Touring western Ireland is an unmixed delight. The lanes that wend through verdant countryside are a pleasure to drive. And the legendarily beautiful coastline around Galway Bay is dotted with picturesque port towns stocked with restaurants serving fresh-caught seafood. During our time in this exceptionally scenic region, we revisited Cashel House Hotel, a long-recommended property that has recently received one or two critical reviews from members, and Adare Manor, a castle estate that has become one of the most acclaimed hotels in Ireland since it reopened in 2017 following extensive renovations.
Cashel House Hotel
The main road from Dublin to the harbor city of Galway heads directly west, and the trip takes approximately three hours. Situated at the head of Cashel Bay on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way — a 1,550-mile driving route — Cashel House Hotel is a dignified white manor house, swathed in climbing plants and surrounded by manicured lawns and tall woodlands. The property has been owned by the McEvilly family since 1968 and was first put on the map by Charles de Gaulle, who vacationed here with his wife, Yvonne, in May 1969. The appealing interior still feels like a private home, with plush velvet chairs and sofas, heavy curtains, green marble fireplaces, grandfather clocks, mahogany writing desks, landscape paintings and gilded mirrors of all shapes and sizes.
After a friendly welcome, we were given a brief rundown of the amenities, which are limited to a bar and dining room, plus on-property walking trails. The hotel lacks a pool, spa and gym. The restaurant serves only breakfast and dinner. As guests must leave the property for lunch, we were surprised by the short list of restaurant recommendations and the staff’s seeming lack of interest in helping us with reservations.