Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the centre of Ireland, Ballyfin is a place of history and romance, of tranquility and great natural beauty.
The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.
With only fifteen rooms for the 600 acre estate, this 5 star luxury hotel is the perfect place for a break from the stresses of the modern world and provides discretion and privacy like few other destinations. With just 15 bedrooms it is also the ideal place to take over for a very special celebration.
Irish country houses were created as places for entertainment. The recent restoration has aimed at returning Ballyfin as closely as possible to how it functioned when it was built.
Conceived on a generous scale for receiving guests, Ballyfin combines magnificence and intimacy in its State Rooms. The decoration of these interiors has long been acclaimed as among the finest of the Neoclassical and Empire periods in Ireland.
From the enormous Saloon at the heart of the house, to the eighty-foot Library which runs the length of its south façade, the State Rooms make for a glorious backdrop to a stay in the house. The Library is perfect for whiling away a few hours with plenty of quiet corners for conversation. Alternatively guests may enjoy the elegance of the Drawing Room, with its French inspired decoration and beautiful ceiling of rich stucco work, the grandeur of the Saloon, or the informality of the sun-filled Conservatory, reached through a secret door hidden in a bookshelf of the Library.
At Ballyfin formality is blended with ease and enjoyment. Guests are invited to enjoy these splendid interiors, decorated with Irish art, and antiques from around the world, in the same spirit of refined elegance as visitors to the house did in the 1820s when Ballyfin was built.
The estate is fabled for its natural and man-made beauties and, as the house is open to residents only, Ballyfin offers a perfect opportunity for rest, tranquillity and outdoor activities.
At Ballyfin, stone walls enclose 600 acres of parkland, a lake and ancient woods, delightful garden buildings, follies and grottoes. The landscape, laid out in the mid-eighteenth century, is among the finest examples in Ireland of the natural style of gardening inspired by ‘Capability’ Brown. There are many highlights that will keep garden lovers and outdoor enthusiasts exploring for days. These include the medieval-style tower, built as a folly in the 1860's, the walled garden with its formal borders and kitchen gardens, the abundant wildlife to be seen on early morning walks and the now nearly restored Edwardian rock garden.
Every room and each suite in the house offers an impressive array of amenities, specially chosen to give our guests a sense of Irish tradition and hospitality.
All meals, snacks and coffees are included in the room rate and a wide choice of dining options is offered in delightfully elegant surroundings. Should you choose, the day at Ballyfin can be centred around truly outstanding gastronomic experiences – from a customized breakfast to a delicious lunch of your choice and onwards into the evening with a bespoke dinner.
The cocktail hour is back at Ballyfin, ushering in dinner where you may choose from the grandeur of the State Dining Room or the intimacy of the Van Der Hagen Dining Room.
Alternatively, something simpler can be served in the Library, the Bar or in the magical, sun-lit Conservatory. Downstairs private dining can be arranged in the Porcelain Room lined with the famous ‘Flora Danica’ set of china or in the atmospheric Wine Cellar. At Ballyfin the architectural splendour of the rooms and their historical resonances combine with the food to make for truly memorable dining experiences.
Guests dine at individual tables unless a preference is expressed to dine with other guests.
Discreetly hidden away in the former Servants' Hall downstairs, the Ballyfin Bar is the perfect place to enjoy the convivial hospitality for which Ireland is famed. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a quiet drink and the chance to admire some of Ballyfin's collection of contemporary Irish art. On a summer’s day the bar opens out onto the former Kitchen Yard, which is now laid out as a courtyard garden.
A highlight for many guests is a trip to Ballyfin’s well-stocked Cellar, just around the corner from the Bar. Guided by our expert sommelier, you can personally select your wine so that it is perfectly decanted and ready for you at dinner.
Among the outdoor activities offered at Ballyfin are coarse fishing on the lake, which has a large stock of roach and pike, croquet, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, archery and falconry.
Within the demesne there are several miles of hard surfaced paths as well as miles of mown grass paths offering a gentle stroll or the exhilaration of mountain biking. The gardens and park lands are a delight to explore and picnics are offered to enjoy in the grounds.
Ballyfin is full of wildlife, so much to look out for while exploring the demesne. Wild birds to name a few that can be seen are Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Hen Harriers, Buzzards, long eared Owl, Cuckoo, Pheasants, Kingfishers, Swans, Cootes and Moorhens. Catch a glimpse of a Fox, Roe Deer, Red Squirrel, Mink and Pinemartin. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon fishing on the lake, Pike, Roach, Tench and Eel are available and if you are lucky enough to get the catch of the day then our Chef will gladly prepare your catch for dinner.
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