Fodor's Expert Review Stella Maris Country House Hotel

Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, Ireland

This former coast-guard station and convent has a stunning waterside location looking across a wide bay to local landmark Downpatrick Head. The ever-changing sea views can be enjoyed from the 100-foot-long conservatory that runs the length of the front of the building. Furnished with low-key antiques and comfortable leather armchairs, it is the perfect place for idle days and evening aperitifs. Owner-chef Frances McSweeney prepares a menu of the freshest local produce at dinner, with an emphasis on local fish and meat, and cooks an outstanding breakfast to order. Rooms are elegant and spacious, with power showers, finest cotton towels, and blackout curtains to ensure a comfortable sleep on long summer nights. Frances, who grew up here before spending 20 years in the United States, is a fount of local lore. She and her late husband took two years to renovate the imposing property from a near-ruin, and she combines an attention to detail with stylish design, high standard of comfort, and a warm welcome.

PROS

  • high standard of comfort
  • talented owner-chef
  • unforgettable sea views

CONS

  • 3 km (2 miles) from nearest village
  • visited by some spectacular sea storms

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
ServiceViews
Casual
Countryside
Local Flavor
$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 096-43322

HOTEL DETAILS

12 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed mid-Oct.–mid-Apr.

What’s Nearby