Monday 18 December 2017

Ireland's best hotel revealed: Here's our readers' favourite place to stay

Reader Travel Awards 2017

Cliff House Hotel
Cliff House Hotel
Cliff House Hotel Waterford
Smoked salmon at the Cliff House, Ardmore.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Our readers have spoken. Today, we can reveal Ireland's favourite place to stay for 2017!

Winner: The Cliff House, Co. Waterford

When we asked you to name your favourite place to stay, replies ranged from luxury hotels to VW camper vans, from family-friendly B&Bs to self-catering houses, from guesthouses to castles.

At the top of the pile, however, was The Cliff House Hotel, a head-turning five-star in Ardmore, Co Waterford.

What makes the Cliff House so special? “Love it, love it, love it,” gushed one reader — as good a summary as any of its niche mix of design, service, location and food. “Best hotel stay I have ever had, hands down,” said another.

Cliff House Hotel Waterford
Cliff House Hotel Waterford

You noted “amazing views,” a hotel “beautifully decorated with the finest Irish crafts”, “in tune with nature and its environs”, and used words like “luxury”, “décor” and “beautiful” again and again.

Visitors should expect “an unforgettable experience,” you said.

This is a high-concept, five-star hotel with a Michelin Star restaurant, so expect prices to reflect that, particularly during peak times. Smart booking can secure savings midweek, however — a two-night getaway including one three-course evening meal is available from €490 on select dates in January and February (Thurs-Sun), for example, with an all-important sea-view room.

The Cliff Collection has brought its distinctly Irish design touches to Dublin’s Cliff Townhouse and, most recently, The Cliff at Lyons in Co Kildare. Both are classy stays, but Ardmore is the original, and the best.

Details: 024 87800;

Your favourite stays…

Harvey's Point restaurant

YOUR SAY:The BrookLodge in Wicklow in winter… roaring fires, fine dining, organic Barbour facial, porridge with cream and Irish mist and sticky toffee pudding for breakfast... try it.”

YOUR SAY:Radisson Blu Farnham Estate, Cavan. One word — Whao! It has everything. Walking trails, apa, an all-round great hotel. Even the little things that make this hotel are just impressive, e.g. keeping the milk in the fridge.”

YOUR SAY: Harvey’s Point, Donegal (above). “I fell in love with this hotel as a child, we had family celebrations there, and have since held family weddings there too. Wonderful staff, such a beautiful location on the lakeshore among the Bluestack Mountains, and the turf fire in the lobby sets your heart aglow.”

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Monart, Co. Wexford; Kelly’s Resort & Spa Hotel, Co. Wexford; Lazy Days VW Camper Hire, The Riverside Hotel in Sligo; Dunowen House in Co. Cork and Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan.

TRAVEL TRENDS: Sunny South East 2.0

Curracloe beach, Co. Wexford

The Wild Atlantic Way may have stolen the spotlight, but our readers’ love for the sunny southeast remains.

Wexford was one of the strongest counties in our Travel Awards, winning Ireland’s Favourite Family Friendly Stay (Kelly’s Resort & Spa Hotel) and Ireland’s Favourite Spa (Monart), while Hook Head and Curracloe Beach (above) rated highly too.

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