Who can enter the Gold Medal Awards?

Hotels in the Republic of Ireland must be registered with Fáilte Ireland. Hotels in Northern Ireland must be registered with the Northern Irish Tourist Board. Hotels must be registered under the category they are entering.

How many categories can I enter?

There is no limit of categories you may enter for one Property. The price is 1-5 for €100,  5-10 for €200 etc .

Each property should be entered and billed individually.

If you have a Hotel group or multiple properties to enter please contact our Events team 01 6401777 for group deals.

Is there any limitations to entering the categories?

Yes. If you operate more than one restaurant on site, please note that judges will only eat in your establishment once (excluding hotel breakfasts). Therefore, if you are a hotel with a fine dining restaurant and a separate bistro or casual dining offering you must choose one outlet for inspection by the judge. Please state clearly on your form which outlet you wish us to judge.

Where are entries completed?

All entries must be completed through our online form. To complete this form, you must first create an account. This contact information will be used by the event organisers to send further information.

Handwritten entry forms will not be accepted.

Who can be nominated for the Favourite Place to Eat & Stay categories?

Any hotel or restaurant in the Republic of Ireland may be nominated for the Favourite Place to Eat & Stay categories.

What date do the entries & nominations close?

Entries close on 22nd September. Extensions may be given upon request.

How does the judging process work for each round?

Every entrant in every category is benchmarked against a strict set of criteria. The shortlisted are blind site inspected by the Gold Medal Awards judging panel which is comprised of respected industry experts from across the hospitality sectors.

Once the post site inspection scores have been compiled, the judges have a final meeting to decide finalists and ultimately the winners in each adjudicated category.

When do the judges site inspect?

The judging commences in October 2023 and will finish in late November.

Will I know what judge will be site inspecting my property?

At first, all judging will be anonymous. The judges will book with your property through the normal booking system and will present a waiver form on departure/checkout. Only then will the judges be identified.

Can I request a certain time for a judge to visit?

Judges’ visits are unannounced in order to enable us to assess your business incognito. Hotel, restaurant and spa entrants may not request a specific time for a visit.

While at all times the judges will endeavour not to visit during peak periods, due to the volume of entries to be judged we cannot guarantee that judges will not visit on a Friday or Saturday night. If you anticipate that you will be booked out for a peak event, such as a local festival like the Galway Races, please note the festival/event dates on your entry form.

How many times will the judges visit?

Judges will only visit your premises once and will assess all aspects entered into the awards.

Can I ask the judge(s) how the property was marked?

The judges have been instructed not to comment on their inspection when leaving your premise(s).

Why do I have to submit a waiver form?

In light of the significant rise in judging costs due to the increased number of businesses applying for the Gold Medal Awards in recent years, entrants will be asked to waive the cost of the visit for the judge and their partner. (Judges travel in pairs to get a comprehensive view of your operation.)

What does the waiver form cover?

For hotels, this will include the cost of:

One room, for one night only (two guests)
Breakfast for two
Lunch or dinner in your restaurant (three courses if applicable, one bottle of wine, tea/coffee x 2).
Two drinks (one round) in your bar.

For restaurants, this will include the cost of:

Lunch or dinner in your restaurant (three courses if applicable, one bottle of wine, tea/coffee x 2).

If you have entered the Spa category, you will be asked to waive the cost of:

Two treatments for the judges (one treatment each). NB: Judges will book standard treatments such as a facial or a massage and will not book extensive signature treatments.

For Ireland’s Family Friendly Hotel entrants,

2 adults and 2 children must be accommodated for under the inspection cost waiver form.
Any additional costs (extra drinks, extra night etc.) will be settled by the judge on checkout or at the time of ordering.

When do I received the waiver form back?

This form will be presented to your reception/waiting staff on checkout/departure who will be asked to deduct the cost of the judge’s inspection from the bill. Please communicate this process with your team.

When are finalists announced?

Finalists will be announced on December 2023.

How long have the awards been running?

This is the 34th year of the awards.

When and where are the 2023 Gold Medal Awards?

Tuesday 30th January 2024, location: The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway

If I enter the awards, do I have to attend the ceremony?

Entrants are not obliged to attend the awards however we do encourage all finalists to be represented.

Do the awards have a hashtag?

Yes we do! It’s #VIRGINGMA23

My question hasn’t been answered. Who do I contact?

If we haven’t answered your question above, please contact the Event Team at events@ashvillemediagroup.com or on (01) 640 1777