Agnes O’Sullivan of Taobh Coille B&B in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, has secured the B&B of the Year 2019 Award. The award was presented by Charlie Boyle of Customer Service Excellence Ireland at the Aishling Hotel in Dublin this afternoon. Kerry dominated the award nominations, taking 4 out of the 10 finalists’ places.
Agnes said she was shocked and thrilled to have won and that “this award is for all the B&Bs in Ireland who do such a great job.” The annual B&B of the Year Award is based solely on guest reviews and is run by B&B Ireland and sponsored by Waterford Crystal.
B&B of the Year Finalists
Agnes O’Sullivan was selected from 10 finalists from Counties Kerry, Clare, Cork, Tipperary, Kildare and Donegal. The final winner was selected by an independent expert from Customer Service Excellence Ireland . She was presented with a Waterford Crystal Vase engraved with the title of ‘2019 B&B of the Year’, by Tom Walsh from Waterford Crystal. Awards judge, Charlie Boyle said that with “growing numbers of visitors to Ireland in recent years, it has never been more important to ensure that the unique and cherished reputation of friendliness, warmth and welcome is embedded in how we accommodate and host the millions who visit our shores.”
“Agnes, and her husband John, clearly understand and deliver the authentic and genuine Irish welcome while providing an outstanding value for money quality product. And by doing so act as a best practice example for the Bed and Breakfast sector.”
“Assessment for the award was based on reviews received in 2018 from guests who booked and stayed through B&B Ireland,” said Helena Healy, chief executive of B&B Ireland.
Praise for the B&B of the Year Winner
The comments from the reviews are high praise indeed. Here’s what one guest had to say about Taobh Coille: “Our 2-night stay with Agnes and John was absolutely the best of our 10 days in Ireland! They treated us like long-time friends, invited us to eat with them…and John took us up the mountain to feed sheep. The view was amazing, and the meals Agnes and John served were perfect. Our only regret is that we had to leave but we’ll be back.”
Another guest who loved the warm welcome and farm experience summed it up thus: “If we could capture one time of our trip in a snow globe to gaze at it every day, it would be the time we spent with Agnes and John. If you want to really experience Irish life and what the true essence of a B&B is, this must be on your agenda.”
Chief Executive Helena Healy said the awards are run to “acknowledge the fantastic work B&Bs are delivering to guests all around the country. The reviews show that “for B&B Ireland guests, it’s not just about good rooms and great home-cooked breakfasts. It’s also about the welcome, the atmosphere and the local knowledge.”
B&B Ireland is the only national body representing the B&B sector on the island of Ireland. Their visitor numbers increased by over 11% in January this year. Revenue rose 18% in 2018 to over €11.2m and booking numbers increased by 2% in 2019.
“B&B’s make a huge contribution to Irish tourism by the experience they provide for overseas visitors,” says Helena Healy. “The standard of B&B finalists is testament to that experience. The role and character of the Host, and the exceptional food offering is to be commended.