This story originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
Following a 21-month renovation, we took a sneak peek at Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland, during the grand reopening, and it was certainly worth the wait. The former seat of the Earl of Dunraven, Adare was built in 1832 and still has remnants of the original structure. The renovation includes a brand new 42-bedroom wing, a grand ballroom, and a redesigned golf course by the renowned Tom Fazio, but what struck us most was the minute attention to detail. From the hand-painted gold-leaf ceilings, the coat of arms representing the Dunraven family, and the medieval creatures carved in oak panels (Adare means ‘ford of the oak’), you can really feel the history running through the manor.
The manor stands on the banks of the River Maigue (the Lady Caroline suite has superb views—keep your eyes peeled for the family of otters frolicking in the river), and the estate’s 842-acre grounds are peppered with ruins and perfect for country pursuits like archery, clay pigeon shooting, horseback riding and fishing. We particularly love falconry with handlers Willie and Susan—get acquainted with the beautiful birds: Olaf (named after the Frozen character and a dead ringer for Harry Potter’s Hedwig), Tiny (who has ‘small bird syndrome’), the manor’s majestic but terrifying bald eagle, American eagle and African fish eagle. Or, head a little further out to Adare Village, where you can pop into one of the boutiques or pubs, all housed in original thatch-roof cottages.
After a day exploring, enjoy a six-course tasting menu at Adare’s Oak Room. Request a table on the terrace—a romantic hideaway crowned by monastery-esque vaulted stone ceilings. Plus, if you need to lick your plate no one will know, and trust us, you’re going to want to. For post-dinner drinks, visit the Tack Room. Revamped by David Collins Studio, it was originally a place for the Dunraven family’s servants to socialize. That relaxed vibe remains, just with added plush decor and over 100 rare whiskies.
For the morning after, head to the La Mer spa for a Miracle Broth treatment—90 blissful minutes of deep cleansing, exfoliating and a serum-soaked tissue mask to drench your skin and leave you looking radiant. Miraculous indeed.