With Georgian splendor in the terra-cotta, gilded, and black Italianate pillared hall, and Regency coziness nonpareil in the daffodil-yellow sitting room, Ballyvolane offers a setting as elegant as it is charming. Although this 1728 stone house looks imposing, life here unfolds with country-house informality. Expect to find old fishing gear and walking sticks lying about and the family dog greeting your return. The spacious bedrooms are beautifully decorated with a rich assortment of antiques and heirlooms, but also display an unpredictable sense of humor—the tub in Roland's Room, in full view of all on a wooden pedestal perched to give a garden view, always raises a smile. The guest rooms look out onto wonderful gardens, with a 100-acre dairy farm beyond.
Castlelyons, Co. Cork, Ireland