Conde Nast has been rating luxury hotels for a long time now and are universally recognized as the experts in such things. Well here in Ireland we are not surprised, but certainly delighted to be unique in the world as having three fantastic hotels listed in the latest top ten list, with number one going to the fabulous 5* Ballyfinn Demesne in Co. Laois, Ireland.
There are many fantastic hotels world wide, but we do believe that Ireland has the full package, and Conde Nast apparently agree. Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers' Choice Awards 2016 has pointed the spotlight on Ireland and we are very proud.
9th Place – The Lodge at Ashford Castle Estate, Cong, Co Mayo
Ashford castle has been voted no. 1 in Europe a few years ago by Virtuoso so this stunning estate is accustomed to awards. Magnificent renovations have complimented the original splendor of this historic Irish Castle and Estate. One of the additions was the opening of the “Lodge “ on the edge of the Estate. The décor is modern yet retaining the small country house feel. 24 rooms manages to keep a personal and homely atmosphere among the splendor and facilities of the Estate.
The restaurant serves fantastic dining within the house and the proximity to the picturesque Lake Corrib absorbs a feeling of peace and tranquility.
What makes this place special is the location, set on 350 acres of stunning Estate, woodland and lakes which provide golf courses, falconry, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, cinema, spa, luxury pool and horse riding to name just a few. A short walk to the Castle and you can enjoy a seven course fine dining taster menu in the George V dining room surrounded by history and splendour unmatched. This all the while experiencing the country manor feel to your stay. It truly is the best of both worlds.
7th Place – Waterford Castle, Waterford
Waterford is an ancient Viking city and one of the first settlements in ancient Ireland. With it’s proximity to trading routes to England and France it became wealthy and busy. Now it is one of the smaller cities in Ireland but has retained it’s medieval layout to the streets and the has many fantastic castles and historic buildings still standing strong.
Waterford castle is built on its own self-contained island. To reach the hotel you need to take a car ferry which undoubtedly adds to the mystic of this classy understated retreat.
The preservation of the original character features of stone cut windows, magnificent fireplaces and bare stone walls genuinely maintains the feeling of stepping back in time.
Your own private island, original castle accommodation, fine dining and beautiful surroundings, not surprising the readers of Conde Nast chose it at number 7 in the world !.
1st Place Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois
Built in the 1820s, Ballyfin is not the oldest stately home in Ireland, but, it is certainly the grandest. Built to impress, it does not fail. Millions have been put into renovating and restoring the house back to its original opulence which cannot fail to impress even the most seasoned luxury traveller. The attention to detail and quality of the interior design (including hand painted wall paper, gold gilded furniture) together with the extensive antique and art collection adorning every room, this house is a museum that your are free to enjoy at your own leisure. All what you would expect from a 5* country manor hotel is included together with a butler to assist you with every need. Pre dinner drinks, afternoon tea and packed picnics for the garden are all part of the service. The people are friendly and welcoming all the while seeing to your authentic country manor house experience. Truly it deserves to be awarded as best in the world!