Ardtara Country House in Uperrlands, Maghera crowned as ‘AA Guest Accommodation of the Year’

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A Mid Ulster guest house and restaurant is celebrating this week after being named as the AA Guest Accommodation of the Year for Northern Ireland 2016-2017.

Ardtara Country House in Upperlands near Maghera was unveiled as the country’s top accommodation at ceremony in London earlier this week.

Mickey O'Brien's  herd of Buffalo fest on fresh silage.INMM0815-332

Mickey O'Brien's herd of Buffalo fest on fresh silage.INMM0815-332

The stunning mansion which was built in the 19th Century as a family home by Harry Jackson Clark during the reign of Queen Victoria, was also named as the ‘Most Romantic Hotel’ in 2014.

Delighted with the prestigious AA award, the owners paid tribute to their staff.

“We are pleased and honoured by this prestigious award from the AA. The secret to our success is the skill and people orientation of all the

Ardtara staff,” said Marcus Roulston and Ian Orr.

And it’s not the first time that Ardtara has won the attention of judges, with other recent accolades such as Irish Restaurants Association “Best

Hotel Restaurant Ulster 2015”, inclusion in the 2016 Michelin Guide and National Geographic Traveller’s “One of the five best hotels in the country”.

Ardtara which is also a sought-after wedding venue, has nine elegant en-suite bedrooms. Each one is individually styled, offering everything from deluxe king size beds to relaxing views across the eight acres of grounds.

Each room retains its grand original fireplace and all rooms are furnished with antiques.

Over the past 22 years, it has played host to golfing heroes, Nobel prize winners, Olympic champions, Hollywood celebrities, as well as thousands of loyal local customers..

Ardtara has been a member of the prestigious “Ireland’s Blue Book” & “Historic Hotels of Europe” since 2004 (a collection of Irish Country House Hotels, Manor Houses, Castles and Restaurants).

Charles Thomson who became one of America’s Founding Fathers, spent the first nine years at Gorteade Cottage close to Ardtara.