On the bank of the Maigue River in Limerick County, Ireland, you will find mythical Adare Manor, one of Europe’s finest luxury hotels. Acquired by local magnate J.P. McManus, this sumptuous resort was completely restored and remodeled to offer 104 luxury rooms, an exclusive golf course designed by Tom Fazio, an event hall for 350 people, private theatre, and spa area.
The original palace was built in the first half of the 18th century by Windham Henry Quin, the second Earl of Dunraven, whose vision was to build a “calendar house,” representing elements of the calendar year, while also featuring the most opulent and lavish details.
Designed in the neo-gothic style by James Pain and George Richard Henry with masonry by James Connolly, Adare Manor makes clear references to the calendar year with its 365 windows (the number of days in a year), 52 fireplaces (the number of weeks in a year), seven pillars (a nod to the days of the week) and four towers (the seasons). The most striking section of the palace is its gigantic gallery, 132 feet long and 26.5 feet high, inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. This splendid castle and its 840 acres of park were finally inaugurated in 1860.
The property remained in the family for more than 100 years before it was purchased by a European investment consortium. In the 1980s it became a luxury hotel and golf course that has hosted celebrities such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tiger Woods and U.S. President Bill Clinton, among others.
In 2014, the property was acquired by Irish tycoon J.P. McManus for an estimated $35 million. A year later, the new owner decided to embark on the most important improvements in the history of Adare Manor.
A west wing was added, bringing the original 64 rooms up to 104. All rooms have the same classic style that is characteristic of the palace, but with state-of-the-art technological advances, such as entertainment systems that memorize each guest’s preferences, functional lighting with motion sensors, and electronic keys that can be synchronized to guest’s cell phones.
The resort’s modernization also included the addition of an event hall with a 350-person capacity, a private 28-seat cinema and a spa area with heated pool and stunning views of the Maigue River.
General remodeling was entrusted to the prestigious ReardonSmith Architects, while the modernization of the golf course was carried out by the renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio. Interior decoration is the work of Richmond Studio, responsible for the Moscow Four Seasons, among other projects.
Perhaps the most important part of this process from a historical conservation perspective, is the restoration of wooden moldings, marble, decorative objects and original antique furniture dating from the 14th century onward.
Thanks to Adare Manor’s bucolic location, they offer many activities of all kinds. Visitors can view the 14th-century ruins and enjoy falconry, hunting, archery, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, and trips to nearby towns like Limerick or Adare.
Given its romantic history, its undeniable beauty, state-of-the-art technology and services, Adare Manor is without a doubt one of the best luxury hotels in Europe. ■