Ballina hotels win big at recent hotel awards

Belleek Castle, The Ice House, Mount Falcon Estate and Great National Hotel

FOUR Ballina hotels were celebrating success recently. Mayo North Members Belleek Castle, The Ice House, Mount Falcon Estate and The Great National Hotel took home awards at recent Irish hotel awards.

Belleek Castle

At the Irish Hotel Awards 2019 Belleek Castle won Fine Dining Hotel of the Year 2019

The Restaurant at Belleek Castle

The kitchen team at Belleek Castle is led by local chef Stephen Lenahan, who is passionate about food. Stephen’s philosophy revolves around using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients from the sea and the land, blending the flavours of these with the traditions of the castle itself to create dishes that will live long in your memory.

Take a seat at the hand-carved oak tables of the former library of the Earl of Arran in this beautifully atmospheric yet intimate room, and enjoy sumptuous dishes from the eclectic and exciting menu, including the famous signature dish, the “Drunken Bullock” (steak marinated in Jameson whiskey and set alight in a spectacular serving ritual).

Locally sourced ingredients

Stephen places great emphasis on working with local producers and suppliers, with all meat sourced from local farms by Ballina and Castlebar suppliers. Beef is dry-aged in-house. Game is a prominent feature on the menu, and this is also locally sourced. Seafood is also a key element of the menu and the team takes pride in their in-house hot-smoking and famous gravlax.All seafood is sourced from Ireland, and locally where possible.

Belleek Woods yields a county of fresh ingredients including wild garlic in spring, wood sorrel in summer and wild mushrooms in Autumn. Enniscoe House Organic Gardens supply herbs and vegetables, and Stephen and the team also grown their own vegetables in a polytunnel on the grounds.  A local forager sources shellfish and seaweed, including wild Irish samphire, on the North Mayo shoreline.

Restaurant at Belleek Castle Awards

The restaurant has in recent years received significant critical acclaim from a number of respected critics, including Georgina Campbell and the late Paulo Tullio, and has won numerous awards, including a number of Rosettes awards from the AA, placing it among the top 4% of restaurants throughout Ireland the UK. This award is bestowed upon restaurants which achieve a high level of cookery skill, and pay specific attention to the selection of ingredients, setting the restaurant.

The Library Restaurant has also been awarded the “Best Hotel Restaurant Connacht” a number of times by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI).
The Restaurant at Belleek Castle is open seven days a week, offering different menus for all tastes and budgets. It caters for all dietary requirements and there is a vegetarian and children’s menu available also.

The Ice House

The Ice House has been named Best Afternoon Tea in Connacht at the YesChef Awards 2020.

Light, bright and with gorgeous views over the River Moy, The Ice House Hotel, Ballina has a special space newly dedicated to afternoon tea, where the classic leisurely afternoon pleasure has been addressed in his own inimitable style by Head Chef Anthony Holland and his culinary team. Served daily from 2pm – 5pm, afternoon tea at The Ice House includes finger sandwiches featuring Ice House baked gammon & the exceptional local Dozio Ella cheese, Connemara smoked salmon on homemade treacle bread with citrus crème fraîche, cucumber & herb cream cheese and spiced Coronation chicken mini brioche.

With homemade buttermilk and fruit scones with house jams, lemon curd and Chantilly cream, and a delectable selection of dainty macarons, mini cakes and bite-sized desserts, this is a reassuringly elegant and traditional afternoon tea, focusing on flavour, firm favourites and excellent local ingredients.

Afternoon Tea at the Ice House –  Details:

Served daily from 2pm-5pm

Afternoon Tea: €25 per person

Prosecco Afternoon Tea: €32 per person

Champagne Afternoon Tea: €37 per person

Bubbles & Bliss Overnight Stay with Breakfast

An overnight stay with breakfast, Bubbles & Bliss at The Ice House is available from Sunday to Thursday and rates start from €229 per room per night.

Package includes complimentary access to the hotel’s gorgeous riverside thermal area in Chill Spa, with its steam room, outdoor sauna and spa garden.

Bubbles & Bliss also includes the experience of Champagne afternoon tea on arrival in the new afternoon tea room.

Mount Falcon Estate

Mount Falcon Estate came home with two awards at the recent Irish Hotel Awards. The hotel won the Best Country House Hotel and Best Hotel Restaurant in Connacht for 2019.

Multi award winning manor house hotel with luxury lodges and the renowned ‘Kitchen Restaurant’, with produce sourced from the Estate’s very own Kitchen Garden. Mount Falcon Estate is a hub for fishing, links golf, heritage and great food.

Estate activities include, falconry, golf driving range, clay pigeon shooting & archery, a leisure club with 17m indoor heated swimming pool and Spa, 5km of bike trails, year round fishing on our Trout filled lake, and seasonal fishing for Wild Atlantic Salmon on 2 miles of private river bank on the famous river Moy.

Located 3 miles from Ballina towards the village of Foxford, famous for its working Woollen Mills and visitor centre, Mount Falcon Estate is a wonderful destination for a country getaway.

The Great National Hotel

The Great National Hotel recently won Best Hotel of the Year in Connaught at the Hotel Awards Ireland 2019.

The luxurious four star Great National Hotel Ballina is situated on the N26 Dublin Road, Ballina and boasts 87 modern, spacious and comfortable guest rooms – one of our largest hotels in Ballina.

Located on the outskirts of town, it’s the perfect base for exploring North Mayo. From this comfortable base long the Wild Atlantic way,  you can explore a huge range of things to do in Ballina, no matter what your interests. Choose from golf, walking & cycling, fishing, heritage and family activities to fill your day, all located within a short distance of the hotel.

McShanes Bar & Bistro offers seasonal menus with a selection of dishes that range from the familiar to the innovative, using delicious, locally-sourced produce. And during your stay, why not indulge yourself in the Beauty Spot Spa or the luxurious Leisure Club? The hotel is also perfect for a wide range of events including meetings, weddings, conferences, parties and celebrations with its stylish banquet suites, especially the beautiful and newly refurbished Nephin Suite.

Andrew and his team at Great National Hotel Ballina take great pleasure in delivering attentive personal service that is always outstanding but never intrusive. That’s why their guests keep coming back! So when you are considering Mayo hotels, think Great National Hotel Ballina.


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