Travelers can enjoy of the luxe of the Irish, choosing the finest places while travelling the ancient footpaths and modern favorites of Dublin and environs in South East Ireland. For some high-end hotel hopping, Lisa’s Luxury Likes include a weave of city, country, seaside and garden luxury: The Shelbourne, Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, Dunbrody Country Home, The Cliff House, and Barberstown Castle.
In the heart of Dublin, the Shelbourne shines for deluxe treatment, rich historic atmosphere, and delightful location. Suites overlook St Stephen’s Greens, the renowned Victorian gardens. The concierge will greet you by name when you return from the Abby Theater or Temple Bar. Five minutes away, you can walk in the footsteps of Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Jonathan Swift at Trinity College and see the Book of Kells, or head over to
peruse the nearby pulse of picturesque Grafton shops and street artists.
First opened in 1824, and now a Five Star Alliance Renaissance Hotel, the well-restored sanctuary shares memorable dining, more than 500 pieces of Irish art, and the “Constitution Room,” where Michael Collins oversaw the drafting of the Irish Constitution.
US, Irish, and European electrical sockets are all available, but the real energy of this cosmopolitan treat are the wonderful people who make you feel five star.
EXTRAS: Ask for the Princess Grace Suite, if you want to rest where royalty dreamed.
If you want to learn about own personal Irish history, book a session with the Shelbourne’s Genealogy Butler service that helps guests find their Irish roots.
For a day trip of time travel, arrange to visit the fascinating prehistoric monument of Newgrange.
The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt
Near Irelands’ east coast, in the woodlands of County Wicklow, Powerscourt Gardens: The Ritz-Carlton is a grand scale, upscale country retreat. Play at the gentry life with horseback riding, shooting, fly fishing, and hiking in the region where scenes of Brave Heart and Excalibur were filmed. Garden lovers can stroll acres of magnificence at the Powerscourt Gardens.
For those who love eponymous luxuries, don’t miss the Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt dining experience for culinary highs, and swim laps over the 160 Swarovski crystals that light up the twenty-meter indoor pool, part of the ESPA spa facilities.
You can feel like a modern Lord or Lady of the manner in palatial-sized suites, with touch pad controls for lights and curtains, and sweeping curved balconies over the expansive grounds with views of Sugarloaf Mountain.
EXTRA: The Spa is pioneering good luck “shillelagh” massages. Hand carved from wood in the nearby Shillelagh forest, the sticks have a history as ancient tools. Now they are being used in artful massage to un-do knots and tensions.
The Cliff House
For seaside luxury, don’t miss The Cliff House, a Relais and Chateaux gem and Five Star Alliance hideaway on the Irish Sea. The bedrooms are aesthetically rich and original with creative Irish arts and comforting amenities.
Sit on your seaside balcony to savor the twilight before indulging in the delectable at The House Restaurant, a Michelin one-star treat on the ground floor. The stellar inside pool offers saltwater views. Walkers can explore the churches in the nearby town, comb the seashore, or stumble upon an ancient healing well just down the row.
The lovely staff and setting make it hard to leave.
EXTRA: All the senses can be sated.
The Dunbrody Country House Hotel
For memorable culinary lessons, inviting grounds, and the pleasures of country life like in the movies, relax at Dunbrody House: A Georgian Manor built in the 1830s that sits on more than 200 acres near Arthurstown, this once-private home shares charming intimacy.
Three floors offer a total of 22 rooms, each wonderfully unique. Original fireplaces and deep soaking tubs provide cozy pampering. The range of antiques make you want to see every room.
Across the way, the Dunbrody Culinary School offers lessons and tips for guests using fresh foods from the grounds and local sources, thanks to Irish celebrity Master Chef Kevin Dundon.
For day excursions, stroll the Viking towns of Wexford and Waterford. Take the Waterford Crystal Factory Tour to see masters at work turning glass into elegant ware and art.
EXTRA: Even those who don’t think they can cook can help make great Irish soda bread and take the recipe home.
If you want your Hotel to be an experience, as well as a cushy accommodation, Barberstown Castle beckons. Built in the 13th century with modern sections added more recently, the Kildare County castle welcomes exploration, and is just 40 minutes from Dublin. Once owned by Eric Clapton, the Hotel now has suites that are each named after distinguished guests through the century, including the Eric Clapton Suite. Each room is unique with antiques and special touches.
You may enjoy great conversations with the owner, meet musicians who come to play during the champagne hour, or enjoy an unforgettable six-course meal in the oldest part of the medieval castle. Barberstown Castle
EXTRA: Stroll through the colorful village of Kilkenny and take a lesson, fun to beat, on the Irish Bodhran at the Kyteler’s Inn, (established in 1324) or
Saunter the Castle grounds. and Candy, the dog, may walk with you through the gardens.
Special thanks to Tourism Ireland for making this trip possible. To enjoy additional ideas for planning your own itinerary, you can check out www.TourismIreland.com for things to see and do all over Ireland.
Happy Travels and Good Luck finding your own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Lisa TE Sonne for LuxuryTravelMavens.com
Photos by Lisa TE Sonne
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