One of Ireland's best-loved country-house hotels, this quiet, low-key retreat is a romantic, creeper-covered Georgian house, set amid pretty gardens with a splendid view of the rocky Burren hills and Galway Bay beyond. A row of purple Wellington boots in ascending sizes in the entrance porch is there to spare guests' footwear in the perennially damp garden: a detail typical of Simon Haden and his interior-designer wife, Freddie. The whiff of open turf fires pervades the air, while a charming and stylish mix of fine antiques, luxurious furnishings (including hand-tufted Connemara wool carpets and a Waterford crystal chandelier), and a collection of modern Irish art create an atmosphere of effortless, sophisticated elegance. Guest rooms are bright, airy, and uncluttered; choose between a magical view of stony hills and sparkling sea, or a ground-floor room with private patio garden. The Corkscrew Bar (after the approach road, the aptly named Corkscrew Hill, N67) is a peaceful haven for a predinner drink, and the restaurant is renowned. Little wonder this is the hideout of choice for many discerning celebrities.
Base of Corkscrew Hill, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland
May 21, 2007
What a wonderful stay! A spacious and peaceful room with fabulous view of Galway bay and the Burren. Terrific meals, with an emphasis on local ingredients, in the restaurant. A welcoming, helpful, and conscientious staff. Our only regret is that we only stayed 3 nights.