Solar Powered Laois Retreat is Ireland’s Best Sustainable Accommodation

Laois’ luxurious country house, Inch House Ireland, has been named the best sustainable accommodation in Ireland.

The Stradbally-based guesthouse and events venue won the European GrINN Awards 2022 Tourism Sustainability Award on Wednesday 9 November.

The country house is solar-powered, offers electric vehicle charging, bans single-use plastics, recycles and has measures to reduce food waste and has installed water-efficient showers and toilets. Inch House can accommodate up to 30 people and features a hot tub and fire pits.

Inch House general manager Michael Fitzpatrick was delighted with the award and he praised the people of Laois for their support during Covid. “The people of Laois really stepped up and everyone supported us,” he said.

Mr. Fitzpatrick congratulated his colleagues Shauna and Evan. After working in the hospitality industry in Dublin for years, Mr Fitzpatick took the plunge and opened his family home to guests in 2016. He said he wanted other people to experience the beauty of the area where he had grown up.

In terms of energy use, Mr. Fitzpatrick was forward-thinking in his decision to install solar panels and batteries. He estimates that 95% of Inch House’s supply is powered by solar power in the summer and that figure drops to between 60 and 70% in the winter.

“My family and I discussed it and decided that would be the future,” he recalls.

“It was something I wanted from the start, it was to make sure the business was sustainable,” he added.

Organized by Quartz Inn Hotels, the leading European hotel group made up of independent and sustainable establishments, the GrINN Awards 2022 reward excellence in European sustainable tourism, with the main objective of promoting sustainable and responsible practices in the sector.

Hundreds of accommodations, companies and tourism leaders from 28 European countries participated in this edition in its 50 categories.

On Wednesday, awards organizer Alexander Zawadzki commented from the World Travel Market in London: “Our heartfelt congratulations to the Inch House team for all their sustainability efforts. They do an outstanding job and truly deserve this award.

“We invite all accommodation providers and tourism leaders who are making sustainable progress to apply for our next edition and encourage others to be more environmentally conscious,” he concluded.

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