Character by the bucket-load; the hotel, the owner, the staff, the area - there was nothing plastic or insipid about this place.
We booked top-of-the-range rooms with sea views for our three night stay. The rooms were huge with comfortable furniture and the view was glorious, out over the attractive garden and into the bay. Furnishings were traditional. The decor in the bedrooms suited us; not minimalist, not over-powering country chintz but somewhere comfortably in-between, simple and airy.
The public areas were country house style but not over-designed or over-whelming. Furniture was great for sinking into with a good book and the open fires provided a delightful focal point.
Our one meal in the restaurant was excellent and the surroundings luxurious. We also had a bar meal in "Johnny O'Loughlin's" the attached pub which is used by locals and passing trade as well as hotel guests. Two of us had eaten there a few times previously when on self-catering holidays in the village. The food has always been excellent value, well cooked and presented and everybody is very friendly. The bar is warm and cosy with plenty of off-road parking.
Breakfast is served in the small dining room beside the bar (as is bar food sometimes). There is a wide range of cereals and other cold items and the cooked breakfast menu is extensive, you pick and choose from it as suits you.
This is the total antithesis of bland chain hotels where you can forget where you are as the decor is virtually the same throughout a country and sometimes throughout the world, it offers personal service and individual styling. It has interesting photographs of people who have been hugely important in the story of Ireland and the background is explained to anybody who wants more information. You know you are in Ireland when in The Zetland.
The area is glorious and within easy reach of sandy beaches (Moyrus near Glinsk and the beach between Carna and Kilkieran are two of my favourites) and the village of Roundstone and town of Clifden are not far at all, there are a number of sandy beaches on the coast between them, Gurteen is probably the largest but there are many more. You often see turf being cut as you travel around the area and there are many aspects of history woven into the landscape, from the social history of the famine and emigrations to the great achievements of Marconi and Alcock and Brown. There is a lot to do and a lot to see and The Zetland is a great hotel to stay while you are doing it.
Colm, the owner, is welcoming and friendly and he has gathered a staff that does him proud, I wish I could meet the like of them every time I stay in a hotel, sadly, I rarely do.
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- Also Known As:
- Zetland Country Hotel
- Zetland Country Cashel
- Zetland Country House Hotel Cashel, County Galway, Ireland