Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards Winners Announced

Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards Winners Announced

The event was held in Laois.

Over 300 people celebrated the return of the Midlands Hospitality Awards 103 at a lavish event in Portlaoise on Monday night.

Celebrations at the Midlands Park Hotel recognized those working in the hospitality industry in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, with over 10,000 votes counted to create the shortlist.

The businesses were then visited by an independent panel of judges, including Michelin-starred restaurateur Sallyanne Clarke and Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse.

Judges spent several days scouring rural roads across the region to find this year’s 51 winners in five categories.

The night’s big winners included The Killeshin, Portlaoise being crowned Hotel of the Year, with Wineport Lodge in Athlone taking the Restaurant of the Year title and Gilleran’s Bar in Mullingar again as Pub of the Year.

Liam Gilleran was speechless:

The Annebrook House Hotel in Mullingar took the award for Best Boutique Hotel, the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone was recognized as the Best Family Hotel and Danny Byrne’s in Mullingar took the title of Best Sports Bar.

Tourist attraction of the year went to Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm, Mullingar, Linda says it’s great to be recognized for the work they do:

Laois is home to the Chef of the Year, with Bernard Rochford of the Midlands Park Hotel receiving the nod. The Pantry regained its title of Best Cafe and the county is also home to the Country Bar of the Year, Hogan’s Bar, Coolrain.

In Birr, the staff at the County Arms Hotel were recognized for providing the best customer service in the region, while Hushabye Alpaca Farm, Killeigh, was awarded the title of Best Guest House or B&B. Browne’s – The Venue in Tullamore beat out tough competition for the Best New Venue award.

Owner Padraig Browne says the award means everything to him:

A new award was added to this year’s event to remember Midlands 103’s Albert Fitzgerald, who passed away in August. His son Stephen presented the Albert Award for General Marketing / Salesman of the Year to Donal O’Gorman, General Manager, The Bog Road, Kilminchy.

He says that working with Albert and Midlands 103 helped grow his business:

Sallyanne Clarke says: “It’s a pleasure to be a judge for this year’s Midlands Hospitality Awards. There are so many hotels, restaurants and pubs doing a wonderful job despite staff shortages in our industry. These awards don’t just show resilience in the current economic climate, but their innovation and constant striving to be the best they can be. Hats off to all the nominees. In my opinion, they are all winners.”

Dawn McDermott of the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore was the winner of the Wedding Coordinator of the Year award. She has been working at the hotel for 10 years:

The annual event is presented by Midlands 103 together with Laois and Offaly County Councils and various business partners. CEO Will Faulkner congratulates all the companies that participated. “These awards reflect the views of listeners and customers first and foremost because no one makes the list without their support. Therefore, all the nominees are among the best of the best and we are delighted to organize a showcase celebration that gives them a well-deserved pat on the back in difficult times.”

Hotel sector

Overall Hotel of the Year:
Hotel Killeshin, Portlaoise

Best Boutique Hotel:
Annebrook House Hotel, Mullingar

Best Customer Service (Hotel):
County Arms Hotel, Birr

Wedding Venue of the Year:
Heritage at Killenard

Best Family Hotel:
Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone

Hotel with the best value for money:
Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise

Wedding Coordinator of the Year:
Dawn McDermott – Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore

Best Destination Hotel:
Glasson Lake House Hotel, Athlone

Best Hotel Manager:
Ciarán Fagan, Radisson Hotel, Athlone

Receptionist of the Year:
Aoife O’Connor – Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise

Best hotel bar:
The Charter Bar & Eatery, Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise

Best business hotel:
Hotel Tullamore

Best Guest House/B&B:
Hushabye Alpaca Farm, Killeigh

Best Leisure Center Hotel:
Club Vitae Gym – Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise

Restaurant Sector

Overall Restaurant of the Year:
Wineport Lodge, Athlone

Restaurant with the best value for money:
Hatter’s Lane Bistro, Gertie Browne’s, Athlone

Best haute cuisine restaurant:
Browne’s on the green, Tyrrellspass

Best Restaurant Customer Service:
Shishir Restaurant, Tullamore

Best Coffee:
The Pantry, Portlaoise

Best dining experience:
Batoni, Emo

Best New Restaurant Establishment:
Browne’s – The Place, Tullamore

Best Restaurant Manager:
Trevor Byrne, Scanlon’s Bar and Restaurant, Kinnegad

Best hotel restaurant:
Balcone Italian Restaurant – Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore

Best Casual Dining:
Treacy’s Bar and Restaurant, The Heath

Chef of the year:
Bernard Rochford – Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise

Tourism sector

General – Tourist Attraction of the Year:
Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm, Mullingar

Best Leisure Center:
Athlone Regional Sports Center

Best Leisure Attraction:
Playtown, Tullamore

Best party:
Forest Festival 2022, Emo Town

Best Event:
World Plowing Championship 2022

Best Heritage Site:
Lough Boora Discovery Park

Best Cultural Experience:
Tullamore Dew Distillery

The ultimate caravan/camping/glamping experience:
Glamping under the stars, Portlaoise

Bar and pub sector

Overall Pub of the Year:
Gilleran’s Bar, Mullingar

Bar Food of the Year:
Bar O’Dea, Portarlington

Bar Manager of the Year:
Mie Farrell – John Lee’s Bar & Venue, Tullamore

Country bar of the year:
Hogan’s Bar, Coolrain

Music Venue of the Year:
Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, Portlaoise

Staff Personality of the Year:
Cathy Lynn – Ramsbottom, Stradbally

Tourist Bar of the Year:
Fisherman’s Inn, Ballybrittas

Best Sports Bar:
Danny Byrne’s, Mullingar

Best Traditional Bar:
P. Egan’s, Moate

Best Beer Garden:
John Lee’s Bar and Place, Tullamore

Off License of the Year:
Carry out without a license, Tullamore

Judge categories

Rising Star Hotel:
Sarah Breslin – Sales and Marketing Manager, The Killeshin Hotel

Rising Star Pub/Bar:
Amber Dalton – The Swamp Road, Portlaoise

Rising Star Restaurant:
Matthew Walsh – O’Gorman’s Kilminchy, Portlaoise

Special Award of Merit:
Leona Donohoe – The Bog Road, Portlaoise

Special Contribution to the Industry:
Dara Cruise, Group Director of Operations for CoAnt Hotels and Entertainment

Exceptional Service:
PJ.Kavanagh, Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, Portlaoise

Albert’s Award for General Marketing/Salesperson of the Year:
Donal O’Gorman, General Manager, The Bog Road Kilminchy

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