Our family booked a week at the Adare Manor based on my sister's experience several years ago. It was a wise decision.
We flew into Dublin, arriving at 7am after an overnight flight. The Dan Dooley car rental agent at the airport was very helpful, advising us of the tolls and providing maps.
After driving 3 hrs, we arrived at the Adare Estate. It was a little difficult to find the town houses, but with a little help from other residences, we were soon settled into our 3 bedroom condo. This space provided my mid twenty year old daughter and son with their own bedrooms and bathrooms. The master bedroom included a large soaking tub. There was also a 4th full bath on the main level and all bathrooms were equipped with heated towels racks. The beds were very comfortable.
The main floor of the condor included an open floor plan with a marble kitchen, dining table and comfortable living room. The kitchen was stocked with pans, dishes, and glassware. There was a small patio, but we didn't use this.
The townhouses are about one mile from the gates to the Adare Village. Access was made easier by driving our vehicle to the gates and parking on the Estate. There is very little street lighting on the estate, making it a very long, dark walk after visiting the local pubs at night.
Adare Village was wonderful and the people very kind. Their way of life resembles New England 60 years ago... The village is heart of the town. The church, school, market, butcher shop, drug store, hardware store, restaurants and pubs are all located along one Main Street. And we visited many of them.
Sean Collins' Bar became a nightly stop for us. The owner, Sean Collins, provided tips on driving directions, sight seeing and life in general. (A plus was a gluten free menu with delicious pizza.) Bill Chawkes Beer Garden was popular with the younger members of the family, with a deejay at night. Customers in both places were warm and friendly. We had dinner at several restaurants in town. The Blue Door restaurant (with blue window trim and door), offered wonderful menu options. The Wild Geese restaurant was a true delight! The restaurant used to be a home, with most rooms now converted to dining areas. We were met at the door and led to as warm living room where we had before dinner drinks in front of a roaring fireplace. After placing our orders, we were led to our table. Our dinners included pheasant, venison, duck, black (blood) pudding and other local favorites. Delicious!!! Aunty Lena's Bar has great fish and chips.
Driving in Ireland was an adventure! Fortunately we had upgraded our vehicle choice from a small standard vehicle to a mid size automatic. This provided a little extra space which was nice for all the hours we were on the road. The main highways were large, multi lane roads. However, most of the roads we traveled were one or two lanes in both directions. There was even a road that we thought was a cow path that was on the map and GPS! And most roads had a (suggested) speed limit of 65mph. There are frequent pullovers on the narrow roads and we used them frequently!
As for the sites.... The Dingle Peninsula was stunning. We traveled from Adare to the center of Dingle, and then headed straight north thru the mountains. Once we reached the northern coast, we followed the coast back to Dingle. This provided stunning vistas of the coast and mountainside cottages. Dingle is a fishing village with many shops along the docks. One cafe overlooking the seaport, Tree House Cafe offered great seafood chowder and brown bread. This is also were my daughter left her purse around noontime and didn't realize it until later that evening. The owner succeeded in tracking us down and returned the purse completely intact the following day via overnight mail!
The Blarney Castle and gardens were beautiful. However, I went there not knowing anything about the stone other than it is customary to kiss it. Well, the stone is located at the top of the long, winding stone stairway to the top of the castle. And the stone itself isn't anything special... It's just a rock in the outer wall. It is almost like a huge national joke about how many people will travel there and pay to kiss it. But you must spend time in the gardens, then waterfalls, the wishing steps and the surrounding areas.
The city of Kinsale was a disappointment. We had wanted to visit Kinsale because it is the sister city of Newport, Rhode Island, near our home. However, many of the shops were closed for the season.
The Bunratty Castle was interesting. There were several pieces of furniture and wall hangings that were hundreds of years old. The narrow stairways to the roof provided a good look at the village below. And the cottages within the castle walls reminded us of Plymouth Plantations in Massachusetts. We visited there during Christmas time and saw the children visiting Santa's Village, complete with train rides, giant candy canes, decorated store fronts and several Disney characters: Mickey & Mimi Mouse, and Donald & Daffy Duck. The children were so cute in their Sunday best outfits and excited to see Santa.
We visited the Cliffs of Moher on an overcast day and this still didn't do anything to diminish the beauty of area. No pictures that you take will do this place justice. It is so breathtakingly scenic from every angle. There is a lot of walking so wear comfortable, rubber soled shoes to safely navigate the stone walkways and stone steps.
The final location we visited was something we stumbled upon in a brochure. The site, called Dromberg Stone Circle, is similar to England's Stonehenge. Dromberg Stone Circle is hundreds (or thousands?) of years old and is miles from anything. The stone circle is in the middle of a pasture and is now a protected site. My husband is a huge fan of anything National Geographic like so he was thrilled with this peaceful site.
We only spent a 1/2 day in Dublin before our flight home. We toured Christ Church, visited a few pubs and saw Christmas decorations. We just missed the Viking museum.
Overall, we loved our visit to Southwestern Ireland and know we will return again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Adare Manor is a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece, once the family seat of the Earls of Dunraven. Today it is cherished as a warm and welcoming 5 star luxury resort, defined by its spectacular setting, authentic historic character, and the impeccable service of its world-class staff. Situated in the beautiful village of Adare and just 25 minutes from Shannon airport. The 104 guest rooms are air conditioned and lavishly appointed with original art, Georgian-style furnishings, luscious textiles and marble bathrooms. Guests may design a bespoke itinerary of activities in and around the sweeping 840 acre estate of formal gardens, peaceful forests and rolling parklands. Golf, falconry, archery, fishing, La Mer spa treatments and more are all conducted on site, with further adventures such as horseback riding and shooting available within a short drive. Fine dining and world-class libations across the resort’s many restaurants, lounges and bars offer something to tempt every palate. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Adare Manor Hotel And Golf Resort
- Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Adare
- Adare Manor Resort
- Adare Manor Ireland