Three businesses in Westport are celebrating this week as they have been awarded accolades which nationally recognise their quality services.
Tourist attraction Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park, has been awarded the Best Family Visitor Attraction in the west by Primary Times Star Awards 2011, while Hotel Westport has also been given a Star Award for being one of the top 10 Best Family Friendly Hotels in Ireland.
The Primary Times is a free family magazine and website in Ireland (www.primarytimes.ie ) and recipients of the awards were judged and voted on by 2,000 parents of children under 12. Their views reflected the country’s most family friendly firms and voters scored their favourites on customer service, facilities, choice, and value for money.
“We are so proud to have won this award for Best Family Attraction and to be in such great company, including our local fellow winners Hotel Westport,” said Karen Browne, joint managing director at Westport House. “To be selected by 2,000 parents around the country for our customer service, facilities, choice, and value for money is testament to the hard work that the entire team here puts into making our attraction top class. We are absolutely thrilled to finish our season on this high note, although we’re already looking forward to our mid-term Halloween Fest.”
Eithne Cosgrove, director of sales and marketing at Hotel Westport said that it is a “fantastic achievement for the hotel, especially when it is an independent award voted by past guests and people who have had the experience of staying at Hotel Westport.”
Ms Cosgrove said that families are well catered for at the hotel with facilities on offer such as the Cubs Corner (for children under three ), Panda Club (four to 12-year-olds ) and Teen Territory. The hotel has its own babysitting service, with its own ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ — Chris Malone — and the hotel also offers parents a baby listening service at reception.
Other facilities at the hotel include an on-site leisure centre, pedestrian access to Westport House, and crazy golf, and it is the nearest hotel to the Westport start of the Great Western Greenway. The hotel also works with Clew Bay Bike Hire, Westport House, and The Adventure Islands.
Knockranny House Hotel and Spa are also enjoying a double celebration after a glittering gala luncheon in Dublin’s Convention Centre last Sunday, when head chef Seamus Commons and La Fougère Restaurant were recognised as the best in Connacht at the Food and Wine magazine Edward Dillon Restaurant of the Year Awards 2011.
Mr Commons was awarded with recipient of the highly contested title of Best Chef in Connacht 2011, while La Fougère Restaurant was awarded Best Restaurant in Connacht 2011.
Now in their 11th year and considered to be the most prestigious and authoritative culinary awards in the Irish calendar, the Food and Wine magazine awards recognise and reward Ireland’s best restaurants and chefs. Nominations for the awards were made by the food-loving general public and the final decision was made by a national judging panel of highly acclaimed food critics including Lucinda O’Sullivan, Lizzie Gore Grimes, Aoife Carrigy, and Ernie Whalley.
“We are delighted with this recognition from our industry peers, food critics and the general public,” said Adrian Noonan, proprietor of Knockranny, after the awards ceremony. “It is a fantastic achievement for our restaurant manager Deirdre Cullen, head chef Seamus Commons, and for their hard working and committed teams. The recognition today has made all their dedication and effort extremely worthwhile.”
Open in Westport since 1997, Knockranny House Hotel and Spa excels in hospitality, wowing guests over the last 14 years with a winning combination of warm and welcoming service, excellent cuisine, and beautiful facilities. The receipt of these two prestigious Food and Wine awards follows on from La Fougère’s recent Wine Spectator Award 2011, Spa Salveo’s Irish Tatler Readers Choice Award 2011, and Knockranny’s overall award of Best Four Star Hotel in Ireland 2010.
Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council Councillor Christy congratulated all recipients on their success. The Cathaoirleach said that these awards ensure that Westport remains, and is recognised, as a “premier town”. “I as Cathaoirleach will ensure to work with organisations and agencies to ensure that it stays a great tourist destination,” Cllr Hyland added.