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The Hot 100: Travel editor Pól Ó Conghaile picks the 100 best hotels in Ireland for 2023

Pól Ó Conghaile

So here it is, my list of the 100 best hotels in Ireland for 2023. Right now, as I see it, and ranked to boot.

This is where I duck. The Irish Independent’s Hot 100 is not an objective, scientific assessment (I just don’t see how that could be done). It is subjective — a guide based on my ongoing travels, taste and experience. It’s debatable until the cows come home.

This is the second year of our Hot 100 (read the 2022 list here), and you’ll notice some changes. A new Hotel Hall of Fame now retires annual winners into a pantheon that will grow over time. Adare Manor is our inaugural entry.

By my calculations, there are more than 1,000 hotels on the island. I can’t revisit them all every year, hard as I try. But this list is a moment to zoom out, to highlight those at the top of their game. It’s not beholden to star ratings. It’s about hotels I see as best in their class, being the best at what they set out to be.

My criteria? I don’t have an inspector’s checklist. I love hotels that exceed my expectations, that spark good feelings long after I’ve left. Hotels that are honest, confident and know who their audience is. I like thoughtful design, inspired use of art, food, drink and design, and businesses that go out of their way to engage with their communities and localities.

A good hotel should be a great place to work, as well as visit. And much as I love hotels that find their groove, I also love those that innovate, gently stretching our sense of what stays can be (the best of the best always do a bit of both).

Hotel rates are rising — up 34pc on average compared with 2019, according to the latest Tourism Ireland analysis. But I think my picks offer decent value, whether you spend €100 or €1,000. In a world of global brands, generic stays, crippling costs and staffing challenges, these are distinctly Irish, often independent businesses run by human beings that go the extra mile. They contain multitudes.

1. Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa, Rosslare, Co Wexford

2. Armada Hotel, Spanish Point, Co Clare

3. Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry

4. Harvey’s Point, Lough Eske, Co Donegal

5. Dunbrody House, Arthurstown, Co Wexford

6. Parknasilla Resort & Spa Sneem, Co Kerry Details: €€€€;

7. No 1 Pery Square, Pery Square, Limerick

8. Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo,

9. Hotel Doolin, Doolin, Co Clare,

10. Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara, Co Galway

11. The Shelbourne,Dublin

And here we are delighted to be nominated at Number 12 .....

12. Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co Wexford

eibhear suites

Eibhear Coyle, General Manager in one of the Amber Springs' family dens


Ireland’s best family hotel? Every family will have its own criteria for that, but I’ll bet the Amber Springs will satisfy most.

It offers huge rooms (including 65sqm dens with little bunk pods), activities ranging from archery to an indoor playzone, 80-seater cinema, pool and chill-out space for teens, and a central garden that feels like a food court (try the FHB burgers from its own farm).

“Kids are our absolute ambassadors,” says general manager Eibhear Coyle, a former chef who has taken

the generic-looking Celtic Tiger build to a new level. His criteria for testing new ideas? “I think, ‘What would my son have done to that?... The chocolate, the Lucozade, the sunscreen!’” Yes, it is relatively expensive, but it believes the value is there (pop in a diary note for its annual January sale), and recently added seaweed baths in the spa, and a Zen sensory room “for families and children on the spectrum”.

A good hotel never stands still, I always say. You’ll have to move fast to keep up with this one. 


13. The Montenotte,Cork,

14. Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare

15. Fitzgeralds Woodlands House

16. Ballyfin,Ballyfin, Co Laois

17. Monart, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

18. Glasson Lakehouse, Glasson, Co Westmeath

19. Cashel Palace, Cashel, Co Tipperary

20. The Regency,Belfast [new entry]

21. The Merrion, Dublin

22. Galgorm Resort,Ballymena, Co Antrim

23. Marlfield House, Gorey, Co Wexford

24. Killeavy Castle Estate, Slieve Gullion, Co Armagh

25. Ballygarry Hotel & Sp,Tralee, Co Kerry

26. The Westbury, Dublin

27. Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath

28.Dunmore House, Co Cork

29. The Cliff House, Ardmore, Co Waterford

30. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Co Monaghan

31. Merchant Hotel, Belfast

32.The Twelve, Barna, Co Galway

35. Brooks Hotel,Dublin

36. The Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny

37. Hayfield Manor, Cork

38. Fernhill House,Clonakilty, Co Cork

39. The Europe, Killarney, Co Kerry

40. Carton House, Maynooth, Co Kildare

41. Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny

42. Anantara The Marker, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin

43. Ballymaloe,Shanagarry, Co Cork [new entry]

44. Bushmills Inn, Bushmills, Co Antrim

45. Glenlo Abbey, Galway

46. The Ice House, Ballina, Co Mayo

47. Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co Cork

48. Gougane Barra Hotel, Gougane Barra, Co Cork

49. Gregans Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare

50. The Devlin, Dublin

51. Garryvoe Hotel, Ballylongane, Co Cork

52. BrookLodge & Macreddin Village, Aughrim, Co Wicklow

53. The Imperial, Cork

54. Castlemartyr Resort, Castlemartyr, Co Cork [new entry]

55. Great Southern Hotel,Killarney, Co Kerry

56. Wren Urban Nest, Dublin

57. Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry

58. The Dylan, Baggot St, Dublin

59. Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick Strand Hotel

60. Conrad, Dublin, The Coburg at Conrad Dublin

61. Mulranny Park Hotel, Mulranny, Co Mayo

62. The Blue Haven, Kinsale, Co Cork

63.Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Co Kerry

64. Farnham Estate, Co Cavan

65. Avalon House Hotel, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny

66. Kilkea Castle, Castledermot, Co Kildare

67. Fota Resort, Fota Island, Co Cork

68. The Harrison, Belfast

69. Lakeside Hotel, Killaloe, Co Clare

70. The K Club, Straffan, Co Kildare

71. Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh [new entry]

72. Cabra Castle, Kingscourt, Co Cavan

73. Inchydoney Lodge & Spa, Clonakilty, Co Cork

74. Casey’s of Baltimore, Baltimore, Co Cork

75. Stauntons on the Green, Dublin [new entry]

76. Cahernane House, Killarney, Co Kerry

77. Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry

78. Clonakilty Park Hotel, Co Cork

79. The Dean, Galway [New entry]

80. The Lansdowne, Kenmare, Co Kerry

81. Butler House, Kilkenny [new entry]

82. Falls Hotel & Spa, Ennistymon, Co Clare

83. The Connacht, Galway,

84. The Lake Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry

85. Arnold’s Hotel, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal

86. Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh

87. Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford

88. Lough Eske Castle, Co Donegal

89. Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin [new entry]

90. Vienna Woods Hotel, Cork

91. Powerscourt Hotel, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow [new entry]

92. Renvyle House, Connemara, Co Galway

93. Mount Falcon, Ballina, Co Mayo

94. Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, Co Mayo

95. Intercontinental Dublin [New entry]

96. Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon

97. Granville Hotel, Waterford [new entry]

98. Faithlegg House Hotel, Faithlegg, Co Waterford

99. Sligo Park Hotel, Co Sligo

100. Sheedy’s Hotel, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare