.’
Sharon said the fact the awards are assessed ‘secretly’ made it extra special.
She said their homely, friendly welcome, along with the setting, and history, and great staff, all made them special. Future plans include expanding their popular café.