Golf and spa on your doorstep
The Heritage 3 Rathmiles Grove, Killenard, Co Laois: €465,000
The Huguenot town of Portarlington lies on a bend of the River Barrow, and its satellite village of Killenard grew up close to the tannery that gave the town its name - Cúil an tSúdaire - which means 'nook of the tanner' in Irish.
Until 2001, Killenard was a sleepy spot... with two 19th century churches, a national school, a community centre, a pub and just 43 houses - mostly bungalows, built during the previous 30 years.
But in the last decade of the 20th century local developer Tommy Kane had a vision to change this, and he secured planning permission for an 18-hole golf course, designed by the legendary Seve Ballesteros.
Subsequently, he got permission for a five-star hotel and various ancillary facilities, including a clubhouse, leisure centre and a number of upmarket golf villas, one of them for Ballesteros himself.
No 3 Rathmiles Grove is a detached five-bedroom house located in the grounds of the Heritage Hotel and Spa Resort that cost its original purchaser, the current vendor, in the region of €850,000, according to estate agent Matt Dunne.
The house is located in a quiet cul de sac - and the neighbouring properties are used as permanent family homes (rather than as holiday golf properties) with the majority of people living here either working locally or commuting to Dublin.
Portarlington is something of a rail network hub, with a service that's the envy of half the country. Routes from Cork, Kerry, Galway and Sligo all pass through, and there are 31 trains a day to and from Dublin.
One local resident who works on St Stephen's Green says the morning commute to her office takes an hour and 15 minutes.
No 3 is in excellent condition. The double-height entrance hall has a feature staircase leading to the bedrooms on the first floor, while on the ground floor the drawing room interconnects with the dining room which in turn has double doors out to the patio.
The open plan kitchen has granite worktops, a double sink, a large island and integrated appliances, and there are double-glazed doors out to the patio and the south-facing garden.
There's a separate utility room, guest lavatory and family television room, and the fifth bedroom, which is en suite, is also on this level.
Upstairs, a balcony lies off the landing and there are four bedrooms, three of which are en suite, plus a family bathroom.
The luxurious Heritage hotel is just a couple of minutes' walk away and will be familiar to anyone old and sensible enough to have progressed from the camping phase of Electric Picnic attendance to something more comfortable. (The new owners of No 3 should expect to find themselves very popular with festival-going friends in need of a hot shower come the first weekend of September next year.)
The cost of developing the lavish hotel (reportedly in the region of €100m) and the property went into liquidation in 2010, before being bought for €5.5m in 2014.
It's now back on the market for €9m. The hotel is in excellent condition, operates successfully and is a popular wedding venue.
For prospective purchasers of No 3, the health and leisure facilities of the hotel will be of particular interest.
The spa, for instance, is regarded as one of the best in the country, with 20 treatment rooms that include a pedi spa, hydro bath, mud chambers and hammam.
The health club has a gym and fitness studio, a 15m pool, Jacuzzi, saunas and steam rooms. There is also a 3km walk around the perimeter of the golf course that is lit at night.
Venture a little further afield and there are the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the splendours of Emo Court, with its magnificent gardens, to enjoy.
There's good fishing on the Barrow, and racing at the Curragh, Naas, Punchestown and Kilbeggan, all within an hour's drive.
Killenard has its own primary school, Scoil Naomh Eoin, and there are primary and secondary schools in Portarlington.
Era: c. 2000
Agent: Matt Dunne & Associates (057) 862 3349
Viewing: By appointment
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Area name: Killenard comes from the Irish Cúil an tSúdaire, or ‘Nook of the Tanner’
Amenities: Killenard is close enough to Dublin to be part of the greater commuter belt. The property has access to all the amenities you’d expect of a five-star Heritage Hotel and Spa Resort, as well as schools, both on the doorstep and 7km away in Portarlington.
Close to: Portarlington is five minutes’ drive; Portlaoise town is roughly 20 minutes’; Dublin city centre is 72km Transport links: Killenard lies 11km from Junction 14 of the M7; Dublin Airport is 82km away; the nearest train station is at Portarlington and a good service rus to Dublin and the regional cities
Data sourced from Property Price Register; *price refers to house plus one acre only