Jetsetters Magazine had the opportunity to visit many of the historic manor homes in
The Belle Isle School of Cookery offers both day and residential courses. It is run by the resident chef Liz Moore and is supported by Michel Roux. Liz's expertise and easy going manner combined with a wonderful sense of humour, make for fun-filled sessions in the cookery school. It is very much a hands-on experience with a maximum of ten students per course. Further information: www.irishcookeryschool.com
The region also has an abundance of National Trust properties, such as Florence Court, Castle Coole, and the Crom Estate. Among the many amenities to be enjoyed in the area are golf and superb game fishing on Lough Melvin and the river Mourne.
Proprietor: Duke of Abercorn KG
Land Agent: Charles Plunket
Rescued from near dereliction in 1988 by the present owner this faithfully restored coaching inn and adjoining mill house, at the home of the world's oldest distillery, one of Ireland's 'must visit' hotels.
Intriguing fireplaces, oil lamps, nooks, crannies and even a secret room set the tone. In the bar, still lit by gas light, try a glass of Bushmills malt from the hotels private cask or relax in a rocking chair in front of the gentle glow of a turf fire in the smoke aged 'old kitchen'. The award winning restaurant, blending 'new Irish' cuisine with the finest North Antrim produce, overlooks the garden courtyard and contrasts intimate 'snugs' with white washed walls and warm mellow brick with well aged timbers.
Spectacular oils and water colous of the
Proprietor: Roy Bolton
Managers: Alan Dunlop & Stella Minogue
Directions: (2 miles from
Coopershill House is a fine example of a Georgian family mansion. Home to seven generations of the O’Hara family since it was built in 1774, it combines the spaciousness and elegance of an earlier age with the comfort and amenities of today. Most of the bedrooms have four poster or canopy beds and all have private bathrooms. The rooms retain their original regal dimensions and are furnished in keeping with the period of the house.
Candle-lit dinners, a wide choice of wines, open log fires, and personal attention from the owners all help to create the atmosphere and hospitality that is special to Coopershill.
Standing at the center of a 500 acre estate of deer farm and woodland, separation from the outside world seems complete. There are many delightful walks and wildlife is abundant and undisturbed.
Boating and fishing are available nearby and there is an all-weather
Proprietors: Brian & Lindy O’Hara
Directions: Signed from Drumfin Crossroads, 19 kms south-east of Sligo on route N4 to
I really loved the hospitality of this old fashioned Victorian House, filled with fishing memorabilia, great books on Ireland, and a wonderful sitting room to read them in. Harry, June, and son Henry are the current owners of Currarevagh, but the land has been in the family for over 150 years. There really has been no need to move, because this place is perfect. I took Harry's wooden boat for a row around the Corrib cove to catch the natural light. Fishing has improved in Lough Corrib, Ireland's largest lake, since they cleaned it up, and many guests return year after year for the fishing, including the dairy farmer and his wife from Wales, whom I met at the House.
The country manor is romantically situated on the shores of Lough Corrib on 150 acres of private woodland. The original house was built in 1842. Harry or Henry can set you up for wild brown trout fishing with local ghillies (guides) at current rates. There is an 18 hole golf course in Oughterard and there are five other golf courses within an hours drive. The house also has a tennis court. Great area for walking.
Food Guides highly recommend its classically simple menus based on the local produce. (Dinner for non-residents by advance booking only.). The dining room has wonderful full length windows, and the breakfast is included in your stay.
1 to 31 May - 3 weeks notice
Rest of season - 7 days notice
Proprietors: Harry, June & Henry Hodgson
Directions: Take the N59 (Galway/Clifden) Road to Oughterard. Turn right in village square and follow the Glann road for 4 miles (6km)
Read the Jetsetters Magazine feature, "A Quiet Castle for the Quiet Man" for more about the Lough Corrib area.
The Dingle Peninsula is a must see area of Ireland, and I had the opportunity to visit the mountainous region with Vagabond Ireland Tours Rob, Dave, and Mark gave us the trip of a lifetime us off roading the area.
Doyle's Seafood Restaurant is famous the world over for seafood, fresh from the ocean, synonymous with Dingle.
Originally a small shop and pub built in 1790, the award winning restaurant still features flagstone floors, stone walls, a cozy arrangement of tables, sugan chairs, and original
The Townhouse has the most delightful rooms in Dingle, and they have been recently refurbished. Eight spacious bedrooms with full en suite bathrooms are decorated in a most comfortable traditional style with antique furnishings and 21st century amenities such as satellite TV, phone, trouser press/iron, tea & coffee facilities etc. The drawing room is decorated in a Victorian style and is very welcoming with its open fire, pine floors and soft furnishings.
RAC, AA, Michelin recommended, Tourist Board "Award of Excellence", Egon Ronay "Seafood Dish of the Year". "Les Routier" restuarant of the year 2002.
Proprietors: Sean & Charlotte Cluskey
Located in the heart of
This captivating 1830's Georgian Manor House Hotel hiding amid 300 acres of tranquil parkland on the idyllic Hook Peninsula, yet is less than 1-km from Waterford City. A chic, yet informal ambience, permeates Dunbrody, where guests have the opportunity to experience sheer indulgence coupled with a tradition of courteous attentive service. Gracious hospitality and personal attention to detail is evident throughout, such as fresh flowers in the hallway, crackling log fires in period fireplaces, a cozy bar, and a choice of individually styled elegant and luxurious bedrooms.
Enjoy the famous late breakfasts (served till noon daily), and later sit back and relax before treating yourself to some of
Masterchef Kevin Dundon has designed a range of exciting fun-filled one and two day courses at the cookery school at Dunbrody.
Proprietors: Kevin & Catherine Dundon
Directions: M11/N11 from
Enniscoe House is listed as a Heritage House of Ireland and has passed to the present through twelve generations of the family to the present owner, Susan Kellett. She has now been joined by her son, DJ Kellett. The family portraits, antique furniture, open fires, good food and wine, and a warm welcome, all contribute to the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
The house is situated on the shores of Lough Conn, with attractive views of the lake across the parkland. The old walled garden is being restored, and another garden produces organically grown vegetables. One farmyard now houses a small agricultural museum and the genealogy center that researches names and families of Mayo origin.
There is brown trout fishing on Lough Conn, other trout and salmon fishing nearby. The fishery manager can make all arrangements for boats, gillies, tuition, and hire of equipment.
There are three golf courses within easy reach, and riding stables in the area. Enniscoe is a good for exploring North Mayo, Achill to the south, and
Proprietors: Susan Kellet & D J Kellet.
Directions: Enniscoe is two miles south of Crossmolina on the R315 to Pontoon and Castlebar. It is 12 miles from Ballina.
Glenlo Abbey Hotel is situated 4kms/2miles from Galway City Centre on the N59 to Connemara. Situated on its own 138 acre lake side golf estate, Glenlo Abbey is Galway's only 5 Star 'Failte Ireland' rated property and is the perfect base for touring the West of Ireland. Its owners Peggy & John Bourke bought Glenlo Abbey and the surrounding land in 1984 and lovingly restored it to open as a 20 bedroom hotel in 1992 and later increased to its present 46 bedrooms & suites. There are many lovely features about the property.
The main house itself dates back to 1740 and was built by the French Family who were one of
Situated behind the first tee, The Pullman Restaurant is a special experience and has a long history dating back to 1927. Glenlo Abbey Hotel's location on the shores of Lough Corrib, make it an obvious attraction for all year fishing but particularly the trout & salmon season. The onsite golf course and the close proximity to many of Ireland's great golf courses make this family run hotel a great base when touring the West of Ireland. Plans are currently underway for a Spa to open in the near future. A warm welcome awaits all guests.
Proprietors: Peggy & John Bourke.
Directions: Glenlo Abbey Hotel is situated on the N59 to Connemara & Clifden and is 4kms/2 miles northwest of Galway City Centre. From Shannon: Take the N18 north to Galway and continue approx 55miles/85kms. From
To Galway Airport: Fly with www.aerarann.com www.euromanx.com
Proprietors: Desomond & Olda FitzGerald.
Manager: Bob Duff
Located on the picturesque N69 between Foynes and Tarbet. From Shnnon follow signs for
I note these contrasts while sipping merlot before the freshly caught Atlantic salmon is served for the evening meal at Gregans Castle. I peer out the alcove windows as the light dabbles across the landscape, the sun bullying open a spot to shine through before the clouds close in again by winds buffed over from Galway Bay to the north. The Burren is an area of ancient limestone hills, bald and treeless, but not lifeless. Each changing ray of sun highlights a different precipice or bluff in the mid-distance. An artist would do well here.
Owner Simon Haden manages this oasis of comfort together with his attentive staff. Irish hospitality, good food from excellent local produce and peace and quiet are the themes. All bedrooms are individually and elegantly decorated without the intrusion of televisions. The superior rooms and suites are particularly spacious and graceful, and are especially recommended. Some of these are at the ground floor level. A garden sensitively borrowed from the landscape and the rural setting ensure a peaceful co-existence with nature.
Within one hour's scenic drive from both Shannon and
Amenities include: non smoking bedrooms; gardens and walking trails; bicycles for guests use; croquet; massage therapist; wi-fi internet access.
Local activities include: Cliffs of Moher; Golf at Lahinch, Doonbeg and Gort, horseback riding, cycling, and guided hiking in the Burren, day trips to the Aran Islands from nearby Doolin; sea fishing; clay pigeon shooting; Ailwee Caves; Coole Park.
Classification: Irish Tourist Board 4 Star Hotel; Karen Brown, Fodors and Frommers recommended; Conde Nast Johansens; Best Loved Hotels; AA Red Stars and Rosettes, Good Hotel Guide, Good Food Guide.
Read the Jetsetters Magazine feature, "Ireland's Stony Place - The Burren" for more information.
HUNTER’S HOTEL - County
Hunter's Hotel is Ireland’s oldest coaching inn, now in the 5th generation of the same family with a long standing tradition of friendliness, hospitality and good food. Its picturesque gardens along the banks of the river Vartry provide a haven from the world at large, and a delightful setting for a delicious afternoon tea, or a pre-lunch drink.
The hotel is an ideal base from which to visit
There are fifteen, 18-hole golf courses within half an hour's drive, most notably Druid’s Glen and the European. Horse-riding and hill walking are other pursuits which can be arranged for guests. Conference facilities are available for groups of up to 30 people. Hunter’s is approximately 60 minutes drive from Dublin, 30 minutes from
Proprietors: The Gelletlie Family.
From Dublin: Turn exit for Ashford off N11. Turn left at the bridge in Ashford. Then 2 kms.
From Wexford/Rosslare: Take second exit for Rathnew of N11. Take R761 signposted for Newcastle. Hunters is 1 km on right.
Directions: One hours scenic drive from
John and Finola Cooke are a young couple with infant children and their home is Lisdonagh House, located 20 minutes from
The house is early Georgian with commanding views over Lough Hackett, which is really more of a pond, with good fishing. There are over 100 acres of woodland on the estate where I meandered through overgrown gardens.
The house has been elegantly restored, retaining the classical proportions. The oval entrance hall has murals depicting the four virtues dating from 1790. The bedrooms are named after prominent Irish artists and writers.
Each evening a five course gourmet dinner is served, alternatively guests may have a lighter two course supper option. The cooking is superb, innovatively using the best of local produce. Fresh seafood is a speciality.
The property is a terrific vantage point from which to explore Connemara, Cong, Yeat's Country, and the Aran Islands. It is situated close to some of the finest golf courses in the West of Ireland. It is an ideal choice for a quiet relaxing time in a beautiful setting.
Proprietors: John and Finola Cooke.
From South/Dublin: Take N17 towards Sligo. About 11 miles from Claregalway turn left at R333 through Belclare to Caherlistrane. In Caherlistrane, turn right at Queally's pub, approx 1½ miles turn left down signed road.
From Galway: Take N84 to Headford. In Headford turn right at "Anglers Rest", continue on N84 for approx 3 miles, turn right for Lisdonagh House.
Set in 500 acres of wooded estate in the heart of the
Longueville House is an ideal base for touring or golfing in the scenic southwest and provides a peaceful and tranquil setting for those who wish to relax or laze by the fire. The Longueville estate offers a variety of activities, including salmon and brown trout fishing on the River Blackwater, shoots between the months of November and January and scenic walks throughout the estate.
The Presidents Restaurant presents a menu offering fresh produce from the garden, farm, and river, and the kitchen is supervised by William O'Callaghan, a combination that is widely commended in various international food guides and magazines. Guests may enjoy dining in the recently restored Victorian Turner Conservatory (1862) which has been beautifully and aesthetically restored to its former glory.
Longueville provides an atmosphere and setting ideal as a venue for residential wedding parties, business meetings, prestigious events, and family get togethers. Annual events: beekeeping, mushroom hunts, make-up master class, antiques, x-mas decorating.
Proprietors: The O’Callaghan Family.
Directions: 3 miles west of Mallow on the N72 to Killarney. Take Ballyclough junction on the right hand side and hotel entrance is 100 yards on the left side.
Hostess Bernie Merry was a delightful welcome to the Moy House. The splendorous home reminded me of a lighthouse keepers home in New England. The sea grasses were being cut back when I arrived so the smell of the courntry was in the air. There are trails down to the small beach. The area is known for its great surfing at Lahinch a mile away. The owner of the property also owns the most popular bar in Lahinch, along the strand, called O'Looney's; a hen party was in progress when I sat down for a Guinness. Lahinch is a great summer party town when over 30,000 people visit or stay in the area.
The Moy House is popular with golfers so book well in advance. The eary 19th century estate recreates a contemporary and eclectic ambience in the drawing room where drinks are on the honor system. They have a fine whiskey line in the cabinet. Finger food is served hot while we check out the view from the second story windows.
The Moy House comprising 15 acres with commanding hilltop views over Lahinch Bay, the Estate is enhanced by mature woodland and the meandering River Moy, more like a stream than river. I loved walking the country roads in the area.
Each of the nine oversized, comfortable bedrooms are individually crafted with a mixture of classic and contemporary aesthetics. The signature statement for the House are the guest bedrooms, a number of which have free-standing original cast iron baths.
The residential ambience is complemented by a number of private spaces dispersed throughout the House; from the traditional Drawing Room to the Zen-feel of the lower Library area. The warm and snug-like Dining Room offers the best of contemporary Irish fayre for both breakfast and dinner.
The Moy House is within close proximity to both Lahinch and Doonbeg links courses, and it is ideal for exploring the Cliffs of Moher and nature's glorious Burren area, renowned for its wild and abundant flora and fauna.
Winner of the AA Guest Accommodation of the Year 2004 Award. Winner of the "Country House of the Year Award 2003" -
Proprietors: Antoin O'Looney
Manager: Bernie Merry
Directions: Moy House is located about one mile out of Lahinch town, on the Milltown Malbay road.
Read the Jetsetters Magazine feature, "County Clare Coastlines" for more information.
The drive south from the small community of Adare was through the rural countryside of County Clare. I had heard many great reports about the cuisine at the property, because the owner, Daniel Mullane, is also known for his vegetable and herb gardens around back of the house, which is a converted 19th century convent. Set on ten acres, the celebrated country house is surrounded by mature trees, herbaceous borders, orchards, and kitchen garden. The Mustard Seed also welcomes non residents for dinner and has long been acclaimed for attracting lovers of good food and wine from around the globe.
Each of the 16 bedrooms is individually decorated, combining traditional antique furnishings and modern facilities. The library contains an interesting collection of books for a rainy day by the fire. A sauna and massage room are available for guests in the house.
The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge is an ideal base touring the south west region. The Dingle Peninsula, Killarney, and the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren are all pleasent day trips. Horse riding, fishing and garden visits can all be arranged nearby.
Voted "Best Country House in
Proprietors: Daniel Mullane
From Limerick: from the top of Adare village, take the N21 Killarney road for ½ mile. Turn left at the first road junction to the left and follow the signposts to Ballingarry.
From Kerry: Travel along N21. Look for signs for Rathkeale. In Rathkeale town, follow the R518 for 4 miles to Ballingarry village.
Since 1897 many world travelers have enjoyed the pleasure of the Park Hotel Kenmare and its renowned restaurant. Set in a heavenly location overlooking
Home to the Deluxe Destination Spa SÁMAS; guests can experience the virtues of a true spa. This special and quite unique place blends healing and therapeutic traditions from the East and West with the life inspiring scenery of Kerry to revive the body, mind, and soul.
The Hotel's lifestyle programs combine traditional Country House elegance with mental and physical relaxation to provide a true indulgence of the senses. Daily activities include jogging, flora/fauna and heritage walks, hiking, Tai-Chi, Yoga, meditation, golf, and fishing.
Come to this special corner of
Proprietors: Francis Brennan
General Manager: John Brennan
Located at the top of the town.
Unique seaside setting with a three mile beach just one hundred yards from the front door. Time moves slowly in the mature tranquil gardens that slope down to the sea. Explore the walled garden which provides the kitchen with fruit and vegetables.
Fine Georgian proportioned lounges, elegantly furnished with antiques, paintings and cozy fires. Friendly, relaxed atmosphere, bustling with young families during holidays, warm and romantic at other times.
Award winning restaurant offering seasonal table d'hôte and à la carte menus. Supporters of the "Slow Food" movement and organic produce. The Cellar bar has traditional music nights and alfresco lunches during the summer.
Thirty-two bedrooms with their own distinctive style from luxury suites to simple family rooms. Ground floor rooms with garden views, and sea view rooms with balconies. Good sized indoor heated swimming pool, steamroom and two outdoor tennis courts. Resident masseuse offering holistic treatments.
Lots of golf locally at excellent rates. Horseriding, sea angling, and fishing nearby. Beautiful scenery, fine long sandy beaches and plenty of interesting and historical places to visit locally.
3-4 hours from Dublin, 2 hours from
Proprietors: The Wheeler Family.
Directions: From Letterkenny go to Ramelton. Turn right at bridge to Rathmullan. Through village - gates on the right.
While waiting for my room to be ready, I had a stiff shot of Jameson with Ed, father to Mark, who both own and run this seaside property overlooking Ballinakill Bay.
The hotel has been discreetly converted into a first-class hotel with a Victorian style conservatory and delightful drawing rooms with open log fires. All of the bedrooms are individually decorated and feature fine antiques and paintings. The bar is wonderful because of the airy atrium lighting.
Set on 30 acres of secluded woodland to the ocean’s edge, Rosleague is a beautifully wooded area on the coast, in the center of the fabled Connemara and beside
Winner of the Irish Tourist Board’s Award of Excellence and recommended by all the better known Good Food and Hotel Guides, Rosleague is personally supervised by the owners, and all the food is produced locally and prepared by them, with the help of a skilled and experienced staff. The cuisine is based on the freshest and finest of ingredients, with fresh seafood and
Proprietors: Edmund and Mark Foyle.
Directions: N59, seven miles
Experience the Beauty and Tranquility of the Mayo Coastline.
Stella Maris was built in 1853 as a Coast Guard fortress and subsequently became a convent in 1914. The detailed restoration of this imposing 19th century structure took two years to complete. Antiques are interspersed with comfortable leather furniture to create a 'homely' sense for guests. Visitors enjoy the tranquil setting from the 100-foot conservatory fronting
Proprietor and Chef Frances Kelly oversees the kitchen to ensure a fine dining experience. Stella Maris features its own garden for herbs and vegetables and has been cited for its culinary excellence in several noted publications and guides. Open fires warm the inviting bar and lounge, where guests relax before and after dinner.
Stella Maris is strategically located between the world-renowned golf links of Enniscrone and Carne/Belmullet, and is only 20 minutes from Nick Faldo's exciting new Bartra Island Golf Links. Stella Maris is also easily accessible to
Recommended by: Karen Brown's Ireland: Charming Inns and Itineraries; The Bridgestone 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland; Georgina Campbell's Guide to the Best Places to Eat, Drink & Stay in Ireland; Ireland's Food and Wine Magazine as well as most major tour guides.
Proprietors: Frances Kelly & Terence McSweeney
Stella Maris is located on the ocean, 17 miles west of Ballina and 1.5 miles west of Ballycastle in County Mayo.
Feature by Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine, and Ireland's Blue Book.