The Cliff House Hotel
Co Waterford, Cork, Kerry and the South, Ireland
At a Glance
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
A stylish base for exploring one of Ireland’s less discovered corners
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 Ireland 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.
To start planning your holiday to The Cliff House Hotel
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.
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.
The highlight of the 39 rooms and suites at The Cliff House Hotel is the impressive views over the picturesque Ardmore Bay, uninterrupted from each and every one. The large windows throughout the waterfront building allow natural light to flood in, highlighting the space and modern, clean interiors throughout. Rooms range from Deluxe Sea View to Cliff Veranda Suites, each with complimentary water, WiFi, flat screen TV and comfortable super king-size beds. Furnishings are soft in warm hues, inspired by the palette of the nature that surrounds the hotel. Cliff Veranda Suites are split-level and spacious, coming equipped with deep sofas, cosy fireplaces and private verandas from which to enjoy the scenery. Glass-sided showers ensure that even when in the bathroom you don't need to compromise on the views.
For those who prefer a little more privacy or for families, the Cliff Cottage is a self-catering option just steps away from the main hotel, offering ample space for up to six adults.
These contemporary suites boast two balconies; the first off the bedroom, and the other from the living area - both the other side of large glass windows showing stunning sea views.
No specific child care facilities are available but the Cliff House Hotel welcomes families travelling with young children. Interconnecting rooms are available and a number of activities are on offer to keep them entertained.
Dining at The Cliff House Hotel is an absolute pleasure. The House Restaurant is one of only eight Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland and each dish is a work of art, served up with the delightful scenery as the perfect backdrop. Choose from a la carte dining or a tasting menu and wash it all down with delicious wine pairings, hand selected by the on-site sommeliers. For an easy-going atmosphere head to the hotel bar, which is popular among locals and guests and enjoys boastful views from its cliffside location. A selection of sandwiches and fresh seafood dishes are on the menu, along with classic comfort foods and traditional Irish offerings. A children's menu is also available.
For some top-quality rest and relaxation then head to The Well Spa. The indoor infinity pool, indulgent treatments and silky products from Voya and Anne Semonin create a dreamy setting in which to unwind. The fitness room is ideal for those who prefer to keep a little active before hopping in the sauna or steam room. Those who prefer to unwind in the outdoors can take a dip in a natural rock pool at full tide, or one of two baths or a heated Jacuzzi on the relaxation terrace.
Whatever the weather, the Ardmore area boasts a wealth of attractions and activities so you need never be bored. Enjoy traditional music and delightful markets, historical castles and pretty villages. Travel by foot, by luxury BMW or if you really feel like treating yourself then helicopters are on hand too!
The region is particularly popular with outdoor enthusiasts with activities including archery, kayaking, snorkelling, surfing, paint balling, quad biking, walking, black water adventures, horse riding and power boating. If nature is your calling then why not partake in a bird watching hike, go foraging with a guide or look out for whales and dolphins from advantageous view points. Fishing is readily available in many forms, and world-class golf courses can be found within easy reach of the Cliff House Hotel.
Famed for its Blarney Stone, which by kissing will bestow the gift of eloquence, Blarney Castle was built over six hundred years ago by Cormac McCarthy, one of Ireland's greatest chieftains. But don't forget to explore the castle and gardens too.
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.
Location & directions
Co Waterford, Cork, Kerry and the South, Ireland
The Cliff House Hotel is located in Ardmore, mid-way between Waterford and Cork on Ireland's southeast coast.
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