Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells named a ‘New Entry’ on the coveted Mc Kenna Guides 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland…..
"Star ratings and deep-pile carpets mean little or nothing in Irish hospitality."
That's according to John and Sally McKenna, for 25 years arguably the most influential couple in Ireland's food and hospitality scene.
The McKennas have just published STAY 2016, the latest reboot of an app featuring their take on Ireland's 100 best places to stay.
New entrants on a list that gives short shrift both to grand hotels and hipster boutiques include The Headfort Arms in Kells, Bog Bean in Roundstone, Connemara, the Cork International Hotel and Lorum Old Rectory in Carlow.
Dublin's Conrad Hotel, The Europe in Killarney and the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford are the only five-stars to make the Top 100.
The list is described as "a tribute to the great hospitality families of Ireland", many of whom are seeing new generations emerge - including the Kellys of Rosslare; the Foyles of Clifden; the Wheelers of Rathmullan and the O’Haras of Sligo.
"Corporate-run hotels squeeze the spontaneity out of conviviality," the McKennas say.
"What determines whether you have a great time is the ability of the owners to make you feel welcome, to cook you a delicious breakfast of Irish foods, and to offer you sound and sage advice on what you need to know and where you need to go to get the best from travelling through Ireland."
From the Headfort Arms in Kells, Olivia Duff said ‘this means so much to us as a family run business which is now in it’s second generation. Our people are our greatest asset by far and offering a true Irish welcome is top priority in terms of service for our visitors. It is great to be recognised by somebody as repected as the Mc Kenna’s'