Step into Adare Manor in bonus new member southern Eire and you will really feel as when you’ve entered a fairytale. Constructed within the 1800s, the previous dwelling of the Earl of Dunraven is now a luxurious lodge and golf resort. It has turn into a crown jewel of Eire’s hospitality — the regal retreat seamlessly blends its wealthy historical past with fashionable facilities.
Final spring, I journeyed to Eire’s County Limerick — a couple of two-hour drive from Dublin — to see for myself what makes this lodge top-of-the-line on this planet. (Adare Manor simply made the T+L 500 record, which particulars the most effective 500 inns on this planet, in accordance with Journey + Leisure readers.)
As I drove as much as Adare Manor, I used to be immediately blown away by the sheer magnitude of the constructing. The neo-Gothic structure is hanging, with dove-gray limestone stretching so far as the attention can see and gargoyles on the roof peering over the grounds. There are quirky accents throughout the façade of the constructing, together with 365 stained-glass home windows and 52 chimneys.
Contained in the property, the daring structure is balanced out by heat and welcoming lounge décor. Main restorations reworked the manor into a up to date luxurious haven whereas nonetheless honoring its Nineteenth-century historical past by way of distinctive furnishings and authentic paintings.
Plush sofas, customized tapestries, and marble white loos elevate every of the 104 individually designed visitor rooms. And, when you’re as fortunate as I used to be, your room may have a view of the attractive formal French gardens exterior the window.
Further highlights from the property’s restoration embrace a grand ballroom, a movie show, and a state-of-the-art spa. There’s additionally an infinity pool, steam room, and sauna on-site.
The on-site actions are plentiful, however not overwhelmingly so. One second I used to be residing out my Bridgerton fantasies throughout a chic afternoon tea at The Gallery, the place I sipped on Champagne and a signature tea mix. The following, I used to be off to a falconry demonstration, the place I met Adare’s falcons, eagles, and probably the most cute Scops owl — appropriately named “Tiny.”
Our teacher raised the stakes, suiting me up in a brown leather-based gauntlet for a free-fly expertise. At her sign, a Harris hawk soared over from a close-by tree, touchdown on my arm with a dramatic span of its wings. All of this occurred inside my first three hours at Adare. “The place am I?” I assumed to myself incredulously.
Even strolling the grounds of the property is an journey. In any case, the large property spans 842 acres. (To place issues in perspective, that is simply an acre shy of the scale of New York Metropolis’s Central Park.) Company can even traverse the property on bikes supplied by Adare or prepare for a horse-and-carriage tour.
Adare Manor’s employees was simply as particular because the lodge. Each member shared a real love for his or her craft and the property — it was each palpable and infectious.
There’s Gerry O’Halloran, the energetic supervisor of The Padel Membership, who inspired me to strive a padel lesson. (Padel is a racket sport that could be a combine between tennis and squash.) His enthusiasm for the game motivated me to strive my hand at one thing I’d by no means achieved earlier than. And regardless that I gave myself a two out of 10 on efficiency, I nonetheless had enjoyable making an attempt to play.
Willie Forde, the supervisor of Adare Nation Pursuits, confirmed off an award-worthy gundog demonstration along with his cute Irish labradors, Midnight and Shadow. And at last, there was Brendan O’Connor, Adare’s basic supervisor, who defined that the employees’s experience and keenness are the successful mixture that set Adare Manor other than the remainder. “Our objective is to be the most effective at what we do,” he instructed me.
The fine-dining restaurant, The Oak Room, is the one Michelin-starred restaurant in Limerick. For my meal, chef Mike Tweedie created an beautiful seasonal menu that highlighted Irish elements like hand-dived scallops, beef and oxtail sourced from Dublin-based Higgins Household Butchers, and wine pairings to accompany each course.
A brief stroll from the manor is the extra informal Carriage Home. And for drinks, there isn’t any higher place to be than The Tack Room. Tucked away on the basement degree of the resort behind an unassuming wood door, it’s Adare’s personal speakeasy-style bar. Company and native guests can imbibe on wine, bespoke cocktails, or a pour from their expansive whiskey library. Some bottles are so uncommon they’re stored below lock and key.
Right here, I loved a personal whiskey tasting led by Tommie Doyle, the resort’s whiskey ambassador. (Sure, that’s his precise title.) Doyle fervently walked me by way of the historical past of the “water of life.” He seamlessly wove private anecdotes and historic info into his presentation and ended the session with a tasting of 4 of the best Irish whiskeys from The Tack Room’s assortment.
“There isn’t a mistaken option to take pleasure in whiskey,” Doyle suggested, waving away all of the fussiness that comes with some tastings. “Simply take pleasure in it nevertheless you want, nevertheless it feels proper, and that’s proper.”
Nightly charges begin at $830. To be taught extra about Adare Manor or to guide your keep, head over to adaremanor.com.