My teenage daughter and I spent one night at Ballyvolane. It was our favorite stay in Ireland (Ard na Sidhe, Bantry House, Dromoland Castle) and a favorite on our trip (JK Place, Florence; Soho Hotel, London; Thoumieux, Paris).
We drove from Cork City using Google Maps on our phone. Once off the main road, we found plenty of signs to direct us to the house. It took us about 40 minutes.
Jenny and Justin, the proprietors, set the tone for this gracious country estate. They are a youngish couple, super attractive, with a family. I believe they said they met in Hong Kong while at hotel school.
The house is filled with eclectic furnishings. The front parlor has black columns, orange walls, dark hardwood floors, velvet sofas, piano, and a large oriental vase filled with pussy willows. The fire was lit in the evening. The fabrics may be a bit worn but that seems to just add to the charm and warmth of it all. Really beautiful.
There were a few quirky details like the door knob to the front door just fell off in my hands. But, basically the door sat ajar and it felt like another example of the open door, open arm welcoming aspect of this country home.
The bedrooms are all upstairs on a long hallway lined with old pictures, and a variety of rugs mismatched going down the length of the hall. There are no room numbers and rooms do not have keys. As Justin mentioned, all keys were lost about 100 years ago!
We specifically booked the room with the stag head bathroom. Our room had really high ceilings and huge windows overlooking the grassy backyard. The windows were dressed with floral chintz curtains - all beautifully made and interlined. There was a a seating area and the king size bed was supremely comfortable. Again many of the furnishings have seen a bit of wear but there was absolutely no skimping on the quality of the mattress or bed linens. We slept better than ever!
Some details that we really enjoyed were:
Welcome homemade chocolate biscuits and elderflower syrup
Friendly greeting - one of the girls whisked my heavy bag up to my room
Serve-yourself bar in the entrance hall with lots of choices (and lots of ice)
Beautiful grounds with old mossy trees
Hen house fresh eggs in the morning
Excellent Irish soda bread that you can cut yourself to the desired thickness
Dinner shared with other travelers
Fantastic homemade dessert of panna cotta
Charming collections of Barbour jackets hanging in the hall, wellington boots all lined up, fishing gear hanging on the wall, sporting equipment at the ready by the front door...
Jenny prepares an excellent dinner. She emailed us ahead of time and asked if we had any dietary restrictions/requests. She honored our requests. I would guess that it is difficult for her to accommodate last-minute requests as the Ballyvolane is in the country and not close to any stores. Much of what is served is grown on the property.
We dream of going back to the Ballyvolane House. There was another couple staying at the Ballyvolane House while we were there and they felt like us, if you go to Ireland, you MUST stay here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ballyvolane House is an authentic historic Georgian House built in 1728. Six luxurious bedrooms with huge comfy beds, crisp linen, fluffy towels and big baths you can stretch out in. Delicious home-cooked country house cuisine served in the grand dining room. Glamping during the summer months. Breakfast served till noon. Free wifi throughout the house. Vast gardens and woods on the estate. Salmon fishing on the river Blackwater. Fly fishing school. Stocked trout lakes on-site. Tennis court. 7-a-side soccer pitch. Croquet. Badminton. Woodland walks. Help feed the farm animals after breakfast - pigs, ducks, hens and pigeons. Dog friendly. Lots to do in the local area and we are always delighted to help plan day trips. Also, Ballyvolane House has a distillery in the farmyard where Bertha's Revenge Gin is distilled. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ballyvolane House Hotel Fermoy
- Ballyvolane Hotel Fermoy