‘Mark Foyle, the owner, has seemingly endless enthusiasm for the Rosleague project. The energy he brings to it helps make it a very special place,’ say regular Guide correspondents this year, of this pink-washed Regency manor house on the shores of Ballinakill Bay.
Built as a summer retreat in 1820, this country house on the wooded shores of Lough Swilly has come up in the world since its 1940s hostel days of shared dormitories, sing-songs and potted-meat sandwiches.
With ‘outstanding’ meals, ‘comforting’ log fires and ‘effortless, round-the-clock attentiveness’ from ‘helpful’ staff, this ‘timeless’ hotel provides an experience of ‘absolutely top-quality hospitality’.
There’s ‘an atmosphere of warm hospitality’ and ‘a genuine sense of welcome’ at Justin and Jenny Green’s historic, family-friendly country house in the North Cork countryside, say Guide inspectors in 2016.
‘I’ve stayed in glitzier places. I’ve stayed in grander places. But I’ve never stayed at a more charming spot,’ says a regular Guide reader of this ‘lovely’ restaurant-with-rooms in a pretty, rural village.
‘I had an excellent stay.’ In a ‘dramatically beautiful’ setting on the Wild Atlantic Way, Frances Kelly-McSweeney’s hotel wins praise for its ‘comfortable’ rooms, its ‘local and freshly prepared’ meals and its ‘cosy’ atmosphere.
There isn’t a castle at this chic country hotel, but the welcome guests receive is nearly royal. Peat fires warm the bar and ‘gracious’ drawing room; there are antiques, garden flowers, books to borrow, ‘gorgeous, squashy’ sofas.
Trees grew out of the ground-floor windows of this ‘imposing’ Georgian mansion when John and Nora Egan rescued it from dereliction more than 30 years ago. Today, at the heart of a working cereals farm, the house, all polished wooden floors and ‘a comfortable clutter everywhere’, welcomes guests who come for the warm hospitality and the ‘hearty’ dinners.
‘I was charmed by its old-world, run-down eccentricity when I visited some 20 years ago; in that time, it has positively flourished,’ says a regular Guide correspondent in 2016 of the Leslie family’s history-rich hotel.
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