Out of more than 430 luxury Leading Hotels of the World properties located in Ireland and across the globe, Ashford Castle has been singled out for an award in recognition of the way in which it has championed and supported its guests throughout 2020 and, specifically, in the face of the pandemic.
In what is great news for the Irish tourism market, the team at Ashford Castle was awarded the Leading Hotels of the World's Customer Champion, for the lengths staff have gone to on behalf of their guests during the pandemic.
The hotel proactively introduced a flexible cancellation policy and quickly put in place a range of measures to promote and support healthy and safe stays - without diminishing the exceptional five-star experience for which it is known. Ashford Castle offered full refunds when travel plans changed due to COVID-19 restrictions and while outstanding guest service is always at the heart of the Ashford Castle offering, the mantra of staff evolved to a collective position of 'what can I do to best support our guests during this difficult time'.
Niall Rochford, general manager of Ashford Castle, said: "Hotels all over the world had to adapt quickly to the COVID crisis and have done so brilliantly. But it takes a very special team to stand out from its industry peers. The team in the castle has gone to extraordinary lengths for our guests and I could not be more proud of them.
"The team's commitment to service excellence and attention to detail were phenomenal, despite the difficulties thrown up by the pandemic. It's awards such as 'Customer Champion' that put Ireland in a very strong position for when international travel resumes, giving holiday makers confidence and reassuring them that they are in the safest of hands when they visit."
Ashford Castle was the first hotel in Ireland to be awarded the Global Bio-risk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, for the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to bio-risk situations, such as COVID-19. The international accreditation verifies that Ashford Castle implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from pandemics, ensuring that the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention are employed.