The AA Hospitality Awards are a symbol of excellence in the UK hospitality industry, recognising outstanding establishments across a range of categories in the sector, seeking out and celebrating the very best in hospitality across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Killeavy Castle Estate, the 2023 Hotel of the Year Northern Ireland winner, was built in the nineteenth century and opened as a hotel in 2019 following a major refurbishment and investment.
The secluded country estate comprises the refurbished Killeavy Castle, a hotel complex with bar, restaurant, spa, walled garden and self-catering Gate Lodge, all set in 365 acres of beautiful woodland and farmland in the stunning Slieve Gullion area.
The AA Hospitality Awards inspector praised the way the original coach house and mill have been seamlessly integrated into the newer facilities and the relaxed nature of the dining with its focus on local produce.
Accepting the award, Killeavy Castle Estate owners Mick and Robin Boyle said: “We are very proud that the Killeavy luxury experience is a uniquely eco-friendly one. The produce we serve is grown on the estate or in the surrounding countryside. Single use plastic is minimised and waste is composted or recycled, nothing goes to landfill. Over the next decade we will be replanting and regenerating 50,000 native trees on the estate as part of a plan to create 150 acres of native woodland. The net effect is that Killeavy Castle will be carbon neutral next year, well ahead of our 2027 target, so guests can come and enjoy our luxury without worrying about the environment.
Killeavy Castle Estate has won numerous awards in recent years in recognition of its outstanding hospitality, including two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence in its restaurant and an AA Four Star rating for excellence in hospitality. This latest accolade reaffirms Killeavy Castle Estate’s commitment to providing exceptional experiences, showcasing the rich heritage and natural beauty of Northern Ireland and offering guests a luxurious retreat.
The hotel is located within the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark, which encompasses three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has a unique range of geological features.
It is a magnet for walkers and was chosen as a dramatic backdrop for the filming of the blockbuster TV series Game of Thrones.