It was the first day of our tour of southeast Ireland and I didn’t know much about our accommodations for the night. After a full day of tours, both the bus and walking variety, we pulled up to the Lyrath Estate Hotel exhausted. I think my jaw might actually have dropped. The place was beautiful!
We rolled into the lobby where we were graciously greeted and quickly checked in. Our bags were whisked off to our rooms while we relaxed with a local beer and delicious appetizers.
Although the Lyrath is less than a mile from the city of Kilkenny, it feels like it is miles away from anywhere, in a good instantly tranquil kind of way. A convenient sanctuary. The grounds cover 170 acres laced with walking paths and several manicured gardens. Although I found pretty much all of Ireland incredibly peaceful, there were a few places like Lyrath that seem to have amplified that sense of serenity.
The building itself is a 17th century country house that was remodelled in the 19th century in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Inside, the furnishings and décor are modern, with a simple elegance that still somehow perfectly suits both the country house feel and the Renaissance style. It seems like an odd juxtaposition, but it works beautifully.
The rooms are luxurious and comfortable in the same simple, clean, modern style with phenomenal views of the grounds.
Lyrath is a place where you truly feel like they thought of everything to make your stay as easy and peaceful as possible, right down to the small touches like a do not disturb button and light, rather than an unwieldy doorknob placard. And the Estate houses more than just a hotel. On top of their 137 rooms they have a conference center which can host up to 1,500, 3 restaurants, a complete spa and a full-on health club.
Somehow all these amenities are conveniently tucked away, in a way that provides easy access to it all, but maintains the intimate, cozy feeling of a bed & breakfast. Its really quite amazing.
The only thing wrong with our visit was that it was far too short. On our particular trip, we were sadly on a very tight schedule and we got in late and left early. It would have been nice to spend a few days exploring, relaxing and just enjoying the surroundings…and of course a massage.