A hotel beloved by George Clooney has just been named as the best resort in Ireland and the UK, adding yet another destination to our growing staycation bucket list.

Ballyfin Demesne, in Co Laois, was voted the No.1 Resort Hotel in Ireland and the UK by Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2021, in their annual survey voted for by readers.

The survey opened for voting on 11 January until 10 May this year, as many travel restrictions around the world were lifting. While summer has passed, there's still plenty of time to nab a staycation, and this Laois spot has jumped to the top of our wish list.

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Their list for the top 10 resort hotels in Ireland and the UK focused on finding "romance and history", with plush rooms fitted with waterfall showers and crisp linens, and Ballyfin has this in spades.

"Situated in the foothills of the gorgeous Slieve Bloom Mountains, the Georgian manor dates back to the 1820s and, after a long history as a school, opened as a hotel in 2011", the publication writes. "Throughout its evolution, it has maintained a deep sense of place and character.

"'Elegance and luxury with the feel of a country home,' described one voter. 'Everything is perfect.' The manicured grounds and an art collection that ranges from the 17th century to the present add to the sumptuous experience, but the real proof of the pudding is in the top-notch service and sublime creature comforts. As one reader wrote, 'The staff goes above and beyond to accommodate any special requests.'

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Made up of just 21 individually designed rooms, the resort is a Regency getaway, with Irish artworks, antiques and atmospheric decor setting the mood. They also offer gourmet dining, an indoor pool and spa, and activities such as fishing, horseback riding, clay pigeon shooting, archery and falconry.

And it's gotten the Hollywood seal of approval, as George Clooney and his wife Amal stayed there in 2019 during a visit to Ireland.

Ballyfin wasn't the only Irish property to make the list, however, as no less than two others were included in the top 10.

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Adare Manor in Co Limerick came in third, the grand resort no doubt having won praise for its historic ties to the area, manicured grounds and decor that blends the old-world with the sleek and modern.

One response to the survey praised the hotel for its level of care, writing: "When my husband and I traveled there with our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons, Adare provided a most family-friendly vacation.

"Every member of the staff was attentive to the boys and treated them with respect and kindness, from the driver of the Range Rover Defender that picked up my older grandson's catch and brought it to the kitchens to be prepared, to the knowledge and support that my younger grandson experienced when he tried falconry for the very first time."

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Coming in at no. 7 was Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry, which was noted for its deep ties to Ireland's political history, with the publication writing that it "sits on land once seized by the notorious English general Oliver Cromwell and given to scientist William Petty as payment for his 1656 survey of the country".

Sheen Falls is also renowned for its 2AA Rosette restaurant and spectacular rooms that overlook Sheen Falls. With luxury self-catering cottages, opulent rooms and plenty of activities, it's a resort that marries the wild landscape with intimate design.