Renvyle House Hotel

Renvyle, Co. Galway, Ireland

A lake at its front door, the Atlantic Ocean at the back, and the mountains of Connemara as a backdrop form the enthralling setting for this hotel 8 km (5 miles) north of Letterfrack, home to the Long Room, one of the most eminently civilized salons in Ireland—Arts and Crafts–style polished wood, original art, and red geraniums. Once the retreat of that noted Irish man of letters, Oliver St. John Gogarty of Dublin (on whom James Joyce modeled Buck Mulligan in Ulysses), Renvyle is rustic and informal; it has exposed beams and brickwork, and numerous open turf fires. Ireland's poet-president, Michael D. Higgins continues the literary tradition by taking his annual break here. Chef Tim O'Sullivan is outstanding and deservedly a local celebrity, with his own cookbook and artisanal food line. The comfortable guest rooms, plainly decorated in an uncluttered style, in shades of beige and cream, all have breathtaking views.

PROS

  • amazing views
  • secluded end-of-the-world location
  • recommended for artists and photographers
  • cheerful, unpretentious version of the country-house hotel experience

CONS

  • driving distance to anywhere else
  • bar and restaurant very busy at peak times

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 095-46100

HOTEL DETAILS

60 rooms, 5 suites, 3 apartments
Rate Includes: Closed Jan. 6–mid-Feb. Breakfast

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