County Laois, Ireland
What it is
A legendary 614-acre estate built circa 1820, with a mosaic-lined indoor pool, 5,000-volume library, spa treatments, and exquisite restaurant with its own gardens.
What it isn't
Blah. Almost anything you care to do in Ireland can be experienced right here, including clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, falconry, boating on the 28 acre lake, and much more.
What we think
If you’ve ever wanted to depart real life for a stay in a Jane Austen film, Ballyfin has essentially done it. Want to dress up in period costumes and indulge in a candlelit banquet worthy of Sir Walter Elliot? Ballyfin is ready for you. Feel like learning everything there is to know about the region’s whiskies, a sip at a time? Join their sommelier in the cellar. The cinematic experiences continue in the guest rooms, which are adorned as if for Jane Austen herself with canopied beds and lavish antiques at every turn. We love the Victor de Massigny room for its marble fireplace, antique oil portrait, deep soaking tub and the fact that toile fabric sheathes the bed canopy and the walls, floor to ceiling. But the room to induce Instagram envy is undoubtedly the show-stopping Westmeath stateroom, where the canopy bed has an actual crown.
You're here because
The hotel is a member of the illustrious Relais & Châteaux network, so you know the service will be fit for royalty. (Included in your stay: a gratis in-room bar to raid, comped laundry and toiletries handmade in West Cork by Pevonia).
You’ve spent the morning whirling around the estate by horse drawn carriage, and you’re famished. Thankfully, lunch is everything you could have dreamed—including the Duncannon smoked salmon sandwiches and the truffle and wild mushroom risotto. The Irish really are lucky.
Restaurants & Bars
Option of dining in the State Dining Room or Van Der Hagen Dining Room - Regional and seasonal cuisine
The Ballyfin Bar
An endless expanse of green rolling fields tucked below the Slieve Bloom mountains, a zippy 13 minute drive from Mountrath Golf Club.