The enchanting short drive from Clonakilty to Dunmore down lush leafy lanes and stone bridges flanked by sweeping seascapes and views of white sandy beaches sets the scene for the dramatically set Dunmore House Hotel poised over the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, boasting its own private beach.
Windswept and romantic, we were spellbound before we even reached reception and the wonderfully salty sea breeze was such a welcome relief after the stifling heat and overcast airlessness of Midleton where we had stayed the night before. We were given a wonderful south west Cork welcome from the charming and bubbly blonde receptionist who made us feel immediately at home and patietly listened as we explained how simply overwhelmed we were by the beauty of the surroundings and charm of the hotel.
Things got even better when we went to our room on the third floor and threw open the large door to the balcony and let the sun and salty air flood in and a wave of relaxation swept over us as we just drank in the scenery and the hypnotic sound of the waves breaking on the beach below.
Our trip was a celebration of a special day for us and in fairness it surpassed our honeymoon for romance, comfort, amazing food, spectacular setting, fabulous views and super service, Our room was very large with two single beds and a comfy armchair facing the huge window and door to the balcony facing the sea. So many hotels in Ireland which are fortunate enough to have sea views seem to have tiny porthole like windows and beds positioned as if specially to prevent one from enjoying the view.
Not so at Dunmore House Hotel where the whole room is focused around the sea viw and it is simply heaven to lie on one of the beds staring out to sea and marvelling at the ever changing light that this area is famous for. After arriving in blazing sunshine I did wonder how fabulous and cosy it would be in winter - well thanks to the ever changing weather I was woken in the night by rain lashing on the window and the sound of waves crashing below - it was unbelievably atmospheric and romantic and I snuggled up in the super soft plush blankets and simply drank it all in.
The next morning I awoke to find all enveloped in a dense sea mist - super spooky and exciting and after a while it drifted off to reveal dramatic bruised skies filled with ominous clouds and petrol blue swirling seas below - I must have taken over a hundred photos as the light and seascape changed and evolved into another bright blue skied sunshiney day and then into a sparkling cloak of shimmering sea with plump fluffy pink clouds above before night fell - just magical and all with the soothing sound of the sea filling the air.
Behind the two beds with their amazing sea view was a vast and super comfortable kingsized bed - so fabulous we checked what kind of a mattress it was so we might get one for our bed at home (it was a king koil klub klass by the way which I understand is the Rolls Royce of hotel beds). I loved the decor with one feature wall with metallic mocha sheen and camilia (I think) motif. The carpet was sea green, the aforementioned super soft plush blankets petrol blue and the most lovely simple white cotton bedspreads. There was tea and coffee making tray, huge flat screen tv, fab free wi-fi and an amazing shower and lovely fresh bathroom.
All in all the size, furnishing and decor of the room could not have been nicer and all so spic and span and fresh and new and well done with super clean lines, quality touches and just a nod to the nautical in styling - just lovely! Also plenty of nice sized fluffy towels - cannot bear ones which are so skimpy they cannot be used to wander round without gaping or being too short or threatening to pop off when wrapped around one after a shower.
From our delightful ocean oasis we were absolutely blown away by the exquisite breakfast in the elegant diningroom with crisp white linens again with stunning sea view. On entering the dining room we were almost overwhelmed by the amazing array of fresh fruit, mouthwatering super sweet strawberries, raspberries red currants and kiwis, made up one bowl and to be frank Irish strawberries are so often a let down I have to say these were the best ever tasting so sweet and tender they could have been dipped in honey! My all time favourite stewed Rhubarb (which I have only even see once before in the Bayview Hotel in Ballycotton), stewed apples, apricots, melon balls, mixed berries and forest fruits were also on offer and so delicious topped with the thick cool Greek yogurt.
We started with fabulous freshly squeezed orange juice and fruit and then had what my husband described as "the best omelette ever!" and I had "The best plaice ever!" golden brown and crispy wafer thin outside and mouthwateringly soft and so very very fresh, cooked to perfection with very generous portion served with mushrooms which tasted like they had been pan fried in butter - gorgeous! We also had the freshly baked brown bread and banana bread and home baked croissants and managed to taste the scones and onion rolls.
All washed down with gorgeous creamy cappuccinos and super friendly and convivial service.
I can safely say there can be no better breakfast than this, the freshness, the skilled cooking and baking,the atmosphere, the charm and beauty of the room, the tables complete with picture perfect pastel pink peonies in full bloom - it was just like an art form and beyond excellent!
We also loved the varied and interesting bar food served in the gorgeous stylish and welcoming bar and of course the divine restaurant menu, the lovely cosy seating areas with nooks and crannies and gorgeous comfy sofas and it is just such a credit to the family who run it and all the hardworking and charming staff who work in it.
I don't quite understand how the hotel star system works but I would give Dunmore House Hotel 5 or even 6 stars for its fabulous setting and boutique luxury style and comfort, wonderful atmosphere and outstanding food. Simply Irish Hospitality at its very, very best - flawless!
Thanks to all especially Margaret and Rachel who made our unforgettable and magical romantic stay extra special. We are planning our next getaway to Dunmore House Hotel as we speak and hoping to make a habit of celebrating all our birthdays, high days and holidays here in this very special, precious place <3
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A spectacular vista of the Atlantic Ocean greets you on arrival at Dunmore House Hotel. This third generation family business first opened as a hotel in 1948. The house still retains much of its original character whilst providing all the comforts of a modern hotel. Situated on the shores of Clonakilty Bay in charming West Cork, the adjoining 9 hole golf course and sea terrace add to the enjoyment of this spectacular location. The bar and lounge areas are warm and inviting with an interesting collection of modern Irish art. Both the contemporary dining room and attractive terrace overlook the water. The extensive bar and dining room menus offer high quality locally sourced food, served daily. The magnificent coastal location of Dunmore House Hotel has been used to advantage to provide sea views from most rooms. The hotel is furnished and maintained to a high standard to ensure the comfort of all guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dunmore Hotel Clonakilty