Ballyfin is one of Ireland’s finest Georgian country houses, now restored to life with remarkable grace, and reopened as a luxurious hotel. The beauty of the house and its park, and the stratospheric standards of hospitality here, makes Ballyfin a truly remarkable place.
Imagine an intact and beautiful 600-acre walled demesne of woods, hills and water in the heart of Ireland – with the neoclassical Ballyfin lying at its heart. Seclusion is the rule; and the surroundings encourage relaxation.
Once the ancestral seat of the Crosbies, Wellesley-Poles and the Cootes, Ballyfin is set in majestic and romantic splendour at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the centre of Ireland, 1½ hours from Dublin airport.
With just 15 bedrooms, Ballyfin’s guests can also privately enjoy 600 acres of parkland, a 28 acre lake, ancient woods, follies and grottoes.
The hotel also features two beauty treatment rooms, a fitness centre and indoor pool.
With interiors that honour Ballyfin’s past – while translating them to contemporary expectations – each of the 15 bedrooms is individually and sensitively decorated just as the public rooms are furnished with important Irish art and antiques from around the world.
- Dinner is served with ceremony at Ballyfin. Guests assemble for pre-dinner drinks; and order from an à la carte, or five or eight-course tasting menu.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.
Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the 28 acre lake or why not let our Butler take you out while you relax and enjoy the scenery. Arrange a Ballyfin picnic and this will be ready for you at a beautiful private location close to the lake.
A morning or afternoon of fishing on the lake for Pike and Roach. We can arrange a ghillie and lessons if required (see the activities brochure for cost).
Arrange a Ballyfin picnic in a place of your choice on the demesne. You are spoilt for choice with some excellent locations to choose from, the grotto, temple, by the water cascade, top of the tower, by the lake. The Picnic House can also be pre-booked and cost applies.
With 614 acres to explore, horse riding around the demesne is a wonderful experience. Our experienced instructors will guide you around the demesne, trekking by the tower and lake, deep into the demesne. Horse riding lessons in the paddock can also be arranged with our experienced instructors. (pre-booking in advance required)
Step back in time and take a guided tour on a pony & carriage which awaits you at the front door. The tour will take you around the pathways of the demesne with your guide highlighting the history of the demesne. (pre-booking in advance required)
Clay Pigeon shooting is a thrilling experience. Whether you are a beginner or expert you will enjoy this sport. Perfect your aim, time your shots and let the competitive streak in you shine.
Using the most advanced pre-charged air rifles on our 50m range, your instructor will guide you in the skill of precision shooting.
Despite its medieval origins, archery has now been developed into a high-tech and highly competitive sport. Using the very latest equipment guests are taught the skills required to strike gold on the competition shoot.
Experience the beauty and elegance of these majestic birds of prey, get close and be captivated by eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. (pre-booking in advance of arrival required)
Ballyfin is one of Ireland’s finest Georgian country houses, now restored to life with remarkable grace, and reopened as a luxurious hotel. The beauty of the house and its park, and the stratospheric standards of hospitality here, makes Ballyfin a truly remarkable place. Imagine an intact and beautiful 600-acre walled demesne of woods, hills and water in the heart of Ireland – with the neoclassical Ballyfin lying at its heart. Seclusion is the rule; and the surroundings encourage relaxation. Once the ancestral seat of the Crosbies, Wellesley-Poles and the Cootes, Ballyfin is set in majestic and romantic splendour at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the centre of Ireland, 1½ hours from Dublin airport.
With just 15 bedrooms, Ballyfin’s guests can also privately enjoy 600 acres of parkland, a 28 acre lake, ancient woods, follies and grottoes. The hotel also features two beauty treatment rooms, a fitness centre and indoor pool. With interiors that honour Ballyfin’s past – while translating them to contemporary expectations – each of the 15 bedrooms is individually and sensitively decorated just as the public rooms are furnished with important Irish art and antiques from around the world. Think Downton Abbey: glorious rooms, including a spectacular library and saloon, an intimate Gold Room, and world-class stucco work – matched with lamps, paintings, and masses of books. Activities include: archery, shooting, walking and cycling paths, boating, coarse fishing, tennis and croquet.
All rooms in the house are beautifully appointed, yet all individually designed to mirror the unique style of the original house. Our marble bathrooms are equipped to the highest standard with walk in shower, bath, double basin and luxurious toiletries.
The Sir Christopher Coote
Today it acknowledges Sir Christopher Coote, 15th Baronet and the senior member of the Coote family, who has taken a close personal interest in the restoration of the house built for his great-great-great grandparents. Today, the suite enjoys a handsome sitting room, its curved windows looking out to beautiful views over the fountain and the Pleasure Grounds. The decorative theme of the suite is determined by a series of eighteenth-century Chinese wallpaper panels, formerly in the collection of the Prince of Hanover at Schloss Marienburg. Many of the furnishings are complementary in the style of Chinese Chippendale.
Its views lead out into the sheltered slopes of the Pleasure Grounds and look directly towards the sensational Cascade. The suite has been named after William Wellesley, older brother of the Duke of Wellington, who in 1781 inherited Ballyfin from his cousin, William Pole. He adopted the Pole surname and settled at Ballyfin. The chimneypiece, in white and Siena marble, is the finest example surviving from the Georgian house of the Poles.
The Duke of Wellington
This suite on the western side of the house has superb views to the west and south west overlooking the lawns, conservatory and cascade while the bedroom with a sumptuous four poster bed has glimpses through the trees in the pleasure ground to the temple at the top of the cascade.
Many of the furnishings are Georgian. The space between the windows, for example, is filled by a fine George II secretaire in pale mahogany with a ‘swan neck’ pediment. On each side of the bed are striking mezzotints by Thomas Frye, a leading Irish-born artist of remarkable originality.
The Lady Caroline Coote
The decoration with a vivid, electric blue wallpaper transforms the room into a suggestive tent-like enclosure. It perfectly reflects the interest in textiles seen in interiors of the Empire period. The colour serves as an ideal foil for the early-Georgian portrait over the chimneypiece showing Henry Meredyth of Newtown, County Meath, by the Irish artist Charles Jervas.
The Little Library
Naturally the well-endowed bookshelves dominate, however, the pictures displayed here include Bliss by the nineteenth-century genre painter Erskine Nicol who enjoyed an extended career in Ireland, and a portrait by the Irish painter William John Leech of his wife Elizabeth, done when they were on honeymoon. The large bathroom looks out over the Pleasure Grounds and the Cascade.
The Lady Kildare
On a visit to Ballyfin in May 1759 Lady Kildare wrote “yesterday I saw a most delightful place indeed, much beyond any place I have seen in Ireland – Ballyfin, there is a piece of water there very like what I fancy ours will be, only broader; fine plantations and the greatest varieties of trees and flowers almost that ever I saw anywhere”
The Lady Mornington
Her oldest son Richard became the Marquis Wellesley and was Governor General of India and later Lord Lieutenant of Ireland while her third son Arthur Duke of Wellington became the illustrious military leader and prime minister of the United Kingdom. The room is decorated in dusky pink colours enhanced by fabrics in “Indian toil of Life” theme from Claremont.
It lies at the centre of the east front, set behind the entrance portico, the crisply carved capitals of which can be appreciated at close quarters. The room enjoys stunning views over the lake while inside, the elegant decoration, with various effects of green, is painted to imitate oak panelling. The Regency chimneypiece in white marble was moved here from the former Billiard Room.
It is exquisitely decorated in richly patterned wallpaper with a wonderfully carved French bed positioned prominently in the centre of room. The portrait above the chimneypiece, from the studio of Sir Thomas Lawrence, depicts the dashing Marianne Jeffreys of Blarney Castle, County Cork, after whom the room is named.
Maryborough was established in the Tudor period around a strategic site in the centre of the county, now identified with the town of Port Laoise located nine kilometres east of Ballyfin. Its application to this delightful room recalls the peerage granted in 1821 to one of the Ballyfin’s previous owners William Wellesley-Pole. The views from the room across the Pleasure Grounds are outstanding.
The Sir Charles Coote
Situated on the ground floor, Sir Charles Coote is discetely hidden away at the foot of the stairs. The bedroom is dominated by a four-poster bed, and beside it a chest by Piero Fonasetti with its unmistakable, playful imprint of a classical façade. The pendant portraits on each side of the bed are by Michael Dahl and show the Irish artist and connoisseur, Hugh Howard, and his wife, Thomasine. Meanwhile in the bathroom the sumptuous marble sarcophagus bath, like the relief roundel above it, is a Roman trophy from the 9th Baronet’s Grand Tour collection.
The Dr Beaufort
Daniel Augustus Beaufort is commemorated in this spacious elegant room which has a door to the balcony and overlooks the fountain and a small private garden to the north east of the house. From the balcony there are views of the lake and the lawns to the front of the house.
The half-octagon shape of the room is particularly pleasing and exemplifies the subtle manipulation of space for which the Morrisons, Ballyfin’s architects, are famous. The room is a delight during the daytime with light pouring in through the Diocletian window overlooking the courtyard. The fine portrait of a young boy to the left of the window is a work of 1835 by the Irish artist Trevor Thomas Fowler. The room is named in honour of The Earl of Aberdeen, Ireland’s last Viceroy, who visited Ballyfin in 1911.
The Mountrath Room is situated on the garden front, and enjoys pleasing views out over the curving forms of the Conservatory to the rising Pleasure Grounds and the impressive watery staircase of the Cascade. In the bedroom, above the black marble chimneypiece hangs Admiration, one of the finest surviving paintings by Richard Rothwell, who was born in the neighbouring county of Offaly. Elsewhere the room is hung with designs for Château Groussay by Alexandre Serebriakoff, a Russian émigré to Paris, many of which were inspired by Irish follies.
The Marquis de Massigny
Today, rather fittingly given its French connections, this room is hung with toile de jouy. On each side of the bed are late-eighteenth-century oval mirrors framed with studs of blue and white glass and above the chimneypiece is a tender sibling portrait by the Irish painter Sir Martin Archer Shee, the only Irish-born President of the Royal Academy. The painting by the bed, by contrast, illustrates the mythological world of AE, the poet and artist, George Russell, whose work often shares in the mystic realms of his friend, W.B. Yeats.
It was formerly Sir Charles Coote’s dressing room, located between the nurseries and Lady Coote’s bedchamber, overlooking Sir Richard Morrison’s kitchen court. The white marble chimneypiece in this room originated from the Georgian house that formerly stood at Ballyfin and was moved here from the former bachelor rooms on the ground floor.
This room evokes an airy garden fantasy and overlooks a private garden and fountain to the north east of the house. A French door gives access to a wide balcony with views to the East over the lawns and lake to the front of the house.
The Lady Sarah Pole
The room retains its corner fireplace with an attractively carved rosette and the original grate. Over this is hung a touching late-Georgian portrait of a lady by the eighteenth-century Irish artist Thomas Hickey. Lady Sarah Pole’s dedication to the gardens at Ballyfin contributed so much to its great renown in Georgian Ireland.
The best meals start with the best ingredients and wherever possible we source according to the mantra: ‘local, natural and seasonal’. The gardens yield a wide abundance of fruit, herbs, salads and vegetables throughout the year, which enable the kitchen team to provide the freshest local seasonal produce for the dining room ensuring the finest culinary experiences. Ballyfin hens provide us with fresh eggs every day for breakfast and our guests are welcome to collect the eggs each morning. Our honey is produced by our busy bees and the bee hives can be located near the grotto. As the day rolls on, the stunning food begins to make the odd appearance, culminating in a multicourse tasting menu for dinner which is heartbreakingly delicious, served with joy and pride by an incredible team under the guidance of maitre d’hotel and sommelier.
Every dining experience at Ballyfin is a gastronomic affair. Throughout the year our Head Chef and his team along with our gardeners and local suppliers work together to produce not only mouth watering dishes but to make the most of what Ballyfin walled gardens and the Irish countryside has to offer. From “garden to plate” at the very best.
The Cellar Bar
Discreetly hidden away in the former Servants’ Hall downstairs, the Cellar Bar is the perfect place to enjoy the convivial hospitality for which Ireland is famed.
A highlight for many guests is a trip to Ballyfin’s well-stocked Cellar, just around the corner from the Bar. Guided by our expert sommelier, you can personally select your wine so that it is perfectly decanted and ready for you at dinner.
Service is exceptionally good – from the moment members of staff appear on the steps to welcome the approaching guest. Polished, professional, but with a dash of Irish informality: a beguiling combination. Masses to do, including archery, shooting, walking and cycling paths, boating, coarse fishing, tennis and croquet. Picnics can be delivered in the grounds; guided walks can be arranged in the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains; and golf at nearby world-class inland courses. Inside, there’s a mosaic-tiled 14-metre pool, plus a gym and spa treatments.
Whether you feel like swimming some laps, enjoying some water exercises or simply relaxing, our 14m heated indoor pool, overlooking the courtyard garden, is a beautiful space for invigoration and wellbeing or relax in our vitality pool and sauna.
The treatment rooms provide an ideal place to unwind, restore and to invigorate the body and mind. Our highly trained therapists will ensure you leave feeling revitalised and refreshed. We hope you will feel free to discuss your treatment choices with our reservations team – they will know and understand the treatments and will advise on which experience would best suit your needs.
The gym is fully equipped with the latest cardio vascular machines, audiovisual equipment and free weights. A personal training service is available on request.