County Laois, Ireland
based on 7 nights
Based on 2 people staying for 3 nights on a B & B basis with return British Airways flights to Dublin and private airport transfers
At a Glance
Situated in the heart of Ireland, surrounded by stunning countryside and natural beauty
With just 20 rooms, Ballyfin is the perfect place to stay for a secluded getaway
Famed for its 600 acres of parkland, luscious gardens and medieval out buildings, Ballyfin has plenty to keep the nature buff entertained
The sumptuous interiors of the hotel reflect the rich historical and artistic past of the surrounding Irish landscape
Award winning restaurant, with a celebrated head chef
An array of activities are available in the hotel grounds, from boating on the lake, to fishing, to falconry and horse riding
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
It is very difficult to predict the weather in Ireland - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but it does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.
The whispering room, where you will find reception has incredible acoustics. Due to the vaulted and curved ceiling if you go into the corner and have a friend across from you at the other corner of the room, you can whisper to one another and feel as though you are standing right next to one another
To start planning your vacation to Ballyfin
Ballyfin offers a chance to stay in Ireland's most opulent Regency country house but with all the trimmings of modern life. An amazing restoration that took 8 years to complete has left this glorious mansion and 600 acre estate as a haven in all seasons.
Ballyfin is a magical place. Set amidst 600 acres of lush parkland, with lakes for fishing, woods for exploring, a walled garden beautiful in every season, and landscaping with follies and grottoes inspired by the famed ‘Capability’ Brown making it a stunning retreat year round.
Ballyfin is best described as a luxurious country house. With just 20 rooms, despite its vast size, this Regency mansion prides itself on creating a homely atmosphere and guests often say they feel part of a period drama! The reception rooms are magnificent but yet you can easily find a quiet corner to relax in. The Library is particularly lovely as it runs the length of its south façade, making it bright and beautiful, as is the sun-filled Conservatory that leads off this great room, though finding the door is tricky as it's hidden amongst the bookshelves.
Despite the formal surroundings and the opulent decor, Ballyfin is charming and welcoming and the focus is for guests to ease into their stay as if visiting friends. A croquet set lies on the lawn ready for an impromptu game, there is a clay pigeon trap for those fancying a pop and the lake is stocked with roach and pike if you want to wander off with a rod. Inside you can sign up for a wine or whiskey tasting or slope into one of the drawing rooms for a music recital. There is even a dress-up box stuffed with period costumes sourced from the Lyric Opera Company in Chicago which guests can delve into to make themselves feel even more at home!
If relaxing by the fire or traditional outdoor pursuits aren't your thing then there is a gym equipped with the latest equipment, an extensive spa treatment list and the indoor 14m pool is big enough for laps. Excellent golf is available within half an hour's drive and the Slieve Bloom Mountains offer a wealth of walking and hiking routes through glorious unspoiled scenery.
Eating and drinking at Ballyfin is amazing too. Pre-dinner cocktails are served to guests. Picnics are prepared for adventurous types. Dinner is served in the magnificent State Dining Room or the smaller Van Der Hagen Dining Room. And the Ballyfin Bar serves beers on tap, local whiskeys and in the summer spreads out into the former kitchen yard.
Ballyfin's location makes it perfect for a luxurious long-weekend or as a base to explore this gorgeous part of Ireland.
With just 20 guest rooms and suites, this traditionally styled hotel exudes a regal and luxurious air. All of the rooms have been recently renovated to reflect their once grand state and are furnished with an array of antiques and tapestries.
The rooms and suites feature queen or king size beds, twins are available on request. There is a complimentary mini bar in each room, which is restocked daily with water, soda, juice and gourmet snacks. The rooms also have Voga Bath and Body products which are 100% organic and made locally.
All rooms and suites come equipped with a flat screen HD television, iPod docking station, DVD library and WiFi.
|The Morrison Room - Single||
This single room was formerly part of the nursery, looking out over the grounds including the Cascade, walled garden and eighteenth-century gardener's house. It takes its name from the architects of Ballyfin, a father and son team.
|The Montrath Room - Deluxe||
This bedroom is named after the town of Mountrath located six kilometers south of Ballyfin. The Mountrath Room is situated on the garden front and enjoys pleasing views out over the conservatory and across the gardens. The room is filled with original and traditional artwork.
|The Viceroy Room - Stateroom Twin||
A spacious and welcoming room with a double bathroom, and also due to the location in the hotel's former kitchen wing this room boasts extra seclusion and privacy. The half-octagon shape of the room is particularly pleasing and exemplifies the subtle manipulation of space for which the Morrisons, Ballyfin’s architects, are famous. The large windows make the room light and comfortable.
|The Knight's Room||
This room takes its name from a suit of armour displayed on a gilded console between the windows. The room enjoys stunning views over the lake, while inside sections of the room are painted to imitate oak panelling. The Regency chimneypiece in white marble was moved here from the former Billiard Room.
|The Butler Room - Junior Suite||
Originally the bedchamber of Lady Caroline Coote’s private suite, this handsome room overlooking the lake, with its dramatic red wallpaper, has now been restored to its original proportions. Many of the furnishings are Georgian and it boasts beautiful views of the grounds.
|The Lady Caroline Coote Room - Junior Suite||
An elegant room with ornate ceiling and striking, electric blue wallpaper. The room contains a welcoming four poster bed and beautiful antiques from the era.
|The Westmeath Room - Stateroom||
The Westmeath Room perfectly evokes the nineteenth century character of the house. It is ornately decorated in richly patterned wallpaper with a wonderfully carved French bed positioned prominently in the center of room.
|The Mayborough Room - Stateroom||
This room is situated above the library on the South-East corner of the house and it is named after Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary. The views from the room across the Pleasure Grounds are outstanding.
|The Sir Christopher Coote Suite - Suite||
This sumptuous suite, with its large bowed sitting room over the south portico, was the largest bedroom in the house. The suite enjoys a handsome sitting room, its curved windows looking out to beautiful views over the fountain and the Pleasure Grounds.
|The Wellesley-Pole Suite - Suite||
This magnificent suite, with its large bedroom and elegantly appointed sitting room, is situated in the center of the garden front. The views lead out into the sheltered slopes of the Pleasure Grounds and look directly towards the sensational Cascade.
|The Marquis De Massigny De La Pierre Room||
This charming room is decorated in beautiful French. It has original late eighteenth century oval mirrors hanging on either side of the bed and a large double window offering beautiful views of the grounds.
|The Tapestry Room - Deluxe||
Hung with seventeenth-century Flemish tapestries, this is one of the most atmospheric and comfortable of the bedrooms. It was formerly Sir Charles Coote’s dressing room. The white marble chimneypiece in this room originated from the Georgian house that formerly stood at Ballyfin and was moved here from the former bachelor rooms on the ground floor.
|The Lady Sarah Pole Room||
With views out over the Pleasure Grounds and the Cascade, this delightful room on the mezzanine floor, this room retains its corner fireplace with an attractively carved rosette and the original grate.
|The Little Library - Junior Suite||
This spacious and comfortable room on the mezzanine is a welcoming retreat. It is filled with great literature and is a delight to any book lover. It also boasts a large bathroom which looks out over the pleasure ground and the cascade.
|The Sir Charles Coote Room - Stateroom||
This wonderfully elegant space known originally as the Writing Room, was the business room, or study, of Sir Charles Coote. It is the only bedroom on the ground floor and is discretely hidden away at the foot of the stairs. The bedroom is dominated by a four-poster bed and lots of original artwork and antiques. The luxurious marble bathroom contains a sarcophagus bath, a Roman trophy from the 9th Baronet’s Grand Tour collection.
Children over 9 years of age are very welcome at the Ballyfin. If the property is hired out by one group of guests, children of all ages are welcome.
Kids who stay at the hotel will be just as well looked after as their parents, with mini bathrobes and slippers, 'Ballyfin Bear', a playroom full of toys, bikes and helmets and boating activities on offer.
The 600 acres of parkland that surround the Ballyfin are the perfect escape for kids on vacation, from exploring the grounds, to going on a pony trek, joining in with a treasure hunt and dressing up in period costumes, the little ones will never have a dull moment.
The restaurant at the Ballyfin Demense is one of the highlights of the hotel and has recently been voted 'Andrew Harper's Grand Award Winners 2013 - Hotel Restaurant of the Year' and 'Food & Wine Magazine Best Style 2011 Award'.
The renowned executive chef, Ryan Murphy, has trained at some of the top restaurants in the world, including The Savoy, The Essex House under Alain Ducasse and at the Jean George in Trump Tower.
The eclectic dishes served at the Ballyfin are all made from locally sourced ingredients and some of our favorite meals are Alaskan King Crab with pickled Ballyfin radish, cucumber and aioli, Irish Dexter Cote du Beouf with triple cooked duck fat chips and purple sprouting broccoli and Valrhona Chocolate and Orange with dried orange and Manjari chocolate sorbet.
The Ballyfin has a fully equipped fitness center and spa, with a range of treatments and massages on offer. Relax and unwind, while the therapist pamper you with locally sourced organic products, which are used in all of the treatments.
The hotel also has an indoor, heated pool, which looks out over the picturesque gardens.
With 600 acres of grounds surrounding the hotel, there is something to keep everyone occupied. Rambling through the gardens, boating across the picturesque lake and exploring the follies and medieval ruins are a great way to while away an afternoon. For those who fancy something a bit more action packed, try some clay pigeon shooting and archery, followed by an hour or two with majestic birds of prey such as eagles, falcons, hawks and owls.
If the weather isn't great, don't panic, there is plenty to do inside the traditional country house. The 80ft library has roaring log fires, sofas you can sink into and over 5000 books to while away the hours. There is also the Ballfin costume department, which is a treasure trove of fantastic clothing dating back to the Regency era.
The hotel Cellar is also a great place to visit, and for many guests is the highlight of their trip. Well stocked with a superb selection of wine and whiskey from around the world, the tasting sessions on offer are second to none.
Haile Brant (Staff)
As you enter the gates of Ballyfin, you know immediately that you are in for something truly special. The rooms are opulent to say the least and Ballyfin does not disappoint in terms of ambiance. What they are even more well known for, of course are the myriad of activities on offer. From swimming in their vitality pool, to joining the daily history tours to learn the secrets of the castle, archery, fishing, boating, and even taking the golf cart out to explore the ground and Ballyfin tower you will never run out of things to do. The dining at Ballyfin is also exceptional!
Milly Walker (Staff)
Ballyfin is the ultimate countryside retreat - away from everything in the middle of hundreds of acres of parkland, amazing service, amazing food, endless drawing rooms in which to relax with a book by the fire.
Cordelia Nicholls (Staff)
Very private and exclusive in this beautiful restored Irish county house where you can completely get away from it all. So many activities on offer as well as the chance to take a stroll around the beautiful estate.
Sarah Byrne (Staff)
A truly extraordinary hotel that allows guests a chance to experience how life was at a magnificent Irish country house. This hotel is more like a home and guests will feel as if part of their own period drama!
Boating on the Lake at Ballyfin
Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on Ballyfin's lake or have the Butler take you out while you relax and enjoy the scenery. With a Ballyfin picnic on board, and a shady tree on the banks under which to consume it, you will be in heaven.
Drive the beautiful route to Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon.
Explore the Slieve Bloom Mountains
The Slieve Bloom Mountains near Ballyfin are among the least explored areas in Ireland, and are fantastic to explore by foot with a guide, from quaint villages in the foothills to views stretching across half the counties in Ireland at the top.
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.
Heywood Lutyens Gardens
Set among 50 acres of formal gardens and exquisitely romantic landscaped lakes and woodland just outside Dublin, Heywood is one of Ireland’s great gardens. Any garden lover staying in Dublin should make a special point of visiting Heywood.
Horse-drawn carriage ride in Dublin
The charming carriages line the edge of St Stephen's Green and the chatty drivers and their sturdy horses make for a relaxing way to sightsee.
Irish dancing lessons
A fun experience for all the family, we can arrange private lessons for you to learn the basics of Irish dancing. So, if you've been inspired by Riverdance, give it a whirl and let your feet do the talking.
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.
Teelings Whiskey Distillery
Teelings Distillery is Dublin's first new whiskey distillery in over a century and currently the only one in the city. Visit Teelings and taste three award-winning whiskeys for yourself.
The Gardens at Birr Castle
The award-winning gardens at Birr Castle in Offaly are one of the most extraordinary gardens in Ireland. With abundant rare plants, the world’s tallest box hedges, and plenty of kid-friendly activities, a visit to Birr Castle makes a superb day out.
The Irish House Party
Located just ten minutes from central Dublin in a beautiful 18th Century townhouse, The Irish House Party is a truly unique Dublin experience. Dine on delicious Irish specialties before being entertained by the best musicians and dancers in the business.
The Marsh Library
The Marsh Library, located next to St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, is an amazing haunted library that, apart from being one of Ireland's most important Enlightenment book collections, makes a great place to take the kids on a rainy day.
Trinity College & The Book of Kells
Trinity College is Dublin's oldest university and its cobbled front square and collection of historic buildings is a must see. The magnificent Old Library building houses the Book of Kells - a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world.
Visit The Guinness Storehouse
No trip to Dublin would be complete without a trip to visit the famous brewery of the black stuff. This historical building spread over seven floors brings to life the rich heritage of Guinness.
Location & directions
County Laois, Ireland
Located in the heart of the rolling, green Irish countryside, at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Ballyfin is the perfect hotel for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life and exploring the wild.