Golfkeel is a hit with tourists worldwide

WHEN it comes to tourism in the district Golfkeel Cottages is top of the class, having scooped the prize for Excellence in Tourism at this year’s Leader Business Awards.

Twelve years ago, under the guidance of owners Oonagh & John O’Neill, Golfkeel was sympathetically converted from barns dating back over 240 years.

On receiving the award Oonagh said their success has been in impressing visitors in the past who then returned to the area.

“We’re very pleased with this award,” she said. “Something that might have impressed the judges about us the fact we have been bringing in foreign tourists and repeat tourists over the past 10 years.

“People come from all over the world, including Australia, NewZealand, Canada, America, people from the UK and down south. Customer service is important to us - meeting and greeting people, calling in to make sure they’re ok, enquiring about their holiday and journey - just that personal touch.”

Lovingly restored, great attention was paid to retaining the original stonework at Golfkeel and the end result is three cottages with exceptional character and old world charm, both featuring many period items.

All furniture and fittings were especially chosen and designed to give a relaxed country feeling, with both cottages boasting extremely comfortable family sized accommodation.

All three units have been awarded 5 Star Status by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board the highest and most sought after accolade.

Both Dovedale and Oatfield Cottage are wheelchair friendly with Category One Status in the National Accessible Scheme for wheelchair users and others with mobility problems.

Oonagh said their location provides a wealth of attraction for visitors to the area. “Things like golf and fishing attract people. A lot of people come to see the Mournes and the general scenery as well. They do come for the shopping and the old traditional pubs too, as well as to visit family and friends at home.”