This house was designed by folks in the early 19th century,who had nearly unlimited access to money. It was designed for the comfort of them and their guests and to show off their wealth,power and taste. Mrs Coote seems to have wandered around europe with the equivalent of a platinum Amex card buying up treasures for the house. Then in the 1990's the same think happened again when an American industrialist (with seemingly similar unfettered access to the green folding stuff) restored the house over a decade after the Christian brothers had used it for a school and let the main house go to rack and ruin. The new owners desire for comfort and showing off their good taste ( actually quite exquisite taste) works well. This could so easily have become a museum to jawdropping plasterwork, stonework, woodwork restoration etc but instead, it has become a truly great country house hotel. We (7 branches of the same family) took over the whole place for the Matriarch's big birthday and it couldnt have been better (Irish weather excepted). Nothing was a bother for the staff , even down to finding some mackerel deadbait for pike fishing in the lake! The only small flaw was that the food was not as memorable as the house and the breakfast seemed a bit precooked. However overall the food was fine and the service excellent. While expensive , the weekend has created lifetime memories and photographs and was therefore priceless and therefore a bargain. I doubt the current owner is making much of a return on an enormous investment even at these rates. They no doubt love it as much as we did and perform a similar calculation in their heads!
- Also Known As:
- Ballyfin Demesne Hotel
- Ballyfin Demesne Hotel County Laois
- Ballyfin Demesne Ireland/County Laois
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 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. At Ballyfin formality is blended with ease and enjoyment. 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 small 5 star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable. Enjoy the splendid interiors decorated with Irish Art and antiques from around the world. With only fifteen rooms for the 600 acre estate, it is the perfect place for a break from the stresses of the modern world and provides discretion and privacy like few other destinations. Conceived on a generous scale for receiving guests, Ballyfin combines magnificence and intimacy in its State rooms. From the grandeur of the Saloon at the heart of the house, the eighty-foot library, the sun filled Conservatory which is reached through a secret door hidden in a bookshelf in the library. At Ballyfin, stone walls enclose 600 acres of parkland, a lake and ancient woods, delightful garden buildings, follies and grottoes. Whether you feel like swimming some laps, enjoying some water exercises or simply relaxing, our indoor pool, overlooking the courtyard garden, will be a beautiful space for invigoration and wellbeing. Come and enjoy life!! ... more less
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