Three-star status for Downshire

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THE Downshire Hotel is celebrating after being awarded another star following a glowing inspection report from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

The mystery guest gave the Newry Street hotel a three-star rating after enjoying a one-night stay and awarded high scores in a range of areas including, food, hospitality, service and cleanliness.

Staff were commended for the “true sense of team spirit” that was evident during the stay, and the service was said to be “excellent” in its informal style and relaxed environment.

Tony Mercer, the Board’s assessor, said the hotel’s interior design adds to its wonderful atmosphere.

“Open fires, sofas, traditional furniture of a very good quality and carefully chosen pictureswith excellent lighting levels all combine to create a sumptuous environment complementing the atmosphere of this traditional Coaching Inn,” said Mr Mercer.

He went on to detail how much he enjoyed the food in the hotel’s restaurant, especially the fact that it is locally sourced. He also spoke highly of the staff welcome he received - from the intial phonecall to book the stay, to the personal welcome when he arrived and the positive attitude of staff throughout his break.

The hotel’s parking facilities were also singled out as being extensive, secure and well-lit. Following Mr Mercer’s secret stay he made himself known to staff who then proceeded to give him a more extensive tour of the hotel and its facilities befroe awarding the business its extra star.

The Downshire’s James Heslip paid tribute to his dedicated staff and shared his joy at the new star rating.

“We’re absolutely delighted at the news we have been awarded an extra star by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board,” said Mr Heslip. “We pride ourselves on the high standards we set and this recognition from the Tourist Board is very pleasing. I’d like to pay tribute to the consistent hard work of all our staff members in making sure we provide the highest possible service to our loyal custopmer base.”

Nigel, Karen and James have described the three-star news as a fantastic early Christmas present for their parents, Barry and Amy.

“Being award three-star status is great recognition of a lifetime of work by our parents,” said James.

In relation to the recent renovations at the hotel - which inluded refurbished guest rooms and bathrooms - James went on to thank Walkers Soft Furnishings, AJ Plumbing for their work to the bathrooms, Paul Burns and Nigel Craig for their team effort, and the team of craftsmen for their efforts.

He added further thanks to Crosskey Meats and ICS for their support in supplying quality goods.