When it comes to hospitality, the Irish do it well, so it's unsurprising that not one, but two hotels have been included in the Condé Nast Gold List for 2020.
Adare Manor in Co Limerick and the Westbury Hotel in Dublin both made the cut, on a list that ranks the best hotel destinations across the world.
Published each year, the Gold List is curated by the writers of the esteemed travel magazine, which as established itself as the go-to publication for travelers looking for off-the-beaten-track locations and exceptional experiences.
The list is distinct from the annual Reader's Choice Awards, where nominations and votes are provided by the readers. This year's Awards saw Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare named as the top resorts in Europe.
The Gold List includes 129 of the editorial team's favourite spots, the ones they feel "set the standard that others follow and inspire their own loyal following".
Described as a "less-buttoned-up local charmer with real flair", the Westbury is celebrated for its focus on small details that perfect the hotel's overall vision, as well as its cosy take on contemporary Irish luxury.
Owned by the Doyle Collection, a family-run Irish hotel group, the spot is meticulously designed and beautifully decorated: "The owners' collection of gallery-grade Irish art hangs in the drawing room, while the glam Sidecar Bar has butter-soft, caramel leather banquettes to roll into over a couple of killer cocktails."
Noting the ongoing renovations in the hotel, writer Aoife O'Riordan highlights the "nods to the 1930s in a swatch of silver, mauve, mink and eau-de-nil tones", while the central location of the hotel was praised.
"This is a rooted hotel that offers a window on contemporary Dublin without peddling the usual Irish clichés."
Already named as one of the best resorts in Europe by the publication, Adare Manor is similarly celebrated for its old-world window into classic Irish grandeur, from the "trappings of heavy velvet and armour" and "superbly polished floors", to the "satisfying crunch of a well-raked gravel drive".
"Yet this is a thoroughly modern reinvention of a country escape – draught excluders begone – with airtight double glazing and lashings of hot water in a tub overlooking a waterfall on the River Maigue", David Jefferys writes.
Classic activities like falconry are praised alongside the exquisite culinary offers and the hotel's recent Michelin Sommelier award. The hotel also picked up a Michelin star for its Oak Room restaurant this year.
"This is a welcoming place without pretension – a remarkably understated lobby and check-in area are pleasantly filled with a congenial mix of hushed world travellers, inbound and outbound from Shannon Airport, which is only 30 minutes away."
A recent renovation has added a successful sheen of elegance to the stately hotel, and will continue this summer when "the manor will debut a new indoor pool, two paddle-tennis courts, a yoga studio and a steam room/sauna".
Other locations included on the list were the esteemed Ritz in Paris, the Gritti Palace in Venice, the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park, London and Robert de Niro's Greenwich Hotel in New York City.
Read the full Gold List 2020 here.