Are you planning a trip to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way? This spectacular coastal route that winds along 2,500 kilometres of Irish coastline is famed for its dramatic coastlines and inspiring scenery. There are a number of Ireland's Blue Book houses along the west coast that offer accommodation as spectacular as the sights you are seeing. Have your pick between lighthouses, historic manors and beautiful castles.
1. Rathmullan House, Co. Donegal
Rathmullan House is set in idyllic wooded grounds overlooking Lough Swilly in Co Donegal and just a few steps from a two-mile long golden beach, the luxury hotel and restaurant is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the good things in life. Rathmullan House is renowned for award-winning food which is locally sourced and expertly cooked. Inside has a comfortable and informal country house style with rooms to suit everyone, from romantic garden rooms with freestanding bath tubs to large garret rooms for families.
2. Belleek Castle, Co. Mayo
Built on an Abbey dating from mediaeval times, this 1820’s neo-gothic Castle is informal, cosy, warm and friendly. Enter the Castle and be welcomed in the original Great Hall, an open fire with the sweet smell of burning turf to warm your steps back through half a millennium. All rooms are individually furnished with antiquities, some of which have beautiful four poster beds and offer a period experience to residents. Enjoy a contemporary dinner, in the unique eclectic dining room.
3. Enniscoe House, Co. Mayo
Enniscoe House is listed as a Heritage House of Ireland and has passed to the present through twelve generations of the family to the present owner, Susan Kellett. The family portraits, antique furniture, open fires, good food and wine, and a warm welcome, all contribute to the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. Enniscoe House is situated on the shores of Lough Conn, with attractive views of the lake across the parkland. The old walled garden has been restored, and another garden produces organically grown vegetables.
4. Ice House, Co. Mayo
At the Ice House Hotel in Ballina, you’re greeted with a wonderful fusion of old and new. Luxurious bedrooms and suites, all with panoramic river views, marry the beauty of the original eighteenth century building with rich contemporary styling. This eclectic mix perfectly frames the amazing views that stretch across the River Moy to the woodlands beyond. Relax and unwind in Chill Spa, a VOYA exclusive spa, with 5 luxurious treatment rooms, a spa thermal suite and an outdoor spa garden featuring riverside hot tubs and a cedar barrel sauna.
5. Newport House, Co. Mayo
Newport House is a Historic Georgian House situated in gardens and park adjoining the town, overlooking the Newport River and quay. Home-smoked wild salmon and fresh seafood are the specialities of the house, and the food is complemented by an extensive cellar which includes many classical vintages. The house is furnished with many fine antiques and paintings providing simple elegance for a quiet and relaxing stay.
6. Clare Island Lighthouse, Co. Mayo
Standing guard at the entrance to Clew Bay Clare Island Lighthouse is a retreat like no other, a special place where guests are free to while away their time in solitude or to enjoy mingling and socialising in the welcoming warmth of the kitchen, drawing room or library. Each of the six guest rooms is individually designed and decorated. Rooms are furnished with period fixtures and fittings, original artwork and super-comfortable, old-style cast-iron beds. Wood burning stoves & open fires and under floor heating add cosiness and comfort.
7. Rosleague Manor, Co. Galway
Resting on the quiet shores of Ballinakill Bay, and beautifully secluded within 30 acres of its own private woodland, Rosleague Manor in Connemara is one of Ireland’s finest regency hotels. Tucked away near the beautiful Connemara town of Letterfrack, the Manor has been discreetly converted in to a first-class hotel by its owners and proprietors, The Foyle Family, with meticulous care and attention to detail to retain its 19th Century charm and character. Rosleague Manor is set in a beautifully wooded area on the coast, located just one mile from the Connemara National Park, an area of some 5,000 acres and just 5 minutes’ drive to Kylemore's beautiful Abbey and walled gardens.
8. Cashel House, Co. Galway
Overlooking the majestic Cashel Bay on the west coast of Ireland Cashel House Hotel is situated in the heart of Connemara. Nestling in the peaceful surroundings of 50 acres of gardens and woodland walks, this little bit of paradise offers an ideal base from which to enjoy walking, beaches, sea and lake fishing, golf and horse riding. Each of the 30 bedrooms and suites are individually decorated and furnished with antiques presenting a charming chintzy country house style. The elegant dining room is located in the conservatory overlooking the gardens and serves country house cooking at its best.
9. Currarevagh House, Co. Galway
Currarevagh House is a Victorian country manor romantically situated on the shores of Lough Corrib in 150 acres of private woodland. Built by the present owner's ancestors in 1842, it is still run more along the lines of a private country house rather than as a hotel, and the tranquil informality lends itself to those seeking to escape today’s hectic world. The exceptional food, cooked with originality and passion and magical grounds take centre stage at Currarevagh, and it is the perfect base for exploring the magnificent West of Ireland.
10. Gregans Castle, Co. Clare
With breathtaking views across Galway Bay and idyllically situated overlooking the unique Burren landscape, this is the ultimate luxury and gourmet hideaway. Simon and Frederieke manage this oasis of comfort and offer genuine Irish hospitality, award winning innovative cooking and elegant bedrooms free from the intrusion of televisions. Antiques, modern art, turf fires, candlelight and garden flowers add to the indulgently relaxing atmosphere.
11. Moy House, Co. Clare
Moy House is a beautifully restored 19th Century overlooking the breath-taking Lahinch Bay. With its mix of contemporary and classical elegance you can enjoy luxurious surroundings with natural and warm hospitality. Enjoy dining at Moy House and relish in the ever-changing view of the ocean from the conservatory candlelit restaurant. For more information please visit the Moy House website
12. Carrig Country House, Co. Kerry
Hidden away on the shores of Caragh Lake on the Ring of Kerry, Carrig Country House is the perfect place to ‘escape from it all’, relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful and unspoilt scenery in Ireland. Enjoy a great night's sleep awake to the sound of the lake lapping on the shore. Stroll through the wonderful gardens or sneak away to a secluded corner in one of the spacious drawing rooms and indulge in a good book or game of chess.
13. Killarney Royal, Co. Kerry
Killarney town’s most charming boutique hotel. For three generations, the family run hotel has held the mantle of caring for guests when they visit the 4 star Killarney Royal, where visitors have been welcomed for over 100 years. Committed to delivering gracious hospitality and creating outstanding memories, the wonderful team deliver friendly personal service and true Irish hospitality. The hotel offers luxurious accommodation, exceptional and innovative cuisine and, with the town centre location, the ideal abode from which to explore the bustling town of Killarney.
14. Park Hotel Kenmare, Co. Kerry
This five-star hotel is set in a heavenly location overlooking Kenmare Bay in the heart of Ireland's most scenic countryside. All accommodations are spacious with sitting area, antique furnishings and original art while Deluxe and Suites enjoy a full sea view or private veranda. Home to the Deluxe Destination Spa SÁMAS; guests can experience the virtues of a true spa. This special and quite unique place blends healing and therapeutic traditions from the East and West with the life inspiring scenery of Kerry to revive the body, mind and soul.
15. Blairscove House, Co. Cork
In this Georgian country house standing at the head of Dunmanus Bay, everything revolves around the courtyard. Finely restored with cobbled paths, shrubs and flowers, its 250 old stone outbuildings contain four beautiful guest apartments as well as the restaurant, with its magnificent dining room converted from the old stable block. With beautiful views across the bay and surrounding hills the rooms count amongst the best in West Cork, ideal for a short, romantic getaway. Relax in beautiful surroundings, enjoy an evening in the restaurant and start the day with breakfast served in your suite. Blairscove Restaurant is best known for its buffet style starters and great, open, wood fired grill. The elegant setting, the pretty courtyard and the landscaped gardens make it an ideal for your well-deserved escape.
16. Liss Ard Estate, Co. Cork
Nestled on 200 acres of undulating Irish countryside dotted with beautiful woodlands and a private 50 acre glittering lake, Liss Ard Estate is a place of enchantment and relaxation. Situated just one mile from Skibbereen village in beautiful West Cork, Liss Ard Estate is full of character and personality. It is the perfect Irish rural escape and offers a magical setting in which to respite. Liss Ard Estate offers a variety of accommodation to suit all tastes. Within this magnificent estate they offer The Victorian Country House with its contemporary design, the adjacent Garden Mews and the Liss Ard Lake Lodge, a Victorian Dower house. In total there are 25 bedrooms, each one unique and welcoming and waiting to be explored. Whatever your choice of accommodation, a warm Irish welcome awaits you. The Sky Garden at Liss Ard Estate was designed and constructed under the close observation of famed Artist, James Turrell. The Irish Sky Garden or Crater gives the viewer a totally unique opportunity to admire and enjoy the ‘celestial vault’. Turrell, considered the greatest American Land Art Artist, has turned the Crater into a massive naked – eye observatory. The sky is his studio.