Enter the original ivy-clad 18th-century manor house (which adjoins a new wing) and you'll see that old-fashioned charm meets contemporary élan at this winning entry to Ennis's hotel stakes—rest on the lobby's inviting brocade sofas as you study paintings on the wall from the hotel's striking collection of new Irish artists, including Donald Teskey, Cecil Maguire, and Mick O'Dea. In contrast to the period furnishings of the public rooms, guest rooms have an uncluttered
but sophisticated style, with furniture painted in soothing shades of taupe or eau de nil, crisp white linen, flat-screen TVs, and deliciously large bathrooms. For dinner, go formal with a four-course menu in the Brendan O'Regan Room, or enjoy a casual meal in the Town Hall bistro—roast rack of Clare lamb with rosemary ratatouille, perhaps. Then adjourn to the Poet's Corner pub, which, set on Ennis's main street, is the very heart of the town's social life, with award-winning live Irish music sessions most nights.
O'Connell St., Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland