#Ireland castle chosen as this year’s best luxury hotel

Ireland castle

An opulent, carefully restored, 18th-century castle in Ireland has been named the hotel of the year by experts at luxury travel network Virtuoso.

At the group’s 2018 best of the best awards held recently in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States, Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland took the night’s top honor of hotel of the year, a title which recognizes “an iconic hotel that epitomizes excellence in luxury hospitality and acts as a positive change in the community”.

The win comes just a year after Adare Manor’s reopening, following a painstaking 21-month restoration process that involved 670 construction workers, craftspeople and artisans who were tasked with adding a new 42-room wing to the castle. The manor now features 104 rooms in total.

Other new additions include a ballroom with a capacity of 350 guests for weddings, meetings and events, a remodelled on-site golf course, and the opening of The Carriage House Restaurant, Terrace and Bar which debuted this spring.

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The Spa at Adare Manor is also the first and only La Mer Spa in Ireland and Britain, affirming its standing as one of the most extravagant properties in the region. La Mer sits on the highest rungs of the beauty world with triple-digit price points.

Read also: Best Indonesian hotels based on guest feedback revealed

Meanwhile, beyond the castle’s impressive facade of parapets, turrets, arches and columns lies a hidden significance – 365 leaded windows, 52 chimneys, seven stone pillars and four towers mark the annual number of days, weeks and seasons in a year.

Other architectural features include gargoyles, wood carvings and displays of heraldry.

Inside, rooms are elegantly decorated with statement pieces like wall tapestries, plush tufted sofas and heavy damask tasseled curtains, in a muted beige and off-white palette.

The winners are determined by Virtuoso’s 1,000 travel agency members, composed of 17,500 travel advisors from 50 countries, and editors of Virtuoso Life, the group’s travel magazine. 

Here are the winners:

Best Achievement in Design: The Silo Hotel, Cape Town in South Africa

Best Dining Experience: Meadowood Napa Valley – The Restaurant, St Helena in California

Best Bar: Brown’s Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel – The Donovan Bar, London

Sustainable Tourism Leadership: Six Senses Douro Valley – Lamego in Portugal

Best Family Programme: The Ranch at Rock Creek – Philipsburg in Montana, the US

Best Wellness Programme: BodyHoliday Saint Lucia – Castries in St Lucia

Best Virtuoso Newcomer: Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel – Paris

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Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pliva Waterfall

E2 - Bosnia-Herzegovina

Pliva Waterfall
The River Pliva plunges into the River Vrbas right in center of Jajce, a pretty hillside town two-and-a-half hours from Sarajevo. The 60-foot wall of water is spectacular year-round, but come on the first weekend in August and you get the added thrill of seeing people far less sane than you compete in the annual jumping contest.

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Albania, Ksamil Beach

E1 - Albania

Ksamil Beach

Is Albania at the top of your beach vacation wishlist this summer? Didn’t think so. Maybe that’s because you haven’t seen the beach at Ksamil, the jewel of the Albanian Riviera, with dazzling white sand, turquoise water, and three idyllic islands in the bay. Don’t forget your snorkel.

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Hard Rock (5 Star) Hotel, Ibiza Spain

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Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza 1

Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza is located right on the beachfront in Playa d’en Bossa. This modern hotel has a large open-air stage hosting prestigious weekly concerts. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza 2

This large hotel has 2 outdoor pools and a spa with a hot tub and sauna, as well as a gym. There is also an exclusive private beach club with beach bar next to the hotel, and a range of chill-out areas.

Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza 3

Hard Rock Ibiza is decorated with a range of music memorabilia. The stylish, air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen TV, a minibar and a private bathroom with a hairdryer, bathrobe and slippers. The windows also have blackout curtains.

Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza 4

There are 2 on-site restaurants and various bars. The hotel also offers a venue for teenagers, and there is an entertainment program for children.

Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza 5

All Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza guests have free access to the concerts held at the hotel.

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Ibiza Airport is just 7 minutes’ drive from Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza.

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Constantinou Bros Athena Beach (4 Star) Hotel, Cyprus

Constantinou Hotel 1

This property is 10 minutes walk from the beach. Athena Beach Hotel is a 4-star beachfront hotel in Kato Paphos, within walking distance of the harbour, archaeological sites, shops and nightlife. It offers rooms with balconies and 3 outdoor swimming pools.

Constantinou Hotel 2

The rooms at Athena Beach Resort have air conditioning, LCD satellite TV, safety deposit box and coffee/tea making facilities. Guests are provided with bathrobes. The rooms’ spacious balconies offer views over the Mediterranean or the hotel’s tranquil gardens.

Constantinou Hotel 3

There are many leisure facilities at Athena Beach Hotel, such as tennis courts, paddling pools, outdoor and indoor bowling and mini golf. The hotel features 3 freshwater swimming pools, a waterslide, a heated indoor pool and hot tubs.

Constantinou Hotel 4

The hotel’s spa, covering an area of 800 m2, features 2 saunas, 2 steam baths, a gym and a hairdressing salon. A range of professional massages and other treatments are available.

Constantinou Hotel 5

Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire hotel. Free private parking is available on site. The resort is located 15 km from Paphos International Airport and 140 km from Larnaca International Airport.

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Yeroskipou is a great choice for travellers interested in relaxation, food and beaches.

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San Clemente Palace Kempinski (5 Star) Hotel, Venice Italy

San Clemente Palace 1

With an exclusive location, on its own island, the San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice features 2 bars, 3 gourmet restaurants, and elegantly decorated rooms. It has a swimming pool and a terrace overlooking the lagoon.

San Clemente Palace 2

The rooms are spacious and fitted with elegant furnishings. Each comes with an LCD flat-screen TV and an en suite bathroom made of Italian marble. Some rooms have Terrazzo floors, some overlook the lagoon, and some have a seating area.

San Clemente Palace 3

At the San Clemente Palace you can relax and unwind by the pool, set in the property’s own park and equipped with gazebos and plenty of tables and chairs. There also are a tennis court and fitness area.

San Clemente Palace 4

A free shuttle boat from and to St. Mark’s square to San Clemente Island and runs with a regular service.

San Clemente Palace 5

This property is also rated for the best value in Venice! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

San Clemente Palace 6

This property is also rated for the best value in Venice! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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Pure Salt Port Adriano (5 Star) Hotel, Mallorca Spain

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 1

Perfectly located between the Majorcan coast and the Sta Ponsa Golf Course, this luxurious, adults-only hotel has a panoramic terrace with swimming pool and you can unwind in the health spa.

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 2

The hotel’s spa and fitness centre are free to all guests. Beauty treatments are available for an extra cost.

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 3

With a sandy beach steps away, Pure Salt Port Adriano offers the perfect setting to enjoy Majorca’s sun, sand and sea. Admire the beautiful landscapes surrounding the hotel and watch the sunset from the large terrace.

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 4

The hotel’s Bistro Marina offers delightful and healthy à la carte lunches and dinners. The Splendor Terrace Restaurant, with its spectacular views, offers excellent breakfast and exquisite Mediterranean and international cuisine.

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 5

The architecture of Pure Salt Port Adriano is grand and elegant – taking inspiration from Majorcas tradition. Windows and balconies are framed by arched frames and walls are painted in Mediterranean tones.

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 6

The hotel is situated above a modern marina, with a shopping centre designed by Phillippe Starck.

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 7

Pure Salt Port Adriano Hotel 8

This property is also rated for the best value in Santa Ponsa! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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Breathtakingly European Places

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Euro A
Reine, Norway

Reine is a fishing village and the administrative centre of the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county, Norway. Wikipedia
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Euro B - Bled Slovenia
Bled Slovenia

Bled, a Slovenian resort town in the foothills of the Julian Alps, is set along the glacial Lake Bled. On a cliff overlooking the lake is the 11th-century Bled Castle, which houses a museum, chapel and printing press. Atop an inslet in the lake’s center is the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria and its steep staircase and bell tower.

Euro C - Germany
Quedlinburg, Germany

Quedlinburg is a town situated just north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994, the castle, church and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Wikipedia
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Euro D - Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, in southern Switzerland’s Valais canton, is a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing and Alpine recreation. The town of Zermatt (elevation: 1,620m) is set below the iconic, snowcapped Matterhorn peak. Its main street, Bahnhofstrasse, has upscale boutiques, lodging from luxurious hotels to modest chalets, and a lively apres-ski scene. There are public outdoor rinks for ice-skating and curling.

Euro E - Aiguèze, France
Aiguèze, France

Aiguèze is a commune in the Gard department in southern France. Since 2005, Aiguèze has been a member of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, the first such location in Gard. Wikipedia
 .

Euro F - Lacock, England
Lacock, England

Lacock is a village and civil parish in the rural county of Wiltshire, England, 3 miles from the town of Chippenham. The village is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust and attracts many visitors by virtue of its unspoiled appearance. Wikipedia
 .

Euro G - Reine, Norway
Reine, Norway

Reine is a fishing village and the administrative centre of the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county, Norway. Wikipedia
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EURO H - Procida, Italy
Procida, Italy

Procida is one of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Naples in southern Italy. The island is between Cape Miseno and the island of Ischia. Wikipedia
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Euro I - Sintra, Portugal
Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near the capital of Lisbon. A longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and palaces. The Moorish- and Manueline-style Sintra National Palace is distinguished by its dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework. The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for its whimsical design and sweeping views.

Euro J - Korčula, Croatia
Korčula, Croatia

Korčula is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, off the mainland’s Pelješac peninsula. The town Korčula is known for the medieval towers and walls fortifying its harbor. Its central square features the Cathedral of St. Mark, begun in the 14th century. The island’s beaches include Vela Przina, a wide crescent that’s popular with families, and Pupnatska Luka, a turquoise cove.

Euro K - Bickensohl, Germany
Bickensohl, Germany

Bickensohl is located in the region of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Baden-Wuerttemberg’s capital Stuttgart (Stuttgart) is approximately 138 km / 86 mi away from Bickensohl (as the crow flies). The distance from Bickensohl to Germany’s capital Berlin (Berlin) is approximately 643 km / 399 mi (as the crow flies).

Euro L - Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is a village in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region. Its 16th-century Alpine houses and Gothic Catholic church sit on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore. A funicular connects to Salzwelten, an ancient salt mine with a subterranean salt lake and multimedia presentations on the village’s mining history. To the west, a trail leads to the Echern Valley with its glacial potholes and Waldbachstrub Waterfall.

Euro M - La Rock France
La Roque-Gageac. France

La Roque-Gageac is a commune in the Dordogne department in Aquitaine, southwestern France. Perched above the Dordogne River, the village is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association. Wikipedia
 .

Euro N - Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Portree is the largest town on Skye in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is the location for the only secondary school on the Island, Portree High school. Public transport services are limited to buses. Wikipedia
 .

euro O - Greece
Oia, Greece

Oia or Ia is a small town and former community in the South Aegean on the islands of Thira and Therasia, in the Cyclades, Greece.Wikipedia
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Boutique Hotel H10, Punta Negra Mallorca

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Boutique Hotel H10 1

Boutique Hotel H10 Punta Negra is situated in the tranquil Costa d’en Blanes with direct access to two picturesque coves. Most rooms have a balcony or terrace with views of the Mediterranean.

Boutique Hotel H10 2

The hotel’s extensive gardens contain 3 swimming pools, including one for children. There is also a small spa, with an indoor pool, waterjets, hot tub, and a selection of massages. Guests can also enjoy the Despacio Beauty Centre complete with a sauna and steam room.

Boutique Hotel H10 3

During the summer months, breakfast is served on Punta Negra’s main terrace. There is a restaurant with beautiful panoramic views, as well as a lounge bar and a chill-out cocktail bar during summer.

Boutique Hotel H10 4

Portals Harbour is only 2 km away with a shopping area, as well as many leisure and entertainment activities. The Son Sant Joan Airport is also conveniently located 20 km from the hotel.

Boutique Hotel H10 5

Boutique Hotel H10 6

All kind of different rooms

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Bohemian Paradise

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PrachovTjechie

A city trip to Prague or hiking and skiing in the Giant Mountains? They are surely the most famous destinations in the Czech Republic. Okay maybe the spas of Carlsbad and the Lipno in South Bohemia just as popular, but why would not even occur outside the beaten path, if you ever want to take a look at this beautiful country. The first question is, if you ever looking for something else, where do you find a unique experience?

Hruby Rohozec
Hruby Rohozec

The Bohemian Paradise is situated in the northern of the Czech Republic, just over an hour’s drive from the capital Prague. It has a unique landscape of sandstone cliffs, weathered by rain, wind and sun, interspersed with majestic castles, sleepy villages where time has stood still, vast forests and the typical ‘rock towns’. A place for dreamers, a place to explore. High time to explore Terra Felix, (the happy country).

karlsbad
Carlsbad

Bohemia is a region encompassing the western Czech Republic. It is centered on the national capital, Prague, distinguished by the Gothic architecture of the Charles Bridge and Old Town Square, and the hilltop Prague Castle. The Vltava River flows south from Prague through the town of České Budějovice, home of the Budvar brewery, and the medieval town of Český Krumlov, with its castle and pub-lined lanes.

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