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CIE Tours 31st Annual Awards of Excellence

CIE Tours guests give feedback to reward Ireland’s best hotels, restaurants, and attractions

CIE Tours has celebrated the diversity and richness of experiences offered by Irish tourism at its annual Awards of Excellence. The event took place at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin on February 8, 2023, gathering together senior representatives of Ireland’s tourism sector to recognize Ireland’s hospitality ambassadors.

The CIE Tours Awards of Excellence were first launched in 1990.  This year’s awards are presented based on post-stay feedback received from nearly 20,000 customers surveyed throughout 2022.  The data and information obtained from these surveys is invaluable to CIE Tours’ partners who use it to continuously improve their offering to their clients.  

All of the awardees delivered an exceptional quality experience and welcome to visitors, achieving a customer satisfaction rating of over 92%.

Fourteen overall award winners were announced; each achieved the highest customer rating in their category:

  • Best 5 Star Hotel: Grand Central Hotel, Belfast
  • Best 4 Star Hotel: Cabra Castle Hotel, Cavan
  • Best 3 Star Hotel: Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford
  • Best Hotel Accommodation: Dunraven Adare Hotel, Limerick
  • Best Hotel Dinner: Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa, Kerry
  • Best Hotel Service & Hospitality: Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin
  • Best Event Dinner / Entertainment: The Crosskeys Inn, Antrim
  • Special Dinner Feature: Killeen House Hotel, Killarney, Kerry
  • Best Tour Feature: Marine Bar, Waterford
  • Best Walking Tour: Westport Walking Tour, Mayo
  • Best Visit: Cliffs of Moher, Clare
  • Best Lunch: Taylors Three Rock, Dublin
  • Best Sheep Dog Trial: Atlantic Sheepdogs, Sligo
  • National Heritage Award: Brendan Ferris Sheep Dog Trials, Kerry


Merit Awards were also presented to 54 hotels and tourist attractions who achieved a customer rating of 92% or higher (see full list below).

CIE Tours International Awards - Merit Winners 2023:


Leinster Hotel Merit Winners:

  • Dublin: Ashling Hotel | Clontarf Castle Hotel | Davenport Hotel | Herbert Park Hotel | Hilton Garden Inn | Hyatt Centric, The Liberties | Radisson Blu Royal Hotel | Maldron Hotel Pearse St | Royal Marine Hotel
  • Kildare: Barberstown Castle Hotel
  • Munster Hotel Merit Winners:
  • Clare: Dromoland Castle Hotel
  • Cork: Kinsale Hotel and Spa
  • Kerry: Dingle Skellig Hotel | Great Southern Killarney | Killarney Avenue Hotel | Killarney Plaza Hotel | Killarney Towers Hotel | The Brehon Killarney
  • Waterford: Granville Hotel


Ulster Hotel Merit Winners:

  • Belfast: Europa Hotel


Connaught Hotel Merit Winners:

  • Galway: Salthill Hotel
  • Roscommon: Kilronan Castle



Leinster Visit Merit Winner:

  • Dublin: Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre | Experience Glasnevin | EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum | Guinness Storehouse | Kilmainham Gaol | Little Museum of Dublin
  • Kildare: Castletown House | Irish National Stud & Gardens
  • Kilkenny: Greta Power Bungalow B&B | Sullivan’s Tap Room
  • Louth: Listoke Distillery & Gin School
  • Offaly: Clonmacnoise
  • Westmeath: Sean’s Bar
  • Wexford: Dunbrody Emigrant Ship | Johnstown Castle
  • Wicklow: Glendalough Visitor Centre
  • Munster Visit Merit Winner:
  • Cork: Blarney Castle
  • Kerry: John B. Keane's Pub | Killarney Horse & Carriage Tours | Tangney Tours Jaunting Car | South Pole Inn


Ulster Visit Merit Winner:

  • Antrim: Giant's Causeway
  • Donegal: Donegal Castle | Slieve League Cliffs
  • Down: Hillsborough Castle


Connaught Visit Merit Winner:

  • Galway: Connemara Celtic Crystal | Dan O’Hara Homestead | Dún Aonghasa | Kylemore Abbey
  • Mayo: Ballintubber Abbey | Killary Harbour Cruise

Ireland Tours

Showing 7 of 7 total

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Taste of Ireland

Starting from $1,395

5/7 Days

This fast-paced, short-and-sweet Ireland tour is the perfect introduction to the Emerald Isle. Taste of Ireland hits all of the "greatest hits" highlights—from Blarney Castle to the Cliffs of…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

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

Irish Spirit

Starting from $1,995

8/9 Days

This leisurely Irish tour covers the spectacular scenery of the countryside and seaside, with plenty of stops in the Emerald Isle's vibrant towns to stop and explore.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups, Independent Adventures

2025 Tours: Save $200pp - Use Code EBD25200

The Irish Pub Tour

Starting from $2,145

8/9 Days

Irish pubs are the hearts of their communities—a source of camaraderie, stories, and song. Raise a glass (or two!) to rich pub culture and history on this guided tour of Ireland, which offers…

​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

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

Irish Classic Self-Drive

Starting from $2,145

13 Days

Drive the rugged coastlines and countryside as you explore. See Dublin’s highlights, then head to Belfast as you start your route around Ireland. 

Independent Adventures

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