Top Ten Luxurious Stays Along The Wild Atlantic Way

In the past six months, the world may have changed, but some things in Ireland remain the same: the beauty of our country’s varied landscapes, the inherent good nature of our hospitality, and the sense (for some) that our country is somewhere you haven’t visited for quite a while. Right now seems like the perfect time to once again explore what our country has to offer, especially along the Wild Atlantic Way, which is a magnet for native and visitor alike. Have a blast, have a ball and (where appropriate) please wear a mask. 

Please Note : Due to certain restrictions brought about by Covid-19, it is advisable to read specific guidelines for each property written about here. Most if all not require advance reservations for their dining rooms/restaurants.

WILD ATLANTIC LODGE, BALLYVAUGHAN, CO CLARE

Why You Need To Visit: Located in the heart and soul of the Burren, the Wild Atlantic Lodge is on the doorstep of Ireland’s most distinctive landscapes, which includes the Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. Here, nature is at its most simplistic and profound, from the tranquillity of bird watching and the solitariness of fishing to the camaraderie of walking, climbing, cycling and cave exploring.

Luxuries: Beautifully decorated rooms to suit all numbers (family, triple, double), and the lodge’s Wildflower Restaurant, which fuses tradition and locally-sourced produce with craftsmanship and elegant surroundings.

Info: www.thewildatlanticlodge.com

ASHFORD CASTLE, CONG, CO MAYO

Why You Need To Visit: National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World? Ireland’s very first Forbes 5-star hotel? Following a momentous revamp program over the past few years, Ashford Castle  – all 800 years of it – is ready to welcome you back.

Luxuries: Ashford is a hotel connoisseur’s paradise. Quite apart from the 350-acre estate grounds, there are lavish rooms, exceptional eating/drinking areas (from George V Dining Room and the Prince of Wales Bar to The Dungeon’s bistro atmosphere and Stanley’s American-style diner, where bagels and omelettes are conjured up with what you might not expect: Alba truffle and Ashford caviar).

Info: https://www.ashfordcastle.com/

INCHYDONEY ISLAND LODGE & SPA, CLONAKILTY, CO CORK

Why You Need To Visit: Situated on a long sweep of soft sandy beach that makes you want to kick off your shoes, Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa is a deserved multi-award winner that brims over with luxury contemporary accommodation, a wide range of seawater therapies, and incomparable guest-friendly dining options.

Luxuries: Open-airactivity options include kite flying, surfing, kayaking, coastal walks, cycling, and swimming. The rooms are the epitome of quality, and the food in the resort’s Gulfstream Restaurant is artisan-produced and locally sourced.

Info: www.inchydoneyisland.com

PARK HOTEL, KENMARE, CO KERRY

Why You Need To Visit: The New York Times got it right: ‘One of the world’s most renowned hotels’. To think we have this sublime hotel on our doorstep is one very good reason to pop in and say hello without hesitation. Overseen by the Brennan brothers, John and Francis, Park Kenmare is that rare thing: a classic, refined establishment on a route that highlights and celebrates rugged, natural beauty. 

Luxuries: A deluxe destination spa (SAMAS), a 25m lap pool, a private cinema, and a dining room under the all-seeing eye of an award-winning head chef (whose team nabbed the ‘Best 5 Star Breakfast in Ireland Award 2019’ from the Georgina Campbell Ireland Guide). 

Info: www.parkkenmare.com

PARKNASILLA RESORT AND SPA, SNEEM, CO KERRY

Why You Need To Visit: It is, write the powerhouse couple that is John and Sally McKenna, “a 500-acre ocean liner that embraces you from the moment you drive through the gates and swallows you up for the duration of your stay.” Sail away, indeed.

Luxuries: It is more than a mere vessel for its passengers, of course. Since it started welcoming guests in 1895, Parknasilla has broadened the minds as well as the waists with a luxurious blend of historical, cultural and epicurean delights. As the rooms? When you wake up you’ll think you have died and gone to heaven.

Info: www.parknasillaresort.com

GREGANS CASTLE HOTEL, BALLYVAUGHAN, CO CLARE

Why You Need To Visit: This 18th-century manor house has been open to guests for over 80 years, and still it charms with a sensibility that suggests you can do as much or as little as you like. 

Luxuries: Gregans is a perfect spot for unwinding, and with the Burren/Wild Atlantic Way on the doorstep, the luxuries here are as much understated as they are astonishing. Also, perhaps the best luxury of them all, is there are no televisions in the rooms. Fair enough – why come to somewhere so magical to have it marred by reality? 

Info: www.gregans.ie 

INIS MEÁIN HOTEL, INISHMAAN, ARAN ISLANDS, COUNTY GALWAY

Why You Need To Visit:  Created by Marie-Thérèse and Ruairí de Blacam in the mid-2000s, Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites (as it is properly known) is a private, pristine and wonderfully designed refuge for those in search of something there isn’t too much of these days: headspace.

Luxuries: Ireland’s original luxury nature lodge? It’s true. Factor in the unquestionably unique restaurant experience (from the food and the service to the room and the setting) the sleek, exquisite accommodation, and what’s outside the doors (cycling, fishing, hiking, swimming, rock climbing) and you really won’t feel like leaving. 

Info: www.inismeain.com 

BALLYNAHINCH CASTLE, CONNEMARA, CO GALWAY

Why You Need To Visit: Nestled deep in the thick leafy confines of Connemara, betwixt and between Roundhouse and Clifden, Ballynahinch Castle rises majestically. You can sense the atmosphere you’re about to experience as you negotiate the lengthy driveway towards the castle, and even more vividly as you set foot inside. 

Luxuries: If you’re someone that adores their food, then prepare for luxury from way on high. The Owenmore Restaurant is high-end sophistication, while the Fisherman’s Pub & Ranji Room features earthy décor with exotic twists. 

Info: www.ballynahinch-castle.com 

KNOCKRANNY HOUSE HOTEL

Why You Need To Visit: Situated in sheltered grounds with breathtaking backgrounds of Croagh Patrick, Clew Bay and the Nephin Mountains, this award-winning hotel overlooks the destination town of Westport. This means you have rural and urban at your disposal, should you require it. 

Luxuries: From the cosmopolitan accommodation to the cinematic La Fougére Restaurant, comfort, style, design and panache run like a seam from top to bottom. 

Info: www.knockrannyhousehotel.ie 

MOUNT FALCON, BALLINA, CO MAYO

Why You Need To Visit: Situated on the outskirts of Ballina, the Mount Falcon is that perfect mixture: old-school luxury and contemporary lifestyle. The 100-acre estate offers many open-air activities that won’t require mask-wearing – from forest trails and estate lake fishing to falconry and clay pigeon shooting.

Luxuries: Estate and hotel blend together to create a level of indulgence you don’t see or get much of these days. Charming, big-hearted, old world class and new world luxury – you really should come and see for yourself. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Info: www.mountfalcon.com  

WRITTEN BY TONY CLAYTON-LEA


WILD ATLANTIC WAY

The Wild Atlantic Way, 1600 miles (2600 km) in length, is one of the longest defined coastal route in the world. It winds its way all along the Irish west coast from the Inishowen Peninsula in the north down to the picturesque town of Kinsale, County Cork, in the south. This route from start to finish unfolds the wonders of nature, the power of the ocean and its imprint on the west coast of Ireland, and the stunning countryside in all its diversity. Enchanting villages are nestled along the coast as well as ancient monuments – their origins having long sunk into the mists of oblivion dot the landscape. Behind every bend on this magical coastal road a new delight awaits.

The wild Atlantic with its unrestrained and untameable tides and storms has continuously been moulding the west coast of Ireland. With a constant meeting of water and land, a deeply indented and wild terrain has emerged with towering cliffs, spellbinding bays and beaches, mystical islands, always changing and never reaching the end. In the isolation or perhaps expressed in a different way living near and with the Atlantic at your doorstep has ensured that old traditions and the Irish language have been preserved. A trip along the Wild Atlantic Way is also an encounter with the past.

More Infohttps://www.thewildatlanticway.com

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