21st Nov 2017
Tucked away in Ballyvaughan, Gregans Castle Hotel is one of Ireland’s best-loved hideaways. Those who come once become regulars, charmed by a combination of the wild Burren scenery, stylish interiors, warm welcome and outstanding food. The 18th-century manor offers Kodak moments at every turn, from the chic public spaces to the fabulously styled bedrooms and David Hurley’s picture- perfect modern Irish cooking served in the lovely dining room. Camera phones at the ready, gregans.ie.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS Maire and Paul Flynn run one of Ireland’s original destination restaurants, The Tannery in Dungarvan. Still fresh and relevant after 20 years, Paul’s sensational Irish cooking teamed with the oh-so-cool dining room (and bijou Tannery Townhouse around the corner for overnighting) deliver a photo- worthy gourmet getaway, tannery.ie. For country house cool, hit up Slane’s Tankardstown House, an 18th-century manor where everything from afternoon tea to Brabazon Restaurant’s edgy Irish food delivers great photo ops. e atmospheric setting makes it perfect inspo for your feed, tankardstown.ie.
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE HOTEL BAR
What’s better than a colourful cocktail for your Instagram feed? A glamorous concoction shot in super-cool surrounds. It’s hard, then, to beat e Sidecar, the old- school-yet-super-cool bar in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel. A modern take on a 1930s cocktail bar, it’s all brass, mirrors and – our favourite – tuxedo-clad barmen! Factor in the killer cocktail list, and you’re looking at some seriously snap-worthy beverages (Wilde restaurant and the calming bedrooms are pretty on point too), doylecollection.com.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS Dublin’s Conrad Hotel raised its game this year with the launch of Lemuel’s, a light-filled bar named for Jonathan Swift’s character, Lemuel Gulliver, conradhotels3.hilton.com. Your phone will love the symmetry and simplicity of this subtly themed space, and the cocktails they x with air. (And wait until you spy e Coburg, the hotel’s photogenic brasserie.) Close by, guests at the InterContinental might make a beeline for the handsomely minimal ICE Bar, but serious snappers know the clubby vibes of the hotel’s Whiskey Bar make it the best looking drinking den around, intercontinentaldublin.ie.
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE VIEWS
Who doesn’t want a room with a view? Whether it’s a riverside retreat, lakeside bolthole or coastal hideaway, there’s nothing quite like breathtaking views to help recharge the batteries. The Cliff House Hotel, a boutique ve-star perched high on the cliffs in Ardmore, Co Waterford, overlooking the ocean, wins our vote for the most impressive views imaginable. Whether you’re dining, chilling in your room, or taking a seaweed bath on the spa terrace, everywhere delivers a soothing sea vista in this cleverly designed retreat, cliffhousehotel.ie.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS Killarney’sEuropeHotel, a slick ve-star landmark with knock-out views, sits on the banks of majestic Loch Le?in, Killarney’s largest lake. With waterside and mountain views, guests can enjoy the dramatic landscape, even while tucked up in luxury on a rainy day, theeurope.com. For something different, the dramatic forest and mountain setting of Wicklow envelops the swanky Powerscourt Hotel, offering some of the most soothing views in the country. Iconic Sugar Loaf delivers that money shot, with views from the top even better, powerscourthotel.com.
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE DÉCOR
Cue Ballyfin, a hotel so refined, so extraordinary, so beautiful that you will swoon in awe. e craftsmanship that brought this country pile back to life is unrivalled, and every tiny detail, from the stucco ceilings to the sweeping staircase, the rich fabrics to the dazzling art collection, is a triumph. Factor in awless ve-star service and a jaw-dropping Turner glass conservatory, and you’ll struggle to edit down your photos at this magnificent luxury hideaway, ballyfin.com.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS Serving up fun and frivolity, Belfast’s Merchant Hotel is a glorious riot of colour and opulence. A feast for the camera lens, the ve-star stunner serves up glam- deluxe, with colourful bedrooms, a luxurious bar, and dramatic gilded dining room. It’s the kind of eye candy Instagrammers can only dream of, themerchanthotel.com. Bellinter House in Co Meath is another noteworthy contender – a gorgeous country pile with a hipster’s heart, bellinterhouse.com. The rich palette, light-filled rooms, and witty details make it a gorgeous proposition for photographing.
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE BEDROOMS
Mix luxury, comfort and style with serious personality and you have all the ingredients for an Insta-star bedroom. Dublin’s Dean Hotel, on Harcourt Street, doesn’t just tick all these boxes, it takes things up a notch, with its moody palette, colourful accessories, cool furniture and quirky personal touches that make guests snap happy. e urban bolthole has buckets of attitude and personality, and you’ll find the ground floor bar and rooftop restaurant just as snap-able as your u?ber-cool bedroom, deandublin.ie.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS The pure minimalism of the Aran Islands’ Inis Meáin suites mightn’t suit everyone’s tastes, but we’re smitten by the refectory chic of this striking restaurant-with-rooms. Using natural materials, textures and clean lines to beautifully evoke the island landscape, it’s sure to have architecture and design aficionados photographing every angle of this edgy retreat, inismeain.com.
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE GROUNDS
The original Irish country house, Ballymaloe is the ultimate gourmet retreat, pioneering the farm-to-fork movement decades before it was in vogue. Set within a 300-acre organic farm that is the lifeblood of Ballymaloe Cookery School, it is one of just a few properties in the world that can o er such inspiration for holiday snaps. Fromfieldss full of vegetables to manicured topiary, orchards and animals, it’s a slice of East Cork that celebrates the best of the Irish countryside, ballymaloe.ie.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS Draw enviable comments with a photo feed full of Clare Island Lighthouse, understated luxury accommodation on Mayo’s Clare Island. e historic lighthouse, and Hidden Ireland bolthole, guarding Clew Bay will be the star of your holiday snaps, a unique retreat surrounded by rugged cliffs, crashing waves and sweeping sea views, clareislandlighthouse.com. Green-fingered guests may prefer the leafy enclaves of Wexford’s Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens, a beautifully restored country house in Campile, kilmokea.com. Open April to September, it’s set amidst seven acres of inspiring woodland, walled gardens, and owers worthy of your gigabytes. Not to mention the lovely accommodation. e ultimate reward for the dedicated Instagrammer? A tail swish from one of the property’s glorious peacocks.
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