19th October 2016 by Paula Lyne
If it's good enough for Kim and Kanye...
Ireland has no shortage of five-star hotels, from celebrity favourite The Merrion in Dublin to Courteney Cox’s rumoured future wedding venue, Ashford Castle in Mayo and Paul McCartney’s hotel of choice Castle Leslie in Monaghan.
Now one of our stock has been given a unique accolade, by being named the best hotel in the world. Over 300,000 readers of the influential US travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler voted to pick the world’s top 50 luxury hotels, and Ballyfin House in Laois came out top of the list.
The hotel, which Kim Kardashian and Kanye West chose for their 2014 honeymoon, is set on 614 acres of parkland and gardens. “If you’ve ever dreamed of summering at a country house, you couldn’t do much better than this stately, 20-room Georgian home,” Condé Nast says of the Ballyfin experience, which rated a near-perfect 99.11 among readers.
Other hotels in the running for the number one spot included COMO The Treasury in Perth, the sprawling colonial Hotel Matilda in Mexico and Hotel Il Pellicono overlooking the Tuscan Mediterranean. Happily, two other Irish hotels made the top ten list: Waterford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford Castle. Not bad for our little island.
Ballyfin prides itself on offering guests the full ‘Lord and Lady of The Manor’ experience. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by a team of butlers who’ll park your car and unload your bags. Each individually designed room and suite is decked out with four-poster canopy beds, period furnishings and marble bathrooms.
Fancy a picnic? Your butler will happily row you out onto the late and set one up a on the far side of the gardens, NBD.
As for prices, you can expect to pay anything from €840 a night for a double room in off-peak season to €1,700 a night for a stay in the hotel’s most lavish offering, the Sir Chrisopher Coote Suite. That’s for full board, though, with all meals (and potench picnics) included. For B&B prices start around €560.
Speaking on The Anton Savage Show this morning, Ballyfin’s manager Martina Yearsley said her team were “floating” after receiving word of Condé Nast’s nod, and that the news was just “fantastic” to hear. “It puts Ireland on the map,” she added.
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