2012 Award Winners NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2012

Ballyfin House, Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois

Newcomer of the Year 2012 - Ballyfin House County Laois IrelandThis is always one of our most hotly-contested wards – by which I mean that the ‘short list’ is anything but - and how could it be otherwise when the establishments under consideration are all fresh and new and full of enthusiasm? It’s mainly the closures that have been hitting the news in recent times, of course, but a surprising thing about the last couple of years is the number of openings there have been.

There’s never been anything like this one though, even in the height of the boom. When word started to circulate about the imminent opening last spring, words like ‘mad’ and ‘doomed’ were bandied about. But, as the General Manager said when we visited, “There is always a place for excellence”. And how right she was.

There’s nothing more uplifting in a time of endless cutbacks to find a place where money was not the primary motivator and - while the owners might not wish to say that money was no object – the point of the project was to bring a beautiful period property back to the way it was in its prime, and to do it right.  Over an eight year period no effort was spared in order to achieve this, and the results are breathtaking.

Although still a work in progress (outside, at least), Ballyfin is simply exquisite and everyone who visits the place is bowled over. It offers discreet luxury, wonderful food – and, believe it or not, good value too. Just do the sums!

6 votes

Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin, Co. Laois
Country House / Historic House / Hotel
Deluxe Accommodation 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. 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
Beautifully located in the heart of Ireland, in the foothills of the tranquil and unspoilt Slieve Bloom Mountains, this lavish Regency mansion opened as a luxurious small country house hotel in May 2011, following eight years of restoration. Having be ...

Show me all 2012 Award Winners