Set dramatically on cliffs above Ireland's Waterford coast, the Cliff House Hotel is a relaxing family-friendly retreat with a great spa and Michelin-star dining. Offering Relais & Chateaux luxury and rugged adventures, Cliff House makes a superb escape.
A spectacular waterfront location overlooking the Irish Sea
Michelin-starred fine dining at the outstanding House Restaurant
A wonderful option for families with activities and relaxation galore
Enjoy Relais & Chateaux style pampering at the destination spa
Situated on the Ardmore Peninsula in southern Waterford, close to Ireland’s earliest Christian settlement and the quiet undiscovered beauty of eastern Cork, the Cliff House Hotel has a sensational location overlooking the sands of Ardmore and pods of dolphin that frolic in the Irish Sea. Built in a series of sun-drenched terraces that drop down to the waves, the architecture of Cliff House is contemporary in design featuring white walls, slate tiles and living roofs, and built to maximise the extraordinary sea views.
All of the rooms and suites are sea-facing and many are interconnected, making Cliff House an excellent option for families. While the views are equally dramatic from every room, it’s worth paying a little extra for the space offered by the balcony or terrace rooms. Bathrooms are ample and indulgent, some featuring glass showers overlooking the waves, and the amenities are just what you might expect in a five-star hotel.
One of the main pleasures in staying at Cliff House is enjoying the superb waterfront contemporary Irish cuisine at the House Restaurant, presided over by Dutch chef Martijn Kajuiter, in one of only eight Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland. When the weather is fine, you can dine on the terrace and enjoy dishes such as ceviche of fresh Cork scallops or roasted squab with beetroots and foie gras accompanied by fine wines, before repairing to the bar and sampling an aged Irish whiskey. And while the hotel’s design may be distinctly modern, the charming service is reassuringly old world and friendly.
Out and about there is plenty to explore. Active types can explore the coast in a sea kayak, swim in the pool, go surfing and sailing or gallop a horse along the beach, while keen golfers have a number of world-class nearby courses to choose from including Old Head of Kinsale and Mount Juliet.
If you want to take it a little easier, you can explore one of Ireland’s finest round towers, shop for Waterford crystal or forage for edible plants along the cliffs. In season, between October and March, the resident marine biologist offers whale-watching walks to spot dolphins, porpoises and fin whales. And when you are done for the day, let all your cares wash away in Cliff House’s wonderful destination spa.
When to visit
If you are staying over a Thursday, be sure to visit Dungarvan Farmers Market - an absolute must for food lovers - and try the delicious local Knockalara cheese.
Plan your tripPlan your trip
The Cliff House Hotel is located in Ardmore, mid-way between Waterford and Cork on Ireland's southeast coast.
The nearest main airports are Cork (approximately 1 hour away) and Dublin (approximately 2 hours 40 minutes away). Alternatively, arrive by ferry into Rosslare, and it's a 90-minute drive. Helicopters can land at Cliff House Hotel too.
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Glendalough, in the heart of the beautiful Wicklow Mountains, is a wooded valley with two mysterious lakes, famed for its charismatic early seventh-century monastic complex and round tower. You can also enjoy beautiful walks in the woods and mountains.
Horse and carriage ride in Killarney National Park
Sit back and relax in a traditional Jaunting Car- a two-wheeled carriage pulled by a single horse.
Enjoy a sea kayaking adventure as you enjoy the beautiful Irish coastline , navigating sheltered waters to hidden coves. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife such as puffins or seals whilst listening to the calming lap of the ocean.
The Beara Peninsula
Located mostly in County Cork, the Beara Peninsula is the third major 'ring' in Ireland's southwest after Kerry and Dingle. Here you can escape the hordes and find in its tiny coastal communities captivating views and Ireland at its peaceful best.
The English Market
With its mix of traditional Cork fare and exciting new foods from overseas, along with some great banter at its mainly family-run stalls, the English Market in Cork will charm anyone with an interest in food.
The Rock of Cashel
Sometimes known as Cashel of the Kings, the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary is a spectacular collection of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone rock.
Traditonal Irish Dining Experience
Enjoy an evening of traditional Irish hospitality and ‘craic’ as you’re welcomed into the home of a local family for dinner.