2021 Award Winners BEST ACTIVITY BREAK 2021


Ashford Castle

5* Hotel: Ashford Castle Estate Cong Co Mayo

Mention of Ashford Castle conjures up images of luxury, superb food and outstanding service, but Ireland’s grandest castle hotel is also famed for the exceptional range of activities and outdoor pursuits that can be enjoyed on the 350-acre estate - there really is something for everyone here, so it has topped plenty of activity staycation bucket lists of late. And a visit now would be timely as, supported by the owners, Beatrice and Stanley Tollman, of the South African hotel group Red Carnation Hotels, Ashford Castle’s general manager Niall Rochford and his team have worked away systematically throughout the pandemic to keep everything immaculate and spirits high, improve training programmes and generally ensure an even better and very safe experience on re-opening. The range of activities offered covers everything from the traditional (golf, fishing, equestrian) to the exhilarating (ziplining, tree climbing) and everything in between, including boating and cultural outings like Meet the Maker (crafts, artisan foods, music). Best of all perhaps are the wonderful Hawk Walks offered on-site by Ireland’s oldest Falconry School, which residents can book through the hotel. And, far from being stuffy, both Ashford Castle and its 4-star sister hotel, The Lodge at Ashford Castle, offer family breaks - and welcome dogs.

4* Hotel: Mulranny Park Hotel Westport Co Mayo

Set in wooded grounds looking across Clew Bar to Croagh Patrick beyond, this former railway hotel dates back to 1897 and the disused line is now the Great Western Greenway walking and cycling route. Rightly proud of both its heritage and its superb location (“The Wild Atlantic Way At the Front Door and the Great Western Greenway at the Back Door”), it is mainly modern but has retained much of its original character and – an especially appealing option during Covid times - offers self catering apartments as well as spacious hotel accommodation. The hotel has a great reputation for activity breaks and family holidays but the special feather in its cap is “The Gourmet Greenway” food trail, which was devised by the hotel in association with a number of Mayo food producers in 2011, to showcase the superb food producers of the Mulranny, Newport, Westport and Achill areas, which can all be explored on foot, bike or by car along the Greenway route. Despite the challenges of Covid a new, expanded edition of the trail was produced this summer, which is greatly to the credit of all involved.

3* Hotel: Arnolds Hotel Dunfanaghy Co Donegal

Situated near the harbour in the picturesque village of Dunfanaghy and overlooking the spectacular scenery of Sheephaven Bay, this famous old hotel has been in the same family for four generations and it has the warm and relaxing ambience that is so special to family-run Irish hotels. Many happy memories have been made in this traditional holiday area - and, with plenty of wild and uncrowded space nearby, it’s just the kind of destination that a lot of us have been yearning for recently. This beautiful area is ideal for activity based holidays and the hotel has a well earned reputation for special interest breaks - walking, painting, fishing, golfing, cycling, surfing (tutored), kayaking etc - with staff very happy to help guests to plan the perfect holiday to suit their interests. With Dunfanaghy Stables on site, horse riding is normally a particular draw and Trail Riding breaks promise what could indeed be ‘the holiday of a lifetime’- and, although unavailable this season, that will be something special to look forward to next year +

Ashford Castle George V Dining Room .jpg
23 votes

Ashford Castle

Cong, Co. Mayo
Castle / Hotel / Restaurant
5 euro For Cooking & Service Well Above Average Deluxe Accommodation Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade
Ireland’s grandest castle hotel, with a history going back to the early 13th century, Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres of beautiful parkland on the shores of Lough Corrib. Grandeur, formality and tranquillity are the essential characteristics, ...
Hotel with Boats.JPG
11 votes

Mulranny Park Hotel

Mulranny, Co. Mayo
Hotel / Restaurant
Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere Serious About Seafood Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade
This landmark hotel, originally built by the Midland Great Western Railways, first opened for business in March 1897 and it became a famous destination during the lifetime of the railway between Westport and Achill Island – something which has ta ...
New Restaurant at Arnolds.JPG
6 votes

Arnold's Hotel

Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal
2 euro Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner
Situated at the entrance to the picturesque village of Dunfanaghy overlooking the spectacular scenery of Sheephaven Bay, this famous three-star is located in a traditional holiday area that many will have a soft spot for, and some will recall family ho ...

Show me all 2021 Award Winners