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The Luxury Hotels of Ireland

The Luxury Hotels of Ireland

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Old May 8, 12, 2:50 pm
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The Luxury Hotels of Ireland

I recently returned from an eight night visit to Ireland, my first trip to this country. During our trip, we stayed in four hotels and visited seven others. This is my site inspection report. As with all of my reports, these are my subjective opinions. Others will (and should) feel otherwise! As a TA, it's impossible to evaluate service, so this is more of a reflection on the physical attributes of these properties.


The Merrion, Dublin

The Merrion is the best choice if you want to be in the center of Dublin, a small, charming city with beautiful rows of Georgian mansions, shops, and Irish pubs. Comprised of four traditional mansions and a new Garden Wing, The Merrion
is a traditional hotel with a strong sense of place. (It reminded me of The Goring, a very traditional hotel in London.) While neither offers the "latest and greatest" in terms of contemporary fixtures and furnishings, this misses the point. I enjoyed the feeling of staying in a traditional Dublin mansion with its high ceilinged ground floor, able to step out the front door into the heart of Dublin.

We spent two nights in a Deluxe Room in the Main Building, a bit over 400 square feet. The room feels spacious with a King bed off to one side facing the front windows, a large sitting and working area on the other end of the room. Most rooms in the hotel have a step-in shower (but not all), so be sure to make this request if a separate shower is important to you. Our bathroom had a single vanity next to the toilet.

I was especially interested in seeing the Garden Wing which houses the lead-in Standard and Superior Rooms. Standard rooms have a city view while Superior rooms overlook the garden courtyard of the hotel. I actually preferred the Standard rooms because Superior rooms, though larger in area, seemed a bit narrow. Standard rooms, more square in their dimensions, felt roomier to me with more usable space. Again, if space is a primary consideration for you, you will definitely want the Deluxe category.


Four Seasons Dublin

This hotel is located in an upscale residential neighborhood which boasts the most expensive real estate in Ireland. The hotel (built eleven years ago) fits into the red brick Georgian architecture of its neighborhood. It is convenient to the embassy district of Dublin, and Four Seasons provides a complimentary car service in its BMW 7-series house car to the central shopping district of Dublin. Our ride back to the Merrion took just six minutes, post rush hour.

The hotel offers an exercise room, lap pool, jacuzzi, and spa, along with restaurants and a Whiskey Bar. Furnishings are reminiscent of other FS hotels of its period with large, comfortable rooms, traditional styling, and marble bathrooms with soaking tub, step-in shower, and separate WC. Just a single vanity is available, although the counter space is very generous - plenty of room to hold the toiletry items of two guests.

Deluxe rooms have a floor-to-ceiling window looking out either onto the attractive tree-lined neighborhood or garden courtyard; the large windows have the added advantage of bringing in a lot of light in often cloud-covered Dublin. The wall color was an attractive yellow, further lightening and warming the room. We also saw an immense Junior Suite (which includes a pullout sofa for a child staying in the room), but the real WOW room was the Corner Executive Suite (the hotel has four of this category). Its living room has a bay window looking out over the front of the hotel as well as a corner window, and there is a nicely dimensioned separate Master Bedroom.


Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt

RC Powerscourt is located in County Wicklow, about 20 minutes drive from downtown Dublin in light traffic but significantly longer during rush hour. If the purpose of your stay is to explore the attractions of Dublin, this would probably not be your first choice. But you'd like to make County Wicklow the base for your sightseeing, or if you'd like to play golf (golf courses take up a greater percentage of the land of this county than in any other place in the world) or visit the gorgeous Powerscourt Gardens, the Ritz Carlton is definitely the property to consider.

This resort is a recent build, and guestrooms offer everything that Ritz-Carlton guests would expect. Rooms are spacious with all the modern amenities including flat screen TVs and touch panels by the bed to control the lights, heating and air conditioning, and close the shades. International power sockets are also provided. Bathrooms are perfect with white marble walls and floors, dual vanities in all rooms, a deep soaking tub, step-in rain forest shower, separate WC, and even a tv in the mirror. There are two color schemes - green and blue - so be sure to specify if you have a preference.

Deluxe rooms are large, and the suite upgrade (Classic Suite or Junior Suite) provides even more space with a pullout sofa for children in the room.

The resort has a large 30,000 sq ft ESPA Spa on two levels with a 20 meter indoor pool, hamman, large exercise facility, and 21 treatment rooms. Complimentary services include use of bicycles, iPads, and WiFi.


Mount Juliet

Mount Juliet is a WOW property, a former Manor House set on 1500 acres in County Kilkenny overlooking the River Nore. There are just 31 rooms in the Manor House built in the 1760's, each individually decorated, and they have the charm of a well-maintained older property. As it's a listed building, there is no elevator - guests have to use the staircase to get to the second story where the bedrooms are located - and some of the old floor boards creak, but this is part of the charm of the place. Rooms are beautifully decorated, and all baths have step-in showers.

There are one and two-bedroom lodges elsewhere on the property, these being a good choice if traveling with children. They offer two bedrooms, two full baths, and even a small kitchen. These are much newer construction but also quite attractive.

The hotel offers a lot of activities, including a Jack Nicklaus designed championship course that has hosted the Irish Open and the WCG world championship tournament. There is an equine center, trail rides, hiking trails, fishing, shooting, archery, a spa, and an indoor pool. Two restaurants are on property, and WiFi is complimentary.

Mount Juliet is an exclusive Virtuoso property - it does not belong to FHR or Signature.


Hayfield Manor

Located in the city of Cork, Ireland's second largest city, Hayfield Manor was built in 1996 on the site of a former manor house. We spent two nights and were upgraded to a Master Suite, very spacious with a Master Bedroom with working gas fireplace, an even more spacious living room also with fireplace, a dressing room, two full bathrooms, and even an exercise machine with its own flat screen TV.

As the hotel was quite fully booked, we were able to see only a Family Room and a lead-in Manor Room. Rooms are quite spacious here. Most bathrooms - but not all - have a separate step-in shower, so be sure to make this request when booking.

What Hayfield Manor has going for it are location (walking distance from the center of Cork) and a lot of space for the money. However, while the rooms are nice, they do not rise to the five star standard that readers of this forum would expect. Bathrooms appear to be finished in faux marble ceramic tiles. The hot water faucet in one bathroom was loose and would not stay positioned over the sink. A lot of gold coloring is splashed around the room - gold colored doorknobs, light switch panels, faucets, picture frames, etc., but this did not create the impression of true elegance.

Breakfast was good - a cold buffet along with eggs that can be ordered a la carte - but we were disappointed with the house wine at dinner. Service was uneven, with no turndown service the first night - and a too-late offer of turndown our second night (we had returned to the room from dinner and were already in our bathrobes).


Castlemartyr Resort

Regular readers of the Luxury Hotels forum will no doubt recall the review by Raffles of his stay at what was then the Capella Castlemartyr. It described a succession of horrific service failures that made his family's stay an unmitigated disaster. Shortly afterwards, the resort and Capella severed their relationship. It was with this history vivid in my memory when I arrived at Castlemartyr for my site inspection.

Castlemartyr was closed for 18 months following its divorce from Capella, opening under new management, the Dromoland Collection, which also manages Dromoland Castle (site inspection to follow). As I often caution, I cannot evaluate service, but I believe these 18 months were used to good effect. I had very positive interactions with the Rooms Division Manager and with Andrew Phelan, the resort's GM. We were incredibly impressed with what we saw and experienced (including lunch - a delicious seafood chowder - in Knights Bar with attentive and personable service).

There were only three available rooms, as every other room was booked. We were shown the Presidential Suite, the only available accommodation in the original Manor House. This is a huge suite with Master Bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room, and Study. The suite had traditional styling with padded silk wallpaper, using an attractive color palette of golds and light blues. Baths in the Manor House are decorated in black marble, while rooms in the new wing have white marble.

While the original wing is decorated in a classic style, the new wing has a tasteful contemporary style that nonetheless coordinates well with the Manor House. We saw two lead-in rooms. They were spacious - over 500 sq ft - with everything a discerning luxury hotel guest would expect. Rooms were decorated in attractive shades of greens and tans, and bathrooms had double vanities, soaking tub, step-in shower, and WC. There is a sizable dressing room area. Lighting and other room functions are controlled by touch panels by the bed and by the door.

This is a large property with just 103 rooms, and I was struck with the expansiveness of the space. The grounds are gorgeous, with a formal French garden behind the main building. The resort includes a links style golf course, five restaurants and bars, a 24,000 square foot spa, indoor pool, and jacuzzi. Activities include fishing, clay pigeon shooting, archery, croquet, bicycling, boating, and walking.

My conclusion? Definitely give this resort a second chance. It is so far superior to Hayfield Manor that unless you absolutely must be within the city of Cork, Castlemartyr is the best choice from which to explore this part of Ireland.


Sheen Falls Lodge

Sheen Falls, originally a fishing lodge built in the 1600's, is a 300 acre resort in Kenmare, County Kerry, set by the side of the waterfall from which the property gets its name. We were fortunate to arrive for our site visit on a beautiful, sunny day, and I was struck by the beautiful light that filled the guest rooms and dining areas of the hotel.

There are 66 rooms, and all but one face the river. The resort was quite full, but we were shown a number of rooms, including # 209, a Signature Suite. This is one of their most requested rooms, and it was easy to see why. It occupies a corner location with a private outdoor terrace, and guests enjoy a panoramic view both of the bay and of the falls. It is a large, open plan suite; the designation "Signature" refers to the WOW views from four of the resort's suites, not to the size or floor plan of the room.

We also were shown a Deluxe room, all of which are spacious, 550 square feet or larger. Every room at Sheen Falls has a marble bathroom (one of three color schemes) with dual vanities. Deluxe rooms in the original building have showers in the tub, Jr. Suites and Signature Suites have separate step-in showers, while all rooms in the new building have step-in showers. The building is 21 years old, and while the bathroom fixtures and room furnishings are not what one would expect from new construction, there is an undeniable charm to Sheen Falls. If I had the chance, I would love to stay here and explore the beautiful natural surroundings.

There are also several two- and four-bedroom self-catering cottages. While these do not have views of the falls, they should be considered by extended families traveling to Ireland.

Activities include salmon and trout fishing, clay pigeons, riding, archery, tennis, bicycling, and hiking. There is also a relaxation pool, jacuzzi, small exercise room, and three spa treatment rooms.


Aghadoe Heights

Aghadoe Heights is a spa resort just a five minute drive from downtown Killarney with a magical view of the lake and mountain vista opposite the front of the hotel. Built 45 years ago in 1967, the hotel's exterior reflects the 60's architecture of its day. Interiors have been well maintained, and subsequent renovations have created attractive public spaces and appealing, comfortable guestrooms. I saw all four room categories during my stay.

Rooms have contemporary (but not avante garde) styling with tasteful splashes of color in the soft goods. Lead-in Standard Lakeside Rooms face the front of the hotel and have the feel of typical superior rooms. Deluxe Garden rooms are on the other side of the hallway, facing the back of the hotel. Though they lack the view, these are larger rooms. Most guests will want to end up in a Junior Suite, all of which are in the new wing of the hotel in the floors over the spa. All bathrooms have both a tub and a step-in shower. About 60% of rooms have dual vanities, so this option should be requested at time of booking. Furnishings are upscale with custom mattresses made for the hotel and Frette linens.

We were upgraded to the Penthouse, a large two bedroom apartment atop the spa wing. With a King master bedroom and bathroom, twin-bedded second bedroom with its own bathroom, a large living room with gas fireplace, dining room/conference room, study, small kitchenette, and even two guest bathrooms outside the front door (one for men and one for ladies), this was an over-the-top experience for us. The bed was the most comfortable I've ever slept in, and the Italian sheeting (apparently made of wood pulp) are incredibly soft.

The hotel offers a spa, exercise room, pool, and jacuzzi ... but most of all, wonderful views.


Killarney Park

Built in 1992, Killarney Park is a family-run hotel with just 68 rooms - 35 Deluxe rooms, 30 Jr. suites, and 3 Senior suites. This hotel's major advantage: it is located in the heart of Killarney. Guests can step outside the front door and have many options for dining and shopping within a couple of minutes' walk from the hotel. It is the hotel of choice in town.

We were able to see the two lead-in categories during our visit. The Deluxe room we were shown felt like a Superior to me in terms of space - an adequate room as long as you're aware of what you're getting, but it is highly desirable to end up in a Junior Suite, either through upgrade or by booking at this level. Junior Suites are quite spacious. All bathrooms have a soaking tub and separate step-in shower. Bathrooms in Deluxe rooms are quite small and have just a single vanity, while Jr. Suite bathrooms are significantly larger with two vanities and a larger shower.

The guest rooms really need a soft and hard goods renovation, in my opinion - they seemed a bit "frumpy" to me. On the positive side, the staff seemed genuinely friendly. The property offers a large, attractive indoor pool, a jacuzzi, and a spa with eight treatment rooms. There is a bar for casual meal options as well as a formal dining room for more upscale dining.


Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle was originally built in 1730, owned by the O'Brien family, being converted to a hotel in 1963. The hotel has three buildings, each built at a different time in the castle's history. We were shown a variety of rooms in each building. The common wisdom is to request a room in the Main Tower (as opposed to the East Wing and the Queen Anne Courtyard). The Main Tower is the most elegant building in the complex with 18 foot ceilings on both floors, as well as the guest reception, spa, dining facilities, and bar.

While we saw lead-in Standard rooms, all in the Queen Anne Courtyard building, Virtuoso guests receive an automatic upgrade to a Deluxe room. As might be expected in an older building, rooms even within one classification vary widely, both in terms of styling and room features. One Deluxe we saw had a a light green color scheme that did not appeal to me, but Deluxe rooms in a rich yellow and in a blue decorating motif were quite attractive. Definitely ask to see several rooms when you check in so that you can choose from the available accommodations. There is also diversity in terms of single vs. double vanities and step-in showers, and you'll want to weigh all of these factors in making your selection.

Deluxe rooms are nicely proportioned, but the upgraded rooms are even nicer. We saw a Tower Deluxe room with a view of the lake and 18th green that was quite appealing, but the real WOW rooms were State Rooms. These had high ceilings and tall windows, bringing a lot of natural light into the room. The Brian Borv Suite was also a wonderful accommodation.

Dromoland Castle offers a golf course, a stocked pond, a 70 meter indoor pool, falconry lessons, as well as a sense of history in a 300 year old castle.


The Lodge at Doonbeg

Doonbeg is a small village on the coast in County Clare, about an hour north of Shannon, and the Lodge is an upscale golf property that opened in May, 2006. The golf course is a dune style championship course with the first nine holes proceeding from the clubhouse counterclockwise along the shore and the second nine holes coming back clockwise back to the resort. I don't play golf anymore, but my impression from walking two holes is that the course is a challenging test of golf. I've never seen rough that tall, thick, and deep - and on a windy day, I can't even imagine how difficult it would be!

The suites (this is an all suite property) are of all sizes and configurations. We are in a basic 1BR Suite in the Main Lodge with a view out our windows of the 18th green and the ocean beyond. Our suite is fairly compact - a comfortably sized living room, small kitchen, a King bedroom that is somewhat cramped, and a bathroom with a large step-in shower and single vanity but no tub. Furnishings are absolutely top notch; luxury clients will be absolutely impressed with the quality of the room. Rooms are furnished in a comfortable classic style with masculine colors. But there is every sized configuration you could want, up to a three-story, 3000 square foot, 4 BR suite.

The resort is somewhat like Kiawah Island, SC - the resort is selling memberships as well as real estate, and guests stay in suites whose owners have put them into the rental pool.

Golfers who want to play an outstanding Greg Norman designed dunes course will enjoy staying at the Lodge at Doonbeg. Non-golfers can pamper themselves at the spa (we both received very good treatments) or explore County Clare.

Last edited by DavidO; May 8, 12 at 6:10 pm
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Old May 9, 12, 11:18 am
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Interesting, David, but I am amazed you did not stay or even take a look at Ballyfin, which is by far the best country house hotel in Ireland.
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Old May 9, 12, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
Interesting, David, but I am amazed you did not stay or even take a look at Ballyfin, which is by far the best country house hotel in Ireland.
Good point! Unfortunately you can't see everything in eight days and also experience Ireland along the way. The touring itinerary was set up first, and then site inspections were worked in, one each day [approximately] at lunchtime.

Mrs. DavidO is a pretty good sport, and enjoys site inspections within reason but more than one per day wouldn't have worked :-)

I did spend my one day in London doing nothing but site inspections, and she skipped out!
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Old May 9, 12, 2:06 pm
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Great report Davido..You certainly got the opportunity to test your rain coats aswell along the way..all part of my home countries charm,I suppose
Glad you went out to see powerscourt,it's lovely,especially on a fine day.
you were only a short hop from where I live there.
T'was great to meet yourself and Mrs Davido by the way..I was thinking afterwards,we weren't great ambassadors,forcing ye to try the guinness,while we had italian beers.
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Old May 10, 12, 5:28 am
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Originally Posted by Earthman View Post
forcing ye to try the guinness,while we had italian beers.
While in Rome

Great report David.
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Old May 10, 12, 6:28 am
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On another note,it's sad to read that hayfield manor service and hard product wise is being allowed to head south.
It's been at least 2yrs since I've been there,it used be so good.
The room we were in last time was a contemorary recently renovated one,kind of 'W' in style.
There must be frankly some numpty's running it now,to say they forgot turn down for what essentially were VIP guests,being a virtuoso travel agent with the power to recommend.
You'd think they would have pulled out all the stops.
Incidently we had a lovely stay at the cliff house hotel in Ardmore,the other weekend.
I've lots of photo's so will put up a trip report in the coming days when I get time.
As nice as Ballyfin is,and I hear they really are striving for the highest end of the hotel service ladder,they are too small and intimate for my liking.
I'm sure I'd not be alone in feeling a tad trapped having little choice but to mingle with the hotels other 10 or 12 guests.
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Old May 10, 12, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by DavidO View Post
Good point! Unfortunately you can't see everything in eight days and also experience Ireland along the way. The touring itinerary was set up first, and then site inspections were worked in, one each day [approximately] at lunchtime.

Mrs. DavidO is a pretty good sport, and enjoys site inspections within reason but more than one per day wouldn't have worked :-)

I did spend my one day in London doing nothing but site inspections, and she skipped out!
Ah. Unlike you, no matter where I go, I create the touring experience around the hotels. I promise you that it's the best way to see Ireland!
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Old May 10, 12, 3:05 pm
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Thanks for the report DavidO, I don't know where to start!
But I will... I agree The Merrion is very good for Dublin city centre, it's nice to walk outside and stroll out around the bars and restaurants.

The FS Dublin is superb as you say and easy enough to get into town from.

The RC Powerscourt has just got better and better.Lovely staff in particular.

I have heard mixed reports about Hayfield Manor, I don't think it currently can be described as an acceptable luxury property in my opinion.

A good friend stayed at Castlemartyr (just after you David) and she had quite a few service issues. She enjoyed it and gave it nice mentions but privately told me a few things that would concern me. Food was good though.

I haven't been in a couple of years, but I like Sheen Falls Lodge. The 'Little Hay Cottage' is a beautiful 2 bed cottage in the grounds and is really beautiful. I'm told by the people of Kenmare that I'm going back this Summer and if I do, this is, hopefully, where I'll stay...

I'm delighted you enjoyed Mount Juliet so much, it has come on in leaps and bounds recently and I assure you I know! It has a bit to go but you're right it has a very special feel about it. We have had really good food in the Lady Helen Restaurant and wonderful personal service. I am totally biased here by the way....

I haven't been to Dromoland in many years and I haven't been to the others so can't comment.

They may not be Virtuoso ( I haven't checked) but as a visitor to Ireland you should definitely consider Ballyfin, I think North American visitors in particular will love it. More casual but worth a look is Wild Honey Inn in Clare which gets rave reviews for it's food, the very informal but cosy Ballynahinch Castle in Galway and Inish Turk Beg which is not quite a hotel but a private island with stunning houses with pools, good food and lots of activities.

Phew...
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Old May 10, 12, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
I'm told by the people of Kenmare that I'm going back this Summer and if I do, this is, hopefully, where I'll stay

Inish Turk Beg which is not quite a hotel but a private island with stunning houses with pools, good food and lots of activities.
you visited or heard about visit to inish turk beg?
website seems down (google cache is from mar/apr and still shows 2011 rates)
seem to recall reading about financial troubles. prior to that, i started wondering how dining was handled.

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Old May 10, 12, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Earthman View Post
lovely stay at the cliff house hotel in Ardmore,the other weekend.
I've lots of photo's so will put up a trip report in the coming days when I get time.

As nice as Ballyfin is,and I hear they really are striving for the highest end of the hotel service ladder,they are too small and intimate for my liking. I'm sure I'd not be alone in feeling a tad trapped having little choice but to mingle with the hotels other 10 or 12 guests.
seem to recall a handful of very positive comments on cliff house here. any report/pics would be great.

ballyfin has plenty of interior space doesnt it? only 15 rooms, and one is a single. im very attracted to private residence style, but with full amenities. small amans are in between. i really liked the lodge verbier, and while the communal dining worked out for me when i was there, they not only offer to serve you anywhere, they would do extended course degustation menus with full wine pairing at no additional cost. ("normal" = lunch/dessert and canape/first/main/dessert/cheese/digestif) only thing i wonder about for ballyfin is attire.

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Old May 10, 12, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
you visited or heard about visit to inish turk beg?

odd that the website seems down (google cache is from mar/apr and still shows 2011 rates) while twitter is active. seem to recall reading about financial troubles. prior to that, i started wondering how dining was handled.
I'm laughing to myself as someone told me of your reply Kage via another (obv) social media arena! I know someone who has been with family and loved it, incredibly private. I haven't read or heard a thing about financial problems for the owners but to be honest there is a huge amount of misinformation circling here and it doesn't help any buisness. I will let you know when I make a call tomorrow.
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Old May 10, 12, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
Thanks for the report DavidO, I don't know where to start!
But I will... I agree The Merrion is very good for Dublin city centre, it's nice to walk outside and stroll out around the bars and restaurants.


I haven't been in a couple of years, but I like Sheen Falls Lodge. The 'Little Hay Cottage' is a beautiful 2 bed cottage in the grounds and is really beautiful. I'm told by the people of Kenmare that I'm going back this Summer and if I do, this is, hopefully, where I'll stay...


I haven't been to Dromoland in many years and I haven't been to the others so can't comment.

They may not be Virtuoso ( I haven't checked) but as a visitor to Ireland you should definitely consider Ballyfin, I think North American visitors in particular will love it. More casual but worth a look is Wild Honey Inn in Clare which gets rave reviews for it's food, the very informal but cosy Ballynahinch Castle in Galway and Inish Turk Beg which is not quite a hotel but a private island with stunning houses with pools, good food and lots of activities.

Phew...
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
you visited or heard about visit to inish turk beg?

odd that the website seems down (google cache is from mar/apr and still shows 2011 rates) while twitter is active. seem to recall reading about financial troubles. prior to that, i started wondering how dining was handled.
"

Was at Sheen Falls Lodge about this time 5 years ago & had a splendid time - not full for sure then. Must have been in a ' WOW ' suite , had a ride in the vintage to get chocs down the road too Also enjoyed the meals there along with the spa.

Have been wanting to return & stay at Dromoland this time as well as ' sister ' Ashford Castle again.

Like to visit inish turk beg if reports are +ve?

But now in Launceston , Tasmania & I won't even make it to Saffire over the weekend - likely unsettled weather then ( though lovely autumn morn now )
Perhaps in spring next year as too much flying globally this year - 4 continents so far ..

Last edited by FlyerEC; May 10, 12 at 4:18 pm Reason: Typo, etc
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Old May 10, 12, 4:21 pm
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heh, thanks Earthman (and you too of course paul2)

i distinctly recall an article in one of main irish papers, that was linked by a scotch site, that referenced it, and said something like 'luckily scotch production is unaffected'

cliff house >
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...use-hotel.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...ury-hotel.html

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Old May 11, 12, 2:31 am
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The Merrion is in my opinion the 'top' luxury hotel in Dublin city, and the location can't be beaten.

The Four Seasons... I find the hotel hard to recommend for the basic rooms, considering all the other options in the city centre. Service has been improving in recent years.

It's been a year since I was last in the Ritz. The rooms are nicely appointed, but service is very hit and miss and the breakfast has been (2011) poor.

Hayfield in Cork is indeed not at the top of the market... but I have always found the staff helpful.
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Old May 11, 12, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by father_ted View Post
The Merrion is in my opinion the 'top' luxury hotel in Dublin city, and the location can't be beaten.

The Four Seasons... I find the hotel hard to recommend for the basic rooms, considering all the other options in the city centre. Service has been improving in recent years.

It's been a year since I was last in the Ritz. The rooms are nicely appointed, but service is very hit and miss and the breakfast has been (2011) poor.

Hayfield in Cork is indeed not at the top of the market... but I have always found the staff helpful.
I stayed at the Four Seasons about a year ago and had a very positive impressions. I believe I was in a similar suite to the one David described (mine had a view back toward the city and the water beyond, with a small terrace off the bedroom) and it was beautifully done. Very quiet and nicely appointed. The food and service in Seasons was especially memorable. I had a snafu with the car service as it was not available once while I was at the hotel, but they recovered nicely and followed-up about this with me.
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