Tuesday 20 February 2018

Inside Castlemartyr: What Kim and Kanye are experiencing

Castlemartyr Manor State Room
Castlemartyr Manor State Room
Enough bed space to get lost in.
The pool inside Castlemartyr resort
Castlemartyr treatment room
Castlemartyr Resort by night
the spectacular grounds at the resort
Not a place to go if you're up for a mad one.
McGraths Pub in Castlemartyr, if Kimye fancy a local pint

Aidan Coughlan spent a night at the resort where Kimye are kicking off their honeymoon, here's his verdict...

First impressions

The looming profile of the castle against the night sky, and the ornate, beautifully-lit frontage give Castlemartyr Resort one hell of an intro. Our bags are taken as soon as we step out of the car, the doors are flung open in front of us, and it's made abundantly clear that we're going to be well looked after over the next couple of days.

The welcome

"Ah, Mr Coughlan," the concierge beams as I identify myself, with a warmth and familiarity that leads me to wonder whether this is an old childhood pal with whom I'd lost contact. And minutes later, with hardly any of the usual faffing, we're being shown to our room by an equally affable porter.

It's warm, it's friendly and it's just what the doctor ordered after a full day of work followed by a long trek on the crowded Friday Dublin-Cork train.


The facilities

The Knight Bar is the centrepiece of the in-house experience, serving coffee and lunch by day and drinks and trad music by night, while the Living Room provides you with a place to sit with a newspaper and escape the world. Golfers can enjoy a magnificent 18-hole course, or just dabble about on the putting green, while those who don't fancy a swing can walk around the course on clearly marked walkways. There's also a gym and a pool for those who feel the need.

Castelmartyr ResortCapella HotelCounty Cork, Ireland...Int


The spa

It starts with plinky plonky music, and ends with a feeling of deep, satisfied relaxation that you just can't get from a city-centre facility. I receive a stunning aromatherapy massage from the amiable Amie, who spends 45 minutes rubbing away my problems until there's absolutely nothing left. Worth every penny.

The food

After an in-room breakfast involving decent le Eggs Benedict, we eat in the Bell Tower Restaurant on Saturday night -  and while the place is sorely in need of an interior designer to lend it some personality, the chef, at least, is on top of his side of the deal.

I enjoy a fillet steak that finally gives me an understanding of the phrase 'melt-in-the-mouth', while my partner hits the jackpot with her plaice and a chocolate pave desert. The wine list is comprehensive and expensive, but has provisions for those who don't want to break the bank.

PL841629@Castelmartyr Resor.jpg
Castelmartyr Resort Capella Hotel County Cork, Ireland...Int

The room


Upon first glance, the room appears magnificent due to its sheer scale -- separate rooms for the sleeping and living areas, a writing desk, enough wardrobe space for Elton John, and enough bed space to get lost in. Touchscreen panels to control the lights and curtains are a nice touch too -- but ultimately it's nothing that you wouldn't expect in this price bracket.

The crowd

Some of these five-star retreats are havens for gaggles on girly weekends; Castlemartyr, meanwhile, is where the yummie mummies take their own mothers to unwind and relax. This older crowd contributes to a relaxed, friendly tone right throughout the place -- and while that's a good thing, it's worth noting that it's not a place to go if you're up for a mad one.

Things to Do

If you've got the car, Castlemartyr Resort is within handy distance of the Jameson Distillery in Midleton and the Ballymaloe Cookery School -- if not, you're probably best off enjoying the spectacular grounds, and maybe taking the five-minute journey into town for a pint in Pat Shortt's bar.


The gripe

There's tending to the guest, and there's tending to the guest six times within a few minutes. Its incessant nature makes conversation just a little bit difficult, and even insisting that we're "quite alright, thank you very much" doesn't seem to get the message across.

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