Something catches my eye as I walk into our room at the Adare Manor. That is, something aside from the magnificent view through the period windows, walk-in wardrobe, ginormous bed and bedside tablets for all kinds of light mood settings – it’s not just ‘on and off’ here, folks.
At the top of the walls, carved in gold lettering is the Latin phrase Quae Sursum Volo Videre. “I wish to see what is beyond” we’re told it means, and this makes perfect sense throughout our stay. The premises has undergone an extensive reboot over a 22-month period and it is clear that no detail has been left unturned, from the extravagant interiors in the 104-bedroom hotel to the pristine golf course, Adare Manor has returned with a bang.
Our luxurious room is in the old manor and once recovered from the excitement of our stand-alone bathtub, luxury bath salts and all the other delights, we can’t help but take a quick nap in the enticing king-size bed – my cousin recovering from jet-lag, myself recovering from wine – before a treatment in the spa. Expertly located downstairs, the lift outside my room brings me directly there helping to avoid any awkward robe encounters on the way. They’ve finessed the La Mer treatments that are on offer too; my signature ‘Sleep Sound’ treatment includes the use of hot ogham stones that were found on the grounds during refurbishment. I leave feeling relaxed and with my own little bag of Ogham stones, a trademark ‘A’ on the bag in case I forget.
We’re booked in for dinner in the Oak Room that evening, but not before an aperitif in The Drawing Room; if we’re going to experience Adare Manor, we have to experience it right and a cocktail from the multi-award winning cocktail list is doing it right. The five-courses in the tasting menu at the Oak Room each come with three options to choose from; when my cousin informs the waitress that she doesn’t eat fish – a detail I failed to inform of when asked – she’s offered the option to pick a second meat option instead of her fish course, there’s no need for stress here.
Chef Michael Tweedie has everything covered in the kitchen – the food he serves is exciting, flavoursome and very well thought out and beautifully presented. The scallop with truffle was particularly memorable for me, but I could not fault anything I ate, and trust me, I tried. While we may have rolled out of there following an excessive amount of petit fours, the overall dining experience was an absolute delight from start to finish.
Hidden downstairs, The Tack Room offers a post-dinner digestif in a relaxed environment – luxury decor still very much intact though – and located so as noise levels don’t disturb guests. We discuss our likes and dislikes when it comes to drinks with our waitress before both choosing a gin-based drink that is served up in a suitably quirky glass, that we can’t help but love.
Suitably fed and watered to last us a good week, by the time we hit the pillow we’re out for the count – and there’s no judgement passed when we have to return to reception and confess that we both managed to leave our room keys in our room …
Breakfast is served in The Gallery the next morning, and while we really shouldn’t be eating any more food, everything that our waiter describes to us from homemade doughnuts to french toast sounds too delicious to turn down, and after very little coaxing we grab a plateful or probably one of everything on offer in no time; followed by a walk through the grounds to redeem ourselves.
While each room is extravagantly designed with large tapestries, art pieces and equally grand furniture to match and the details go above and beyond, one thing that doesn’t go unnoticed is the service. It’s easy to think that you might look out of place in Adare, the bathroom in our room is worth more than I’ll ever make in life – a lotto win could bring it close, though – but from the moment we pulled up to the gates of the grounds and were welcomed by the gate concierge we were instantly made to feel at home.
It’s evident that staff know what they’re doing, and considering there are over 200 employees here, that is an incredible feat. As begrudgingly say our goodbyes, we stop to chat with our friend at the gate. I ask if he would be willing to slit my tyre so I don’t have to leave just yet. “Ah, you should have asked me yesterday I would have sorted it out overnight for you!” Now that is service.
Feature Image: The Gallery at Adare Manor