Ballyfin Demense has been named as the AA Hotel of the Year 2018, the most prestigious prize in the Irish hospitality industry.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, TD presented the award to General Manager Damien Bastiat in a ceremony held in Dublin on Wednesday, 25th April.
“Ballyfin Demense has, in its short history, become one of the finest hotels in Ireland, and perhaps one of the finest hotels in the world, a fact which only serves to highlight the impressive nature of the hospitality industry in Ireland.” said AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan.
“It takes a lot to impress our AA inspectors and to reach the standards required to win Hotel of the Year requires years of dedication to putting the customer first. Our eagle-eyed inspectors leave no stone unturned and follow the most stringent inspection standards in the industry. Beyond the beauty and scenery that Ballyfin Demense has to offer, it also boasts a friendly and highly professional staff who ensure every customer has a first class experience. We are proud to name Ballyfin Demense as our AA Hotel of the Year for 2018.”
Commenting on the award, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross said: “Congratulations to Ballyfin Demense on winning AA Hotel of the Year, an impressive and thoroughly deserved honor. The story of Irish tourism over the last 10 years has been one of hard work and perseverance to get through the troubled times of the economic downturn in order to come out the other side as a thriving industry. Ballyfin Demense, with its welcoming staff and steep history only highlights the best of what the hospitality industry offers to visitors from at home and abroad.
The AA inspection team was impressed with the warmth and welcome from all the team, which the AA’s head inspector describing a stay at Ballyfin as akin to “being in a private home, with the atmosphere of a period Irish house with all the facilities of a five star resort. With 20 rooms and suites, it is a very special place that has won many international awards in its short history.”
“Cuisine is an important element of the Ballyfin experience, with daily created menus together with suggested wine pairings, many featuring the Bordeaux estates of the Irish 'Wine Geese' who fled following the Battle of Kinsale.”
On accepting the award, General Manager Damien Bastiat said “We are very proud to gain this recognition for the hard work our team put in every day. It’s a real testament to the Ballyfin ethos and to the beautiful property we are lucky enough to work in”.
The AA uses highly trained and experienced inspectors to personally visit every AA accredited hotel for an overnight stay. The assessments of the standards of hospitality, service, cuisine, facilities and staff are the most exacting in the industry. Winners are selected in recognition of excellence in service and hospitality. They must also clearly demonstrate continuous improvement in the previous 12-18 months.
For a hotel to be considered it must have displayed excellence over time. A hotel that wins AA Hotel of the Year can claim to be the best hotel in Ireland in its category. The award does not necessarily go to a five star hotel, although it does this year.