Winners Of Midlands 103's Hospitality Awards Announced

The event was held in Laois.

Over 300 people celebrated the return of Midlands 103's Hospitality Awards in a lavish event in Portlaoise on Monday night.

The celebrations at the Midlands Park Hotel recognised those working in the hospitality sector in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, with over 10,000 votes counted to create the shortlist.

The businesses were then visited by an independent judging panel, which included Michelin Star Restaurateur Sallyanne Clarke and Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse.

The judges spent several days trekking the rural roads of the region to find this year’s 51 winners across five categories.

The big winners on the night included The Killeshin, Portlaoise, which was crowned Hotel of the Year, with Wineport Lodge in Athlone taking the title of Restaurant of the Year and Gilleran’s Bar in Mullingar again scooping Pub of the Year.

Liam Gilleran was left speechless: 

The Annebrook House Hotel in Mullingar took the award for the Best Boutique Hotel, with the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone recognised for the Best Family Hotel and Danny Byrne’s in Mullingar taking the title for Best Bar for Sport.

The Tourist Attraction of the Year went to Mollie Moo's Pet Farm, Mullingar, Linda says it's great to be recognised for the work they do:

Laois is home to the Chef of the Year, with Bernard Rochford from the Midlands Park Hotel getting the nod. The Pantry reclaimed its title of Best Café and the county is also home to the Country Bar of the Year, Hogan’s Bar, Coolrain.

In Birr, staff in the County Arms Hotel were celebrated for providing the Best Customer Service in the region, while Hushabye Alpaca Farm, Killeigh picked up the title of Best Guest House or B&B. Browne’s – The Venue in Tullamore saw off stiff competition for Best New Establishment.

Owner Padraig Browne says the award means everything to him:

A new award was added to this year’s event to remember Midlands 103’s Albert Fitzgerald, who passed away in August. His son Stephen presented the Albert Award for Overall Marketing/Salesperson of the Year to Donal O'Gorman, Managing Director, The Bog Road, Kilminchy.

He says working with Albert and Midlands 103 helped grow his business:

Sallyanne Clarke says "it is my pleasure to be involved as a judge for this year's Midlands Hospitality Awards. There are so many hotels, restaurants & pubs doing a wonderful job despite the staff shortage in our industry. These awards not only show resilience in the current economic climate, but their innovation & constant strive to be the very best they can be. I take my hat off to all nominees. Everyone is a winner in my opinion."

Dawn McDermott from the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore was the winner of Wedding Co-ordinator of the year. She has been working in the hotel for 10 years:

The annual event is presented by Midlands 103 in conjunction with Laois and Offaly County Councils and various commercial partners. Managing Director Will Faulkner is congratulating all companies who took part. “These awards reflect the view of listeners and customers first and foremost because nobody gets on the shortlist without their support. All nominees are therefore among the best of the best and we’re delighted to put on a showcase celebration that gives them a richly deserved pat on the back in challenging times.”


Hotel Sector

Overall Hotel of the Year:
The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise    

Best Boutique Hotel:
Annebrook House Hotel, Mullingar    

Best Customer Service (Hotel):
County Arms Hotel, Birr

Wedding Venue of the Year:
The Heritage in Killenard

Best Family Hotel:
Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone

Best Value Hotel:
Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise

Wedding Co Ordinator of the Year:
Dawn McDermott - Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore    

Best Destination Hotel:
Glasson Lake House Hotel, Athlone

Best Hotel Manager:
Ciarán Fagan, Radisson Hotel, Athlone

Receptionist of the Year:
Aoife O'Connor - Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise

Best Hotel Bar: 
The Charter Bar & Eatery, Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise

Best Business Hotel:
Tullamore Court Hotel

Best Guest House / B&B:
Hushabye Alpaca Farm, Killeigh

Best Hotel Leisure Centre:
Club Vitae Gym - Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise

Restaurant Sector    

Overall Restaurant of the Year:
Wineport Lodge, Athlone

Best Value Restaurant:     
Hatter's Lane Bistro, Gertie Browne's, Athlone

Best Fine Dining Restaurant:
Browne's on the Green, Tyrrellspass

Best Restaurant Customer Service:    
Shishir Restaurant, Tullamore

Best Café:
The Pantry, Portlaoise

Best Dining Experience:
Batoni's, Emo

Best New Restaurant Establishment:
Browne's - The Venue, Tullamore

Best Restaurant Manager:
Trevor Byrne, Scanlon's Bar & Restaurant, Kinnegad

Best Hotel Restaurant:
Balcone Italiano Restaurant - Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore

Best Casual Dining:
Treacy's Bar & Restaurant, The Heath    

Chef of the Year:
Bernard Rochford - Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise
Tourism Sector    

Overall - Tourist Attraction of the Year:
Mollie Moo's Pet Farm, Mullingar

Best Leisure Centre:
Athlone Regional Sports Centre

Best Leisure Attraction:
Playtown, Tullamore

Best Festival:
Forest Fest 2022, Emo Village

Best Event:
World Ploughing Championships 2022

Best Heritage Site:
Lough Boora Discovery Park

Best Cultural Experience:
Tullamore Dew Distillery

Best Caravan/Camping/Glamping Experience:
Glamping Under The Stars, Portlaoise
Bar & Pub Sector     

Overall Pub of the Year:
Gilleran's Bar, Mullingar

Bar Food of the Year:
O'Dea's Bar, Portarlington

Bar Manager of the Year:
Mie Farrell - John Lee's Bar & Venue, Tullamore

Country Bar of the Year:
Hogan's Bar, Coolrain

Music Venue of the Year: 
Kavanagh's Bar & Venue, Portlaoise

Staff Personality of the Year:
Cathy Lynn - Ramsbottom's, Stradbally

Tourist Bar of the Year:
Fisherman's Inn, Ballybrittas

Best Bar for Sport:
Danny Byrne's, Mullingar

Best Traditional Bar:
P. Egan's, Moate

Best Beer Garden:
John Lee's Bar & Venue, Tullamore

Off Licence of the Year:
Carry Out Off-Licence, Tullamore

Judges' Categories     

Hotel Rising Star:
Sarah Breslin - Sales and Marketing Manager, The Killeshin Hotel

Pub/Bar Rising Star:
Amber Dalton - The Bog Road, Portlaoise

Restaurant Rising Star:
Matthew Walsh - O'Gorman's Kilminchy, Portlaoise

Special Merit Award:
Leona Donohoe - The Bog Road, Portlaoise

Special Contribution to the Industry:
Dara Cruise, Group Director of Operations for CoAnt Hotels and Entertainment

Outstanding Service:
PJ.Kavanagh, Kavanagh's Bar & Venue, Portlaoise

Albert’s Award for Overall Marketing / Salesperson of the Year:
Donal O'Gorman, Managing Director, The Bog Road Kilminchy

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