When speaking about Adare Manor Hotel Irish people tend to adopt the sort of hushed tones normally reserved for religious experiences, and after a recent visit to the Limerick hotel, it’s easy to see why.

* This article was originally published in our sister publication, Ireland of the Welcomes magazine. Subscribe to the bi-monthly print magazine here. *

Named the number one hotel in Europe and number five in the world, by Conde Nast Traveller, Adare Manor is more than a destination hotel - it’s an experience, from the moment you arrive at the gates to the care and attention given on checkout.

Closed for over 18-months for renovation, the newly launched Adare Manor Hotel opened its doors in 2017 following a spend of somewhere between €50 and €100 million, depending on which local you’re talking to. While exact figures are still unknown, the renovation saw the entire property and grounds get a complete makeover while maintaining the original beauty of what has always been a family home. 

The Dunraven family lived there for generations and the manor's current incarnation sees lots of little touches that point to the original features. The renovation also saw the addition of a new wing and several cottages, lodges, and manors. The grounds were also treated to a makeover, with the addition of a Tom Fazio-designed golf course and state-of-the-art driving range. Of course, with a golf course comes The Carriage House, which is unlike any clubhouse we’ve ever seen and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to guests and members alike.

While all of that is, of course, impressive, what really stands out at Adare is the fact that while the five-star touches and service are evident, the staff and atmosphere of the hotel encourages guests to relax and treat the 200-year-old manor house as they would their own home. Oversized couches and newspapers adorn The Great Hall while laugher and chatter fills The Gallery during both breakfast service and Afternoon Tea. Everyone you pass greets you with a smile and a nod and guests greet each other, which is unheard of in most other hotels 

So, now that you know the history of Adare Manor and the atmosphere, what actually is there to do?

Eat...

in The Oak Room. Limerick’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, The Oak Room gives a whole new meaning to fine dining. Choose from one of two menus (the three-course option or the Market Menu which has the option of wine pairings), but know that whatever option you go for, head chef Michael Tweedie and his team are out to impress so you can expect lots of little extras at every turn. The recent addition of a cheese trolley showcasing outstanding Irish cheese alongside a very exciting wine list makes for a special evening indeed. Our top tip? Order the jaffa cake dessert as an extra special treat. 

Experience...

Afternoon Tea, Adare-style. The addition of an afternoon tea option to its daytime menu is something lots of hotels have started to offer in recent years, so it stands to reason that Adare Manor would be leading the charge. The usual sandwiches, scones, and pastries are on offer, alongside a selection of teas, including Adare’s own blend 1932, however, what makes this afternoon tea special is that all offerings are served fresh, with seconds or even thirds available. So, instead of heaving plates of pastries to wade through, afternoon tea at Adare sees one of each option per person presented with the option for many more widely open. Which makes for a very leisurely experience. And, if your eyes are bigger than your belly, staff are more than happy to wrap up another course to take away. The same goes for breakfast pastries. 

Soak in...

The elegance of The Drawing Room, which overlooks the formal gardens. The perfect spot for some bubbles before dinner or a light lunch before tackling the grounds, The Drawing Room features the work of renowned architect Philip Charles Hardwick. The bay windows, fireplaces, and gilt ceiling are the hallmarks of Hardwick’s style. 

Enjoy…

The grounds, from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. The grounds cover a vast 840-acres, so to experience all they have to offer, arrange a 45-minute horse and carriage ride. Sit back and listen to the history of the estate and manor while soaking in the scenery. For those who are a little more active, there are plenty of walks to enjoy around the grounds while The Woodland Walk is dotted with fairy stories, poet huts and plenty more to keep you entertained.

Drink...

A signature cocktail or whiskey in The Tack Room. When the house was owned by the Dunravens, The Tack Room was the common room for servants to eat, drink and entertain in. And that feeling is very much alive and well in the most recent incarnation. With over 100 whiskeys to choose from and a lively cocktail menu, there’s something for all tastes. And can we recommend asking for the house Bloody Mary. While not on the menu the staff are more than happy to show their mixology skills for discerning (and not so discerning!) guests. Food offerings include artisan cheeses, charcuterie and Adare takes on favorites such as chicken wings and sliders.

* This article was originally published in our sister publication, Ireland of the Welcomes magazine. Subscribe to the bi-monthly print magazine here. *

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