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Awards of Excellence Recognize Best of the Best

CIE Tours has presented its annual awards of excellence to the hoteliers and tourism experiences who achieved approval ratings of over 92% from the tens of thousands of guests who travelled with us in 2023. 

The Awards are based on detailed customer surveys and recognize our hospitality ambassadors, the people and businesses throughout the country who give the warmest of welcomes and highest-quality service to our guests.  

This year’s awards were hosted at the Dublin Royal Convention Center on February 6, 2024.

Stephen Cotter, interim managing director of CIE Tours said, “Our more than 90 years of experience gives us unrivalled expertise in coach tourism. Last year exceeded our expectations with 36,000 people traveling with us to Ireland, England, and Scotland, plus our new destinations of Iceland and Italy added in 2019.”

Launched in 1990, the Awards of Excellence recognize those hospitality ambassadors who contribute to creating exceptional experiences for CIE Tours travelers. The awards are based on post-stay feedback from nearly 25,000 guests who traveled with the company in 2023.  In total, 100 CIE Tours partners were recognized for a customer satisfaction rating of 92% or more and qualified for a Merit Award with the top score in each category receiving the Gold Award.

The Irish winners that topped their categories: 

  • Best 5-star hotel: Dromoland Castle - Experience the epitome of luxury and history at Dromoland Castle on our Irish Heritage tour.
  • Best 4-star hotel: Ballygarry Estate Hotel and Spa - Seamlessly blending elegance and modern comfort, Ballygarry Estate Hotel and Spa is a 4-star gem.
  • Best 3-star hotel: The Wyatt Hotel - Nestled in the heart of Westport, The Wyatt Hotel provides a charming and comfortable stay for the Mystical Ireland and Irish Classic.
  • Best Hotel Accommodation: Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa - Offering a perfect blend of grandeur and relaxation, Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa is a hotel on the Scots Irish Tour and Irish Legends
  • Best Hotel Dinner: Cabra Castle - Enjoy a culinary delight in a majestic castle setting at Cabra Castle on the Irish Odyssey.
  • Best Hotel Service & Hospitality: The Dunraven Adare - Setting the standard for warmth and excellence, The Dunraven Adare is a memorable home base on the Ireland South Daytripper.
  • Best Event Dinner/Entertainment: The Crosskeys Inn - Hosting an unforgettable night of dining and music, The Crosskeys Inn is a stop on Evergreen Ireland North, Scottish & Irish Sampler, and Scots Irish Tour
  • Special Dinner Feature: Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa - Offering a unique and delightful dining experience, Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa is a culinary destination on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland South Daytripper.
  • Best Tour Feature: Marine Bar Waterford - Sit by the fire and listen to some lively music at Marine Bar Waterford on our Irish Pub Tour, Irish Gold, and Irish Classic tours. 
  • Best Walking Tour: Historic Stroll Kinsale Walking Tours - Guiding visitors through the rich history of Kinsale, this walking tour is on Southern Gems and Jewels of Ireland
  • Best Visit: Slieve League Cliffs Centre - Marvel at the stunning beauty of Europe's highest sea cliffs with Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way and Jewels of Ireland.
  • Best Lunch: Taylors Three Rock - Take in traditional entertainment over a tasty lunch at Taylors Three Rock on Ireland South Daytripper.
  • Best Sheep Dog Trial: Atlantic Sheepdogs - Witness the incredible skills of man's best friends at Atlantic Sheepdogs in Sligo on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.
  • National Heritage Award: Dublin Bus DoDublin Hop On Hop Off Tour - Almost all of our tours that stop in Dublin offer the opportunity for independent exploration in Dublin on these convenient buses that visit Dublin's top highlights. 


And the Merit Winners: 


Leinster Hotel Merit Winners:

Ashling Hotel | Davenport Hotel | Herbert Park Hotel | Hilton Garden Inn Dublin City Centre | Hyatt Centric, The Liberties | Radisson Blu Royal Hotel | Maldron Hotel Pearse St | FItzpatrick Castle Hotel | Clayton Hotel Burlington Road | Academy Plaza Hotel | The Spencer | Aloft Dublin City

Munster Hotel Merit Winners:

The Brehon Killarney | Great Southern Killarney | Killarney Avenue Hotel | Killarney Plaza Hotel  | The Savoy Hotel | The River Lee Hotel | Limerick Strand Hotel 

Ulster Hotel Merit Winners:

Grand Central Hotel Belfast | Hilton Belfast | Europa Hotel



Leinster Visit Merit Winners:

Johnstown Castle | Irish Whiskey Museum | Sullivan's Taproom | Glendalough Visitors Centre | Experience Glasnevin | Kilmainham Gaol | Teeling Whiskey Distillery | Guinness Storehouse | Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre | Croke Park GAA Museum and Skyline Tour | Dunbrody Emigrant Ship | Dublin Castle

Munster Visit Merit Winners:
Blarney Castle | Cliffs of Moher | John B. Keane's Pub | King John's Castle | Foynes Flying Boat Museum | Blasket Centre | Killarney Horse & Carriage Tours | Tangney Tours Jaunting Car | Tom Crean's South Pole Inn

Ulster Visit Merit Winners:

Giant's Causeway | Glenveagh Castle & National Park | Hillsborough Castle | Down Cathedral | Donegal Castle | St Patrick's Centre | Long Meadow Cider

Connaught Visit Merit Winner:

Dan O’Hara Homestead | Dún Aonghasa | Kylemore Abbey | Ballintubber Abbey | Corrib Princess Cruise | Killary Harbour Cruise


In addition, the Merit Winners from Iceland and Italy were announced: 


Iceland Hotels Merit Award Winners

  • Fosshotel Vatnajokull
  • Fosshotel Reykholt
  • Hotel Selfoss
  • Fosshotel Husavik
  • Fosshotel Nupar
  • Fosshotel Eastfjords 
  • Fosshotel Reykjavik
  • Sel Hotel Myvatn


Iceland Visits Merit Award Winners 

  • Bjarteyarsandur Farm
  • Blue Lagoon 
  • Lava Centre
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Glaumbaer Farm & Museum
  • Vok Baths
  • Skogar Folk Museum
  • Modrudalur Farm
  • Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
  • Eldhestar Horse Farm
  • Perlan Observation Deck
  • Fridheimar Tomato Farm


Italy Hotels Merit Award Winners

  • NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto
  • Avani Rio Novo Venice Hotel


Italy Visits Merit Award Winners 

  • Colosseum
  • Accademia Gallery
  • Ferro & Lazzarini Glass Factory Tour and Demonstration
  • The Vatican
  • San Marco Restaurant
  • Finisterrae
  • Orvieto Cantina Foresi Wine Tasting


Italy Partner Merit Award Winners 

  • Sireontours


Congratulations to all the winners - and thanks to all the guests that made the awards possible! 

Ireland Tours

Showing 14 of 14 total

Irish Heritage

Starting from $2,395

7/8 Days

See all the highlights on this classic tour - and on our 8-day option, luxuriate in a stay at the elegant, five-star Dromoland Castle Hotel.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $200pp - Use Code EBD25200

Southern Gems

Starting from $2,245

7 Days

Visit many beloved highlights of Ireland: Dublin Castle, Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher. Experience a medieval castle banquet.  Stay in two of Ireland's most charming towns: Kinsale and…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $200pp - Use Code EBD25200

Mystical Ireland

Starting from $2,645

8 Days

Explore the lesser-known northern half of Ireland, starting in Dublin and ending in Shannon. This itinerary hugs the coastline and visits St. Patrick country, Titanic Belfast, the walled city of…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $300pp - Use Code EBD25300

Irish Legends

Starting from $2,745

9/10 Days

Delve into Ireland and its past on this tour, which mixes in plenty of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path sights among the tried-and-true favorites. 

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $400pp - Use Code EBD25400

Irish Odyssey

Starting from $3,395

12 Days

Explore Ireland's gorgeous scenery and rich history on this comprehensive Irish tour that hits every corner of the island.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $500pp - Use Code EBD25500

Irish Classic

Starting from $3,445

12/13 Days

Skirt along the entire rugged coastline to see the highlights on this Ireland tour.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $500pp - Use Code EBD25500

Jewels of Ireland

Starting from $3,995

13/14 Days

Enjoy the splendor of every corner on this leisurely Ireland tour of the essential—and the unexpected.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $200pp - Use Code EBD25200

Ireland South Daytripper

Starting from $2,345

7/8 Days

Turn your Irish vacation into a staycation. Set up your home base in the lovely village of Adare, then set out on day trips to see some of Ireland's top attractions. 

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $400pp - Use Code EBD25400

The Scots Irish Tour

Starting from $3,595

11/15 Days

This fast-paced Scotland and Ireland tour focuses on their rich history, with plenty of castle tours and museums to help bring the past to life. It's the perfect trip for those interested in…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

2025 Tours: Save $200pp - Use Code EBD25200

Taste of Iceland

Starting from $2,895

6 Days

Dive into one of the world's wildest and most wonderful places on this Iceland tour, which covers the volcanoes, glaciers, hot springs and waterfalls that wow every traveler.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

2025 Tours: Save $200pp - Use Code EBD25200

Taste of Italy

Starting from $2,345

7 Days

Get your first taste of the delights of Venice, Florence, Rome, and more on this enchanting Italian tour. You'll  get to enjoy the ancient ruins, architectural and artistic masterpieces, and…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

2025 Tours: Save $300pp - Use Code EBD25300

Taste of Italy with Sorrento

Starting from $3,745

10 Days

Enjoy a little more time—and a lot more beauty—on this extended tour of Italy. Visit the most spectacular sights of Venice, Rome, and Florence with our Taste of Italy tour, then move on to the…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

2025 Tours: Save $500pp - Use Code EBD25500

Icelandic Explorer

Starting from $4,495

9/10 Days

Explore Iceland's incomparable waterfalls, geysers, glaciers and landscapes, but take in so much more as you focus on its fascinating culture and heritage. Discover life in early Viking…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

2025 Tours: Save $300pp - Use Code EBD25300

Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

Starting from $2,695

9/10 Days

Discover the untamed nature and rich cultural heritage of Ireland’s western coast, with its spectacular ocean vistas, enchanting towns, and craftsmanship deeply rooted in tradition.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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