The best hotels aren't made of bricks and mortar, but love and commitment to an idea. Back in 2006 Christine and Dermot Gannon had an idea to turn an old Convent into a hotel with a nun theme and seven years later the idea is a stunning success. The only other place I can compare this with in Ireland - and this is a compliment - is Tom and Maura Foley's excellent Shelburne Lodge in Kenmare. It has all of the detail and charm. And in an age when anti-clericalism is sadly crass and rife, the fun-nun theme is done with an affection and charm that will please everyone and offend no one.
First of all some caveats: This is not a hotel catering for children and is geared towards couples having a romantic few days in a remote location. Secondly it isn't open all year around and in some months - April being one of them - it opens only two or three days a week. Thirdly they don't have a beer license and hence no beer (but beer can be consumed if bought in the nearby village) Those caveats aside, the place is a real treat. Rooms consist of a generously sized bedroom decorated with extremely good taste (by Christine) plus a small living room. Althoug there are no TVs in the rooms there is a generously stocked library of books and DVDs with DVD players provided so you can watch a great selection of movies. Personally I don't miss the TV at all as all you do is flick from CNN to Sky and back 50 times. The DVD collection was great and so were the books. There is also a little communal area where you can make tea, grab sweets/biscuits/goodies provided free of charge and meet and get to know other guests.
Christine's touch is evident from the interior design and clever details of the hotel. Dermot's contribution is the truly excellent cuisine. Apart from Maura Foley (and my own mother and wife of course!) no one has ever prepared as delicious a breakfast for me as that prepared in this hotel. And on the one night we dined in the hotel - the other night we took a few sambos up to our room and had them with tea (which was cool with Christine) - the food was excellent too. So was the hospitality: We had come to the hotel specialising in adult weekend breaks with a small baby (our mistake as we didn't carefully look at the website). But to enable us to dine without disturbing other guests, Christine provided us with our own small dining room which was beatiful. And while they didn't have baby cots - being a hotel catering for adults - they lent us their son's playpen for two nights. We couldn't have felt more at home and will definitely go back. So if you're going to county Tipperary my advice is: Get thee to a nunnery.
- Also Known As:
- The Old Convent Hotel Clogheen
- Old Convent Clogheen
- Old Convent Hotel Clogheen
- The Old Convent Clogheen, Ireland - County Tipperary