Bruce Wallin, director of the Robb Report, spoke about this year’s list on Fox News. He said “Who doesn’t love Ireland?”.
He explained the Robb Report (whose tagline is “your global luxury resource”) is always looking for the newest best things and this year the history demesne in Laois popped up on their radar.
Ballyfin is owned by a Chicago businessman named Fred Krehbial. He bought the property in 2002 and has spent $50 million renovating it. Last year it opened as a hotel.
The house was built in 1822 for an English nobleman. Later it became a Catholic school.
However staying at this exclusive 15-room resort isn’t cheap. Room prices range from $745 to $1,740 per night, for full board.
The Robb Report states:
“The rooms pair state-of-the-art technology with antique furnishings and artworks. Swans can be spotted from most guest-room windows, which overlook the lake or a cascade descending from a classical Greek-style pavilion. In the public spaces, chandeliers from the palace of Napoleon’s sister hang above Chippendale furniture, 17th-century tapestries, and a parquet floor design from Buckingham Palace.
“Noble pastimes at Ballyfin include falconry, trapshooting, tennis, and wine and whiskey tastings. Guests can also visit the indoor swimming pool and spa, ride bicycles, fish and row on the lake, and hike through the property’s magical old-growth forest. Executive chef Fred Cordonnier (formerly of the Michelin-two-star restaurant at Dublin’s Merrion Hotel) encourages visitors to play a part in their meals—fetching eggs from the henhouse, picking fruits and berries, foraging for mushrooms, and accompanying the sommelier to the cellar to select the evening’s refreshment.”
The Irish Times recently suggested the demesne as a romantic spot for a quiet weekend for two. They say “a romantic mini-break at Ballyfin means you get your very own butler to row you across the lake, or show you the tower, grottos and walled gardens, before retreating so as not to be a gooseberry. Or you can take a pony and trap ride around the demesne, stopping for a picnic lunch, retiring, much later, to your four-poster bed.”
That doesn’t sound too shabby at all.
Here’s the story covered on Fox Business:
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