Lisdonagh Manor, a 1707 restored manor house situated on the shores of Lough Hackett, affords a magical stay. Our family of five started a three week adventure to the West Coast of Ireland in search of an understanding of our ancestors. We intentionally targeted Galway as a starting point so that we could start north and work our way to Kerry and back to the Shannon Airport. What happened when we "landed" at Lisdonagh Manor was a feeling that we had chosen the perfect place. While carefully restored, Lisdonagh looks as if it likely did 300 years ago. It is full of history and stories, not to mention period antiques that give an air of elegance, but are actually used. This destination offers plenty to do - hiking, reading books by the fire in the living room, tea, riding horses or bikes, day trips to Clifden, Galway, Cong (Ashford Castle), and Westport. Upon returning from an outing, decompression readily sets it. There is always an offer of tea, friendly questions about your day, an introduction to a little walk on the grounds, time to pet the dog, watch the lovely children ride their bikes, sneak off to read a book (yours or theirs - they own a remarkable collection of books for those interested in Irish history) by the fire lit in the living room. A mistake we made was to not leave enough time to just sit in the ambiance of Lisdonagh or take the row boat out to the crannog. John and Finola Cooke are the most gracious hosts, available, but unobtrusive. They took time to share the history of Lisdonagh and manor houses in general. The Cooke's have the most warm, yet professional staff we encountered in our three weeks. Each meal is cooked to perfection and presented as if in a five-star restaurant. We started each dinner relaxing in the living room where we had a look at the menu and placed our orders. No rushing, no second seating... There were touches that were noticed by all five of us - linens, little flowers, just the right candles, fires lit and stoked, views from the table to the lough where one could watch the nightly late sunsets at the time the 5th course, dessert, arrived. We ate dinner three of the four nights we stayed at Lisdonagh. Too bad we didn't stay longer. Each breakfast lasted longer and longer as we settled in to the comfort Lisdonagh offers. Our best connect time as a family was over the meals we enjoyed in this dining room. As we stood in the oval entrance hall greeted by the 18th century trompe-l'oeil murals of the four virtues, it was an emotional good-bye with a commitment to return sometime soon.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.