advertisement
  • Powerscourt Hotel (County Wicklow; 01/274-8888; www.powerscourthotel.com): Elegant and luxurious, staying here is like a contemporary reinvention of how grand its namesake, Powerscourt House, must once have been. 
  • Aghadoe Heights (Killarney, County Kerry; 064/663-1766; www.aghadoeheights.com): Another of Ireland’s top spas, this one overlooks the Lakes of Killarney from a high vantage point just north of the town.
  • Greenmount House (Dingle, County Kerry; 066/915-1414; www.greenmounthouse.ie): The views from this charming B&B are as close to your fantasy of an Irish country escape as you’ll find anywhere.
  • Castle Leslie (Glaslough, County Monaghan; 047/88100; www.castleleslie.com): This luxurious northern retreat has been a jet-set hideaway for decades.
  • Newforge House (Magheralin, County Armagh; 028/926-11255; www.newforgehouse.com): A supremely relaxing manor house in the middle of the Armagh countryside, Newforge House has sensational food to boot. Come, stay, fall in love.
  • Moy House (County Clare; 065/708-2800; www.moyhouse.com): This unusual 19th-century tower house atop a hill overlooking the sea is beautiful inside and out. Rooms have comfortable, modern beds covered in crisp Irish linens, and are decorated with original paintings and period antiques. Bathrooms are beautifully designed to combine modern conveniences with the building's old architecture (a glass panel in one room provides a look down into an ancient well). Downstairs, the small, attractive dining room serves up excellent food and has a sea view. It's a snug, warm, friendly place to visit.
  • The Bervie (County Mayo; 098/43114; www.bervieachill.com): Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on an island off the Mayo coast, the Bervie is a haven of magnificent views and gourmet food. This cozy retreat is an ideal place to stay for those exploring Ireland's western wilds. Owners Elizabeth and John Barrett are charming hosts who greet you with fresh scones and will cook you a delightful dinner if you wish. The house is a former coast guard station -- as solid as a rock, and as comforting as a security blanket.
  • Temple House (County Sligo; 87/997-6045; www.templehouse.ie): Proving that not all the best overnight stays are found in luxury hotels, Temple House is an historic countryside B&B that seems in a world of its own. Roderick and Helena Perceval's grand manor house is an extraordinary place where ceilings soar to the stratosphere, marble stays solidly underfoot, and the family's working farm stretches out for miles around you. A Templar castle lies in ruins on the banks of their lake. They offer amazing breakfasts, and will cook you a wonderful dinner. You can explore their pond, boat on their lake, and experience a bit of their country idyll.
  • Iskeroon (County Kerry; 066/947-5119; www.iskeroon.com): This charming place sits amid an arrestingly beautiful natural setting, overlooking the sailboats of Derrynane Harbour and the Skelligs beyond. Inside, the 1930s building has been done in fresh Cape Cod style with locally made furniture and linens. It's now self-catering, but they'll bring you the supplies for a fresh, delicious breakfast.
  • Waterloo House (Dublin; 01/660-1888; www.waterloohouse.ie): A classy guesthouse at the edge of central Dublin, Waterloo House has a lovely Georgian look, with a comfortable sunny drawing room where you can read the papers and fluffy white comforters on the bed in your room. A quiet, peaceful option.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.