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Our little black book of enchanting places

Ireland's Hotel of the Year

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

And the award for Hotel of the Year goes to… Adare Manor in County Limerick. At least that’s according to Global luxury travel network Virtuoso®, which describes the Irish winner as ‘an iconic hotel that epitomises excellence in luxury hospitality and acts as a positive change in its community’.Adare ManorThe former seat of the Earl of Dunraven, the lavish Adare Manor was built in the 19th century in the Tudor revival style. It was transformed into a hotel and golf resort in the late Eighties by Irish American Thomas Kane and subsequently sold to businessman and race horse owner J P McManus. After running it for a year, McManus, who also co-owns the legendary Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, decided it needed a complete rethink so he commissioned a painstaking two-year renovation programme, reopening the hotel to great acclaim late last year.The Oak Room, Adare ManorA new West Wing has added 42 rooms to the existing 62 bedrooms and suites, each one individually styled and beautifully furnished to reflect the historic building’s legacy of elegance and luxury. Cuisine, overseen by Head Chef Michael Tweedie, is equally impressive, featuring the best of Irish produce such as Wicklow venison and Tipperary quail (before the restaurant opened, the kitchen team went on a road trip around Ireland to find the country’s best small-scale producers).La Mer Spa, Adare ManorOther superlatives include a La Mer spa, the only one in the country, and a championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio. Alternatively you can try your hand at fishing with the hotel’s ghillie, have a go at archery or take a Hawk Walk through the estate. The latter, incidentally, comprises more than 840 acres, taking in sweeping parklands, cultivated gardens and formal French gardens, not to mention the Maigue, one of the best trout rivers in Ireland.Great Hall, Adare ManorOf course, a hotel can have the best building, the best grounds and the best facilities in the world and still fail to enchant. Not so Adare Manor which Virtuoso®  commends for the ‘warmth of the staff, the personalised service and the extraordinary experiences create a sense of belonging and home for guests.’  Indeed, The Telegraph recently suggested it was the best hotel in Ireland.  

Standard Classic Rooms from £280 per night, including breakfast.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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