A taste of local luxury at five-star hotels in Ireland


In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Ciara McDonnell presents Ireland’s best five-star once-in-a-lifetime hotel experiences


When the rich and famous come to Ireland, they stay at Ballyfin, and it’s easy to see why. Richard E Grant liked it so much that he volunteered to be their PR manager after staying with them – and he’s not alone. Celebrities aside, Ballyfin is booked months in advance, with people coming from all over the world to experience its hospitality. Suites are individually decorated with names like The Butler and The Sir Christopher Coote, and feature bathrooms larger than most living rooms, marble fireplaces, and shag rugs. Staying here is all about the experience; free in-room bars are replenished daily and there is a free laundry service for those who think there is nothing worse than leaving a hotel with dirty clothes. Bathrooms are stocked with Voya seaweed products and handmade soaps from the West Cork-based Sally Miller collection. The food is top notch and locally sourced, with much of the menu sourced from the vegetable garden, all served with nothing short of glamor, by the staff who make it their mission to feel like royalty for the duration of the stay. your stay.


Shine drops

The staff at Sheen Falls want to know your name. The whole philosophy of this Kenmare luxury hotel is that at the end of your stay you will feel like part of the Sheen Falls family, and even the most tired and cynical among us will fall in love with it.

Despite its extremely luxurious environment, this hotel makes perfect sense for families.

With a huge amount of things to do onsite, from biking around the grounds on the hotel’s free bikes to tennis, croquet, and even falconry, kids will be well entertained during their stay.

Kids can dine from the regular menu or from a menu created especially for kids, and including smart options like roast chicken and spaghetti bolognese with melon and Serrano ham, if your little ones have a gourmet taste. , and during school holidays, the hotel offers supervised films and board games for children from 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. every evening.


Ashford Castle

If you love your dog a little more than anything else in the world, then consider a pet tour to Ashford Castle, where your pets are greeted in true VIP style. The hotel is extremely chic, with wood-paneled walls and plush princess beds, not to mention the internal ‘movie theaters’, which show nightly movies and on-site activities like falconry and horseback riding, but we are here to talk about your dog, right?

Prior to your arrival, you will complete a ‘pet preference’ form, which will alert Ashford Castle staff to your dog’s likes, dislikes and general behavior. Then, for 40 € per night, your pooch will receive his own comfortable bed, a soft towel, a bowl of food and water.

For the duration of your stay the dog can take advantage of the dog sitting and walking services while his owner takes advantage of the full range of restaurants at the hotel, and lest he feel left out, a treat will be left in the dark pet bed.


Ard na sidhe

As the little sister of ultra gorgeous The Europe, Ard Na Sidhe strives to live up to her family reputation. Built in 1913, this Elizabethan-style country house features 18 luxury bedrooms in a secluded and peaceful location on the shores of Lake Caragh in Killorglin, County Kerry. Expect old-school attention to detail in everything from the heavy drapes to the ubiquitous turf fire in the living room.

The food here is fabulous, focusing on traditional dishes with a modern twist, and their afternoon tea is recognized as some of the best in the business.

Anglers will love the added touch of the free fishing rods near the house, but if chilling by the fire is more down your street, we can highly recommend it as well.


Inis Meain Hotels & Suites

If you’ve had enough of the daily grind and hustle and bustle of city life, and fancy a break that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of an urban base, then consider a trip to the Inis Meain Hotel. & Suites. Opened in 2007 by the husband and wife team Marie-Thérèse and Ruairí de Blacam, a visit here offers an extremely intimate experience, facilitated by a small but expert team.

The restaurant serves a four-course meal to a maximum of 16 people each evening at 8 p.m., its menu changes depending on the food available each day.

There are five private suites, each with an expanse of glass revealing panoramic views of the island and the sea.

Each morning a breakfast basket of fresh coffee, eggs, and pastries is delivered to each suite, and each afternoon a hot lunch is delivered, designed to be taken while exploring the island.


Dromoland castle

Surrounded by 330 acres of lush rolling hills, Dromoland Castle recently received a $ 20 million renovation and is at the top of its game when it comes to fancy stakes.

The bedrooms are uniquely decorated with specially commissioned fabrics and upholstery, as well as extremely soft slippers and bathrobes and the now essential Nespresso machine in the room.

Food in the restaurant is served under bells with aplomb and the on-site archery lessons are a must. The renovation took place over four years and was tastefully done, revitalizing anything that might seem a little tired and likely to tarnish the hotel’s five-star reputation. Consider this for a special occasion and make sure you indulge in the spa – it’s worth every penny.


The Shelbourne

There is nothing quite like checking in at The Shelbourne in Dublin. Overlooking St Stephen’s Green in the heart of the city center, its marble-clad foyer serves as a hub for the big and more glamorous to take a break from shopping or trading and offers a fantastic opportunity for people-watching.

The bedrooms are spacious and beautiful, with super comfortable beds and great bathrooms. Book in the on-site hair salon for a blow-dry before a day exploring the city, and be sure to grab a cocktail at the Horseshow Bar before dinner – it’s one of Dublin’s chicest institutions.

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