An opulent, carefully restored, 18th-century castle in Ireland that features the only La Mer Spa in Ireland and the UK has been named the hotel of the year by experts at luxury travel network Virtuoso.
At the group's 2018 Best of the Best awards held recently in Las Vegas, Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland took the night's top honor of hotel of the year, a title which recognizes "an iconic hotel that epitomizes excellence in luxury hospitality and acts as a positive change in the community."
The win comes just a year after Adare Manor's reopening, following a painstaking 21-month restoration process that involved 670 construction workers, craftspeople and artisans who were tasked with adding a new 42-room wing to the castle. The manor now features 104 rooms in total.
Other new additions include a ballroom with a capacity of 350 guests for weddings, meetings and events, a remodeled on-site golf course, and the opening of The Carriage House Restaurant, Terrace and Bar which debuted this spring.
The Spa at Adare Manor is also the first and only La Mer Spa in Ireland and the UK, affirming its standing as one of the most extravagant properties in the region. La Mer sits on the highest rungs of the beauty world with triple-digit price points.
Meanwhile, beyond the castle's impressive façade of parapets, turrets, arches and columns lies a hidden significance: 365 leaded windows, 52 chimneys, 7 stone pillars and 4 towers mark the annual number of days, weeks and seasons in a year.
Other architectural features include gargoyles, wood carvings and displays of heraldry.
Inside, rooms are elegantly decorated with statement pieces like wall tapestries, plush tufted sofas and heavy damask tasseled curtains, in a muted beige and off-white palette.
The winners are determined by Virtuoso's 1,000 travel agency members, composed of 17,500 travel advisors from 50 countries, and editors of Virtuoso Life, the group's travel magazine.
Winners will be featured in the September/October issue of the magazine.
Here are the winners:
Best Achievement in Design: The Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
Best Dining Experience: Meadowood Napa Valley - The Restaurant, St. Helena, California, US
Best Bar: Brown's Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel - The Donovan Bar, London, U.
Sustainable Tourism Leadership: Six Senses Douro Valley - Lamego, Portugal
Best Family Program: The Ranch at Rock Creek - Philipsburg, Montana
Best Wellness Program: BodyHoliday Saint Lucia - Castries, St. Lucia
Best Virtuoso Newcomer: Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel - Paris, France