2010 Georgina Campbell Hospitality Awards

Georgina Campbell Awards 2010The cream of the hospitality world gathered at Bord Bia in Dublin on Thursday 15th October, for the announcement of the 2010 Georgina Campbell Awards, associated with the respected Georgina Campbell’s Ireland independent hospitality guides, and Ireland’s most popular independent hospitality and travel website www.ireland-guide.com.

Unlike most other award schemes, the Georgina Campbell Awards are completely independent, and in no way affiliated with trade associations or marketing groups; it is this independence which has earned them special respect in the industry, and public trust.

The event was anticipated even more keenly than usual in this annus horribilis for the hospitality sector, as accolades from a respected independent guide are not only a source of encouragement, but very good for business too.

Every year Georgina Campbell and her team of experienced assessors comb the country’s hotels, country houses, guesthouses, restaurants, pubs and cafés, seeking out the best consumer experiences for readers of The Guide – and, increasingly, for followers of the very successful website, www.ireland-guide.com.

Georgina Campbell Awards The Guide is now published biennially (this is the first year without a printed ‘glovebox bible’ Ireland guide since the company’s inception in 1998); but, said Ms Campbell, “We have maintained our rigorous programme of anonymous assessment visits throughout the season as usual, and the reports are gradually go through directly to the website, Ireland-guide.com. As always, we’ve kept a sharp eye out for those exceptional establishments which are right on top of their game and going the extra mile for customers.

Commenting on the Awards, Georgina Campbell said, “Less is definitely not more in this difficult time for Irish hospitality so – knowing that encouragement is needed now more than ever for those who are focused on maintaining quality no matter how difficult the market – we’ve added three new awards this year: a Green Ireland Hospitality Award, in recognition of outstanding environmental efforts; a Casual Dining Award, rewarding real quality among the kind of attractively priced restaurants people drop into without booking, with good home baking a particular focus; and an Outstanding Contribution Award, in recognition of the special contribution made by exceptional individuals in Irish hospitality.”

In what has been the toughest year ever for the Irish hospitality sector, Ms Campbell warns against unreasonable consumer pressure regarding prices. “Many fine establishments have cut costs to the bone and their businesses are now literally hanging by a thread,” she said; “Prices have often been reduced to an unsustainable level and yet there is constant pressure from the public, to make even further cuts. Lack of government action to reduce costs that are outside the control of businesses (VAT, for example, and local charges such as rates) means that fixed costs remain too high for further negotiation; therefore, if for no other reason than enlightened self-interest - we will no longer be able to enjoy the favourite places where we eat and stay if they can’t remain in business – consumers need to think twice before pressing for even better bargains.

Top award winners on the day included: The BrookLodge & Wells Spa (Hotel of the Year); Campagne, Kilkenny (Restaurant of the Year); Eamonn O’Reilly, One Pico, Dublin (Chef of the Year); The Ballymore Inn, Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare (Pub of the Year); and Nick’s Warehouse, Belfast (Outstanding Contribution Award).

Commenting on this year’s winners, Georgina said; “Excellence is always the object of our search, of course, but we also look for a particularly keen response to (or, better still, anticipation of) the particular demands of each year.

No prizes for guessing what we’ve been looking for this season – a determination to keep standards up, while prices fall. There is cause for concern in that standards in Irish hospitality generally are visibly slipping, but our award winners are made of stern stuff, and absolutely dedicated to providing the very best for their customers.”

Sponsors on the day included: Bord Bia, BIM, Fáilte Ireland, Blue Dragon/Patak’s and Waterways Ireland.

Click here for full list of Award Winners

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