Fodor's Expert Review Roundwood House

Mountrath, Co. Laois, Ireland Fodor's Choice

There's a dreamy beauty to this châteaulike mansion set on the slopes of the Slieve Bloom Mountains—as you arrive, a dark, tree-lined avenue suddenly opens up to reveal a dramatically gorgeous Palladian villa, while some ducks, hens, and a Labrador called Rococo often form the welcoming party. The bedrooms in the main house are elegant and airy, or opt for cozier chambers in the adjacent 17th-century self-catering accommodations. Tiniest of all is the cottage, a stone charmer whose original tenants may have been Hansel and Gretel. Affable hosts Hannah and Paddy Flynn often share your table at dinner, and if Paddy's guitar is to hand, he'll entertain guests with classical or contemporary rock numbers. On the menu, lamb and beef are among the staple dishes. Frank Kennan, Hannah's father, is known as the "woodman and the bookman." His 2,000-volume library of the evolution of civilization can be perused in the Long Room, an outbuilding where concerts and plays are occasionally held.


  • characterful house filled with history
  • mature woodland is ideal for walks
  • elegant and airy rooms in the main house


  • remote
  • no TVs
  • so many books, so little time




Phones: 057-873–2120


10 rooms, 2 self-catering cottages
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast, 4-course dinner €60

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