The Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Lodges was named Hotel of the Year (up to 75 rooms) at the 10th annual Licensed & Catering News (LCN) Gala Awards, which took place at The Europa Hotel in Belfast on June 7.

Around 450 guests from Northern Ireland’s hospitality and leisure sectors saw 19 awards distributed during the event, which was co-hosted by broadcasters Sarah Travers and Joe Lindsay.

The LCN Awards, first held in 2009, are designed to acknowledge and reward exceptional venues and personalities across the local hospitality trades. Entries are sought from hotels, restaurants, fast-food outlets, pubs, tourist attractions and others and judging is carried out independently by mystery shopping specialists from Spotcheck NI.

Speaking after the event, the hotel’s general manager, David Morrison, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded Hotel Of The Year 2019 at the prestigious LCN Awards It is a fantastic recognition for all our award winning team and is testament to our ongoing commitment to continuously improve our product offering. As part of our growth plans, we are dedicated to providing all our guests with an unrivalled experience in a fantastic lakeside location”.

And Bill Penton, publisher of LCN and awards organiser, said: ‘Once again this year, the response to the awards has been phenomenal with more than 450 entries from across the entire spectrum of hospitality in Northern Ireland. Standards have been consistently high as always and it’s a privilege to be able to acknowledge and reward all these excellent examples innovation and hard work.’

Live entertainment during the event was provided by NI singing sensation, Peter Corry, who brought elements of his current stage show, ‘The Showman is Coming’ to the Europa.

Other awards distributed on the night included the coveted LCN Lifetime Achievement Award which, this year, went to hotel veteran, Patsy O’Kane from Derry-Londonderry, former owner and developer of the city’s iconic Beech Hill Hotel.