Bushmills Inn shines at top NIHF awards

The Bushmills Inn scooped the prestigious joint runner up prize in the '˜90 Rooms and Under' category at the NI Hotels Federation Housekeeping Awards which took place recently.

One of Ireland’s most well-known, luxurious four-star hotels, The Bushmills Inn is situated in an enviable location a stone’s throw from a host of visitor attractions including Royal Portrush Golf Club, Old Bushmills Distillery, The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle. Roaring peat fires, nooks and crannies and a secret library set the tone, complemented by some of the finest North Antrim produce in the AA Rosette restaurant.

Tara Lodge, Belfast were winners in the under 90-bedroom category with joint runner up awards going to The Bushmills Inn Hotel and Restaurant and Belmore Court and Motel. In the over 90-bedroom category, the recently extended and refurbished Holiday Express, Belfast took the title with the runner named as Ibis, Belfast City Centre. Both hotels are owned and operated by the Andras House Group.

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Congratulating the winners and the runners up Gavin Carroll, Vice-President of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation said: “This is a great result for all the winners and we are delighted to see the Bushmills Inn receive recognition for their team, in particular the housekeeping staff. This competition is now eight years old and has gone from strength to strength. One of the main reasons that we launched the initiative was to recognise the key role housekeeping plays in a successful hotel. We were delighted to receive an exceptional number of entries this year and to be able to reward the winning hotels. It is a very strong performance by Bushmills Inn who have taken the joint runner up title and the team is a real exemplar for the smaller hotel category.”

The competition is designed to highlight housekeeping as a profession and to showcase the excellent staff in hotels. Gavin added: “It is a real commitment to enter and allow yourself to be judged in a competition of this nature, particularly as contestants underwent a series of somewhat gruelling tasks. These included a rogue room inspection, Olympic standard hoovering and the creation of an Easter themed tea tray. All shortlisted finalists received a surprise on-site inspection as part of the competition. This year’s judges commented on the exceptionally high levels of professionalism, adding that standards have risen considerably since we started the competition in 2010.”

Thanking sponsors and judges, Janice Gault, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the judges who gave up their valuable time to participate in the various stages of the competition. Also, I want to recognise the support we received from a number of sponsors including Tourism Northern Ireland, Bunzl Rafferty Hospitality, Robinson Services, Ecolab and King Koil. Without their assistance staging this event would not be possible.”