Adare Manor, in Co Limerick, and Dromoland Castle, in Co Clare, have been named as the top two resorts in Europe by Condé Nast Traveler. 

The accolades were announced in the esteemed publication's Readers' Choice Awards 2019, which also named Ireland as one of the top 20 countries to visit in 2020.

The awards take place each year, with the magazine inviting readers to vote on their favourite spots. Over 600,000 people took part in the survey, a record amount. 

Dromoland Castle, Co Clare

They beat out stiff competition from some of the most luxurious resorts conceived, including the "game changer" 26-year-old Datai resort in Malaysia, numerous private islands in the Maldives and the farm resort once owned by Nobel Prize-winning writer Sinclair Lewis. 

Adare Manor came in at number 5 on the list, the highest ranked European spot, and was praised for "retaining an old-school, aristocratic vibe".

"Adare's fanciful gargoyles, genuinely warm staff, grand and intimate spaces, and super-comfortable rooms make it somewhere uniquely and unabashedly the Ireland of right now — with golf and falconry to boot."

Writing about Dromoland Castle, the magazine says that its €20 million renovation has brought the stately and significant castle into the 21st century, "without losing the charm that's helped make it such an iconic place to stay, particularly among American visitors". 

"You'll feel like you’re traveling back in time as you make the drive from the estate gates down a winding lane, past forest thickets and a vast lake, to catch the first glimpse of stone towers and turrets", it adds. 

The Westbury Hotel, in Dublin, and Ballyfin country-house hotel, in Co Laois, were also listed among the world's top 50 hotels.

Ashford Castle, in Co Mayo, comes 18th on the list of readers' favourite European resort, Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Doonbeg, in Co Clare ranks at 24th, and the K Club Hotel & Resort, in Co Kildare, comes in at 27th.

As for where travelers are looking to visit next year, Ireland comes in at 18th.

The top 20 to visit in 2020, according to the survey, are:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Thailand
  3. Portugal
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. South Africa
  6. Peru
  7. Greece
  8. Philippines
  9. Italy
  10. Vietnam
  11. Turkey
  12. Japan
  13. Mexico
  14. Tanzania
  15. Israel
  16. Colombia
  17. New Zealand
  18.  Ireland
  19. Cambodia
  20. Croatia