A NORTH Clare hotel has scooped a top prize in the Good Hotel Guide 2022, and been recognised for excellence in promoting walking holidays.
Sheedy’s Hotel in Lisdoonvarna has been awarded the ‘Editor’s Choice award for Walking Breaks’. It is the second time the hotel has received the award in the past two years.
Sheedy’s is boutique four star hotel in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark owned by John and Martina Sheedy. It is the only hotel in Ireland to receive the award for its two night walking break.
Martina Sheedy who travelled to London to pick up the award on Monday said, “This award means so much to us, especially this year, with all the challenges we have faced due to the impact of the pandemic.”
“We are delighted that we have won the award twice now; the first time was in 2020 and now again for 2022. What makes it even more special for us is that these awards are completely independent.
“We do not pay to be listed and in fact it was a result of one of our customers, who stayed here, telling the editors of the Guide about our hotel, that we were, in fact, originally included.”
The Burren national park nearby is a big draw for walkers and the couple’s own knowledge and love of walking in the area has been key in attracting outdoor enthusiasts.
“Since the pandemic, the emphasis has been on outdoor holidays and people love getting out and about on the Burren,” Martina added.
“We love walking in the Burren ourselves and are very knowledgeable about routes. Also the guide we use, Shane Connolly, gives people a great understanding of the Burren and they generally meet with others doing the walk so have fun.”
The judges were impressed by the couple’s two night Burren walking break, which includes a half-day hike led by a local walking guide, luxurious accommodation and high quality food; home-made scones on arrival, dinner in the award-winning restaurant and a packed lunch for walkers.
The Good Hotel Guide editor commented: “Martina gave us such a warm greeting. We were shown about, then up to our room, with the promise of a pot of tea in a sunny spot in the lobby once we’d settled in.
“John sources produce from local farmers, fishers, crofters and foragers for his dinner menus. At breakfast artisanal sausages, home-made preserves, ‘moreish sourdough’ and organic porridge provide ballast for an exploration of the Cliffs of Moher or the stark moonscape of the Burren.”
Sheedy’s hotel was first opened by John’s grandmother Alice in the 1930s. At that time, people from all over Ireland and abroad came to the Spa town of Lisdoonvarna to bathe in the therapeutic sulphur waters.
Since that time the Sheedy family have continued the tradition of offering high quality food and hospitality to their guests.
John and Martina took over the reins from John’s parents Patsy and Frank Sheedy in 1998 and carry on the hospitality tradition with their children Matthew and Roisin.
The Good Hotel Guide is the leading independent UK hotel guide book. Known as the bible of hotel recommendations, it features 675 hotels, inns, B&Bs and guesthouses across the UK and Ireland.
The much-coveted Editor’s Choice section highlights the top ten hotels in 16 designated categories.
Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 065 6864146.