Friday, 2 December 2011

Ireland's Blue Book 2012

This coming year Ireland's Blue Book will be joined by very unique & wonderful historical properties from the 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries of Irish history. These houses and castles are all independently owned and reflect a diversity of style and character.

Ballyfin Demesne, Co. Laois.

Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the centre of Ireland, Ballyfin is a place of history and romance, of tranquillity and great natural beauty.
The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a small country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

Beautiful Bedroom at Ballyfin
With only fifteen rooms for the 600 acre estate, it is the perfect place for a break from the stresses of the modern world and provides discretion and privacy like few other destinations.

Nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate is one of the last great Irish estates still in the hands of its founding family. The Leslie Family arrived in Ireland in the 16th Century and bought the Estate at that time. Today, it is led and managed by Sammy Leslie and governed by a Family Trust. The family considers itself to be guardians of the land and its overwhelming desire is to protect the Estate for future generations.
Located in Glaslough, Monaghan, Castle Leslie Estate is just 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 from Belfast. Following extensive restoration over the past decade, the Estate has been all but transformed to its original glory. Today, this luxury hotel boasts a variety of accommodation, dining options and a diverse range of on and off-site activities. 

Relax by the fire at Castle Leslie.
It is the perfect location for a romantic break, a family activity holiday or a business meeting or celebration. It is a magical and captivating setting for a special wedding celebration.

Montalto Estate, Co. Down. ( Private Hire Only)

Set in 400 acres of the beautiful County Down countryside, Montalto is easily accessible from both Belfast and Dublin International airports, proximate to some of the best golf and gardens on the island.  Yet this special hideaway is so private, it is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets with the world class services you would expect from the leading 5 star hotels. Montalto has been lovingly restored to its former Georgian glory by the Wilson family, under the guidance of Ireland’s foremost conservation architect, John O’Connell of Dublin. Magnificent art and carefully chosen antique furniture decorate the property while David Wilson, eldest son of the Wilson family and now owner of the estate, personally ensures that each visitor is welcomed as a special guest.
Montalto Estate is available for exclusive private hire for up to 9 individuals or 9 couples while each visit is tailored to match guests’ precise requirements as Lord or Lady of the Manor. At your service -- the attention of your personal butler, the skill of renowned chefs (featuring only the freshest, finest local ingredients) and the hands-on-management of one of Ireland’s respected hospitality professionals. 

Enjoying the library at Montalto Estate.
Guests may dine as formally or informally as they choose. In addition to the extensive selection of wines from four continents, Montalto also boasts an outstanding collection of Irish and Scottish whiskeys.

Ballyportry Castle, Co. Clare. ( Private Hire Only)

A Gaelic Tower House, built in the 15th century Ballyportry Castle has been beautifully restored with careful attention being paid to retaining all its original features and style, yet with the comforts of the 21st century.
This historic castle works very well for a family with teenage children and as an experience for an extended family gathering, or for a group of friends who are exploring the West of Ireland and the Burren landscape South of Galway Bay, between Connemara and Kerry.
The Gaelic Tower House of Ballyportry contains six bedrooms and two bathrooms with showers as well as a guest bathroom at the ground floor entrance. 

 Ballyportry sleeps between four and eight guests comfortably. All the furnishings reflect the time of late medieval Ireland, a time of hospitality, song, and poetry in Gaelic Tower Houses.

Order a free copy of Ireland's Blue Book here. Perfect to browse and plan your next trip while sitting by a cozy fire this winter.