Hotels and Style

Ballyfin Demesne

Hotel address: Ballyfin, County Laois, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)5787 55866
Hotel Type: Country Retreat, Honeymoon, Spa, Weddings
Open / Renovated: Reopened May 2011
Rooms: 20


The hotel building is a beautifully renovated 19th century Irish mansion and its location at the foot of Slieve Bloom Mountain places the hotel in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland. The 248 hectare estate contains a large lake with a boat house, an aviary and a winter waterfall, so there is plenty to explore. The estate focuses on creating a sense of stepping back in time, while still providing modern luxuries and amenities.


Every room is unique and individually designed.  The Morrison measures 26sqm and has a spacious bathroom and views of the gardens; to The Mountrath, measures 27sqm and features original artwork by Richard Rothwell and Alexandre Serebriakoff.    Staterooms measure between 37 and 46sqm and have unique features such as curved ceilings, four-poster beds, and exceptional views of the lake and gardens. There is one Stateroom Twin, which has a 42sqm half-octagon bedroom and two beautifully decorated bathrooms which between them measure 26sqm. Most suites measure between 46 and 64sqm and many are located at the front of the building, some with their own balcony and all with exceptionally luxurious décor and high quality furnishings. The largest suite is the Sir Christophe Coote suite, which has an incredibly spacious 56sqm bowed sitting room overlooking a fountain and the lake, a 40sqm bedroom with 18th century Chinese wallpaper panels, and a beautiful 12sqm bathroom.


Meals can be taken at a number of locations around the estate, including in the Grand State Dining Room, in the Van Der Hagen Dining Room, on the terrace of the main house, in the picturesque picnic house, or even on the grass by the lake side. The produce used is locally sourced and each season the Head Chef cooperates with the estate’s gardeners and local farmers to create a menu that draws the absolute best from the surroundings in a ‘garden to plate’ approach. Honey is produced on the estate and the Walled Garden is the source of many of the fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices that find their way into the impressive dishes that are created in the Ballyfin kitchens. The Cellar features limestone columns and elaborate vaults, as well as a fine selection of wines from 14 French vineyards established by Irish exiles. The Ballyfin Bar serves a selection of the finest Irish whiskies and hosts a cocktail hour and live music.


There is a wide range of activities available at Ballyfin, many of which complement the 19th century feel of the residence. Boating on the lake includes a picnic at a private location on its banks, while keen fishermen can try to catch the Pike and Roach that inhabit the lake. Horse riding is available with trained instructors while those looking for a more comfortable means of transport can enjoy a guided tour by means of a horse-drawn carriage. Guests can unwind in the 24m library which contains over 5,000 books, and wine and whiskey tasting is available under the guidance of an expert sommelier. For those looking to stay fit, there is a tennis court and a fitness centre containing the latest cardiovascular machines and weight training facilities. The spa contains a number of treatment rooms that can be booked for relaxing massages and a 14m indoor heated pool overlooking the gardens is connected to the spa, making it the perfect place to unwind. The hotel is well positioned for a golfing holiday, with three prestigious golf courses located within 90km of the estate. Those looking for an alternative sport can enjoy the shooting and archery facilities that are located on-site.

Getting There

1 hour 30 minutes (135km) from Shannon Airport (SNN), 1 hour 30 minutes (110km) from Dublin Airport (DUB)

Weather / When To Go

May – September

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