Travel + Leisure Readers’ 5 Favorite Resorts in the U.K. and Ireland of 2024

Travel + Leisure Readers’ 5 Favorite Resorts in the U.K. and Ireland of 2024

These are T+L readers’ favorite resorts in the U.K. and Ireland, according to our "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

Crowning the best resort in the U.K. and Ireland is no easy feat when the competition is this fierce. Luckily, Travel + Leisure readers have spilled on their favorite country houses and grand castle hotels, revealing the amenities, experiences, and stand-out service moments that won them over. Read on!

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities

  • Location

  • Service

  • Food

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

<p>Courtesy of Ballyfin</p>

Courtesy of Ballyfin

What Readers Loved

All but one of this year’s winners were featured on last year’s list: The Lodge at Ashford Castle (No.4), a country house situated within the Ashford Castle (No.2) grounds. Originally built for the estate manager of the castle in 1865, the lodge has individually decorated rooms, views of Lough (lake) Corrib, and a restaurant helmed by “one of the country’s most exciting chefs” — making it perfect for a sophisticated yet relaxed stay. Still, travelers couldn’t get enough of its grand sister property, Ashford Castle, whose sumptuous interiors (think: Waterford crystal chandeliers and Connemara marble surfaces) and warm Irish hospitality has won over everyone from Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “I’ve stayed in many luxury hotels — Ashford Castle is without competition,” commented one respondent, echoing another who wrote, “I’d return every year if I could.” T+L readers were equally as effusive about Gleneagles (No.5), one of Scotland’s most iconic and beloved country-estate hotels, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a glamorous centenary ball and special afternoon tea service inspired by the hotel’s century-old history, among other festivities. “They call this the glorious playground, and I can’t agree with that more — it is heaven on earth,” commented one traveler. Said another: “The moment we checked out, we immediately began plotting our return.”

The Winner

Ballyfin: County Laois, Ireland

<p>Courtesy of Ballyfin</p>

Courtesy of Ballyfin

This grand Georgian manor in Ireland’s Slieve Bloom Mountains earned runner-up status on our last two surveys. This year, it's made its (much-deserved) ascent back to the No.1 spot. Commented one reader: “This was truly the most exceptional stay of my lifetime — this takes 5 stars to the next level.” Spread across 614 acres of impeccably manicured grounds, the hotel comprises just 20 bedrooms and one private one-bedroom cottage, offering privacy and deeply personalized service. “Being here is like staying at a private estate,” commented a respondent. While it’s tempting enough to kick back and marvel at the hotel’s original artwork collection or lounge around the indoor pool, don’t miss all the exceptional experiences on offer: horseback carriage rides around the grounds, on-property fishing, clay pigeon shooting, archery, and much more.

"This was truly the most exceptional stay of my lifetime — this takes 5 stars to the next level."

T+L Reader

The Full List

1. Ballyfin: County Laois, Ireland

Reader Score: 96.22

2. Ashford Castle: County Mayo, Ireland

Reader Score: 95.69

3. Adare Manor: County Limerick, Ireland

Reader Score: 95.45

4. The Lodge at Ashford Castle: County Mayo, Ireland

Reader Score: 95.20

5. Gleneagles: Auchterarder, Scotland

Reader Score: 93.56

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