Two new red-star hotels and two new five-rosette restaurants were announced at last night's AA Hospitality Awards 2015.
The Merchant hotel in Belfast and the Corinthia hotel in London were awarded the AA's most prestigious hotel rating, five red AA stars, while Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London, and the Kitchen, Edinburgh, received five AA rosettes, which are presented to the "finest restaurants" in the UK "where the cooking stands comparison with the best in the world".
During the evening's celebratory dinner at London's Grosvenor House, Simon Numphud, head of AA hotel services, also announced that the guide has introduced a new silver star rating for hotels between a black and red star level which offer "superior level of quality, high standards and for the quality of food within its star rating".
Gavin Carroll, general manager of the Merchant hotel, said he was "thrilled and honoured" that the property was the first and only AA five red star award winner in Northern Ireland.
"We pride ourselves on our excellent service and facilities and it is a privilege to have this recognised at such a prestigious national award ceremony," he said.
"I'm extremely proud of all of our staff that have shown such passion and dedication to meet the first class standards needed in every area of the hotel to achieve the highly coveted award."
The full list of new red star hotels include:
New five red star hotels
The Merchant Hotel, Belfast
The Corinthia Hotel, London
New four red star hotels
Great Fosters, Egham
The Grove, Narberth
New three red star hotels
Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton
The Pig near Bath, Hunstrete
The Pig on the Beach, Studland
The George Hotel, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
The new AA multi-rosette restaurants include:
New five rosette restaurants
The Kitchin, Edinburgh
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
New four rosette restaurants
Plas Ynyshir Hall Hotel, Eglwys Fach
The Westbury Hotel, London
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
The Ledbury, London
New three rosette restaurants
Old Downtown Lodge, Ludlow
The Cellar, Anstruther
The Boathouse Restaurant, Bangor
Galgorm Resort and Spa, Ballymena
Cail Bruich, Glasgow
Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen
Sudbury House, Faringdon
Lickfolk Inn, Lickfold
The Horn of Plenty, Tavistock
Lavenham Great House Restaurant with Rooms, Lavenham
Rockliffe Hall, Darlington
The Coach, Marlow
Marmadukes Town House Hotel, York
The Kingham Plough, Kingham
Sosban & The Old Butcher's Restaurant, Menai Bridge
Macdonald Complete Angler, Marlow
Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth