The Bushmills Inn are celebrating being named ‘Northern Ireland’s Best Hotel Stay 2018’ in this year’s Northern Ireland Tourism Awards which have showcased the very best in local tourism for the fortieth time - at the venue where they first began.
The special anniversary event, organised by Tourism NI in association with Diageo NI, was held at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, where the inaugural awards took place in 1978.
The black-tie event, now regarded as the highlight of the tourism calendar, was presented by former BBC newsreader and Belfast native, Maxine Mawhinney.
Originally titled the ‘British Airways Tourism Endeavour Awards,’ the annual event has recognised many hundreds of local businesses over the years for their inspirational contribution to the tourism industry.
Celebrating the huge step changes in the industry over the last four decades, the anniversary event received a record number of entries spanning 11 different categories.
Speaking at the event, Tourism NI Chairman, Terence Brannigan, said: “Northern Ireland’s attractiveness as a tourist destination has come a long way in the last three or four decades. When you compare today with 1978, the step changes that have happened in our industry cannot be missed nor underestimated. In the last six years in particular the sector has performed consistently well.
“Today we are Lonely Planet’s Best Region in the World to visit in 2018 and we are preparing to host The Open Championship in 2019, the most prestigious golf event on the planet. I think we can feel extremely positive and excited about the future of tourism in Northern Ireland.”
Speaking on behalf of The Bushmills Inn Hotel Manager Alan Walls said, “We are thrilled to have won this extremely prestigious accolade, especially as this has been our 5th Northern Ireland Tourism Award in the past 4 years and our 3rd time winning ‘Hotel of the Year/Best Hotel Stay’. We are extremely proud of all our team who continue to not only deliver, but also exceed our guests’ expectations and this achievement pays tribute to them all.”
The award-winning Bushmills Inn is one of Ireland’s most well-known and luxurious hotels. Dating back to the early 1600s, when the Coaching Inn was a favourite stop off for saddle sore visitors en route to the Giant’s Causeway, the Bushmills Inn has had an interesting and varied history and has since been faithfully restored, extended and refurbished to an exceptionally high standard. Each of the 41 individually designed Guest Rooms offer luxurious furnishings, while at the same time creating the quaint and atmospheric ambience of the Inn’s bygone days. Overlooking the Garden Courtyard, the award winning ‘Taste of Ulster’ Restaurant takes in the original 17th-century stables and wine cellar. Blending classical with modern Irish cuisine each dish is crafted from traditional roots with menus inspired by local produce. Following dinner guests can sample the world famous Bushmills whiskey from the Inn’s private cask, in the traditional Gas Bar where live Irish music can also be enjoyed.