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Ballyfin

Ballyfin

Built in the 1820’s, Ballyfin has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland. Here classical grandeur meets with a landscape of rolling hills, follies  and ancient grottoes in the magnificent property, set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Ballyfin has been designed as a home-away-from-home making the experience entirely intimate. Enjoy estate-grown food prepared by award-winning chefs, take part in wine & whiskey tastings in the cellar, enjoy treatments in the spa, swim, or simply spend an afternoon in the large library, finishing with a fireside cocktail in the Ballyfin Bar.

Rooms : 20 Luxury Bedrooms and Suites  Type: Couples, Active, Historic

OVERVIEW

Originally built in the 1820s, the house reopened in 2011, after eight years of restoration.  Today, it offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

From the enormous Saloon at the heart of the house, to the eighty-foot Library which runs the length of its south façade, the State Rooms make a glorious backdrop to a stay in the house.

The Library is perfect for whiling away a few hours with plenty of quiet corners for conversation. The estate’s stone walls enclose 614 acres of parkland, a lake and ancient woods, delightful garden buildings, follies and grottoes.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights include the walled garden with its formal borders and kitchen gardens, the abundant wildlife to be seen on early morning walks and the restored Edwardian rock garden.

Garden Walks

Exploring the Demesne is a delight – from the walled gardens; the fernery and the restored Edwardian rock garden; a stroll around the lake; discovering quiet bluebell glades and special areas of conservation; foraging for mushrooms and Autumn berries, or simply marveling at century-old trees and climbing the path to the tower, which is located at the highest point of the estate to enjoy stunning views.

 

Horse & Carriage

Step back in time and take a guided tour on a horse & carriage from the front
door. Explore the pathways of the Demesne with your guide highlighting it’s
fascinating history.

 

Ballyfin Picnic Experience

Enjoy a wonderful picnic basket to take with you choosing from magical locations including the grotto, temple, by the water cascade, top of the tower or by the lake.
Reserve the picnic house with stunning views, seclusion and privacy and enjoy a  picnic lunch set up for you and ready on your arrival.

 

History Tour

Take a guided tour of the house and learn of the history of the families that lived at Ballyfin, the restoration period and enjoy hearing about the history of each room and the antiques and art.

 

Costume Department

Visit the unique specially designed costume room to try on and choose costumes for a special evening of banquets and entertainment. With a stunning collection of period costumes from the Lyric Opera Company in Chicago and trained dressers o help, you will definitely look and feel the part.

ACCOMMODATION

Classic Room

These include The Lady Sarah Pole room which has beautiful views over the Pleasure Ground and Cascade. The room retains its corner fireplace with an attractively carved rosette and the original grate. Over this is hung a touching late-Georgian portrait of a lady by the eighteenth-century Irish artist Thomas Hickey.

Deluxe Rooms

Deluxe rooms are sumptuously decorated with unique features. You might fine a room adorned with 17th Century tapestries, artwork and antiques or specially commissioned wall paintings. With views over the lake and lawns, your stay will be unforgettable.

Staterooms

The Westmeath, one of Ballyfin’s beautiful Staterooms evokes the character of the early 18th Century. It is exquisitely decorated in richly patterned wallpaper with a wonderfully carved French bed positioned prominently in the centre of room.

Suites

The Suites at Ballyfin, the suite enjoys a handsome sitting room, its curved windows looking out to beautiful views over the fountain and the Pleasure Grounds. The decorative theme of the suite is determined by a series of eighteenth-century Chinese wallpaper panels, formerly in the collection of the Prince of Hanover at Schloss Marienburg. Many of the furnishings are complementary in the style of Chinese Chippendale.

DINING

At Ballyfin the architectural splendour of the rooms and their historical resonances combine with the food to make for truly memorable dining experiences.

Enjoy the grandeur of the State Dining Room and the Van Der Hagen Room.Downstairs the Cellar Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere and informal setting and provides the opportunity to enjoy a more casual dinner experience.

Private dining can be arranged in the Porcelain Room lined with the famous ‘Flora Danica’ set of china or in the atmospheric Wine Cellar.  At Ballyfin the architectural splendour of the rooms and their historical resonances combine with the food to make for truly memorable dining experiences.

ACTIVITIES

Enjoy an array of activities at Ballyfin. Open to residents only, it is very easy to get away from everything as you explore and in just a short distance from the house you can truly feel “lost in nature”.

Horse and Carriage

Step back in time and take a guided tour on a horse & carriage from the front door. Explore the pathways of the Demesne with your guide highlighting it’s fascinating history.

Coarse Fishing

Enjoy a few hours of fishing on the lake which has a large stock of roach and pike.

Boating on the lake

Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the 28 acre lake or relax and enjoy the scenery while the Butler takes you out!

Falconry

An exhilarating experience with amazing birds of prey. Enjoy private and personal Falconry demonstration and hands-on experience using trained Harris Hawks, Peregrines, Eagle Owls and other birds of prey.

Gaelic Games and tennis

The Ballyfin Butlers will be delighted to give an introduction to two Gaelic Games – Football and Hurling. They will teach you some of the basic skills and rules of these very exciting and uniquely Irish sports. Alternatively enjoy a game of tennis on the beautifully appointed courts.

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Perfect your aim, time your shots and let the competitive streak in you shine.

Air Rifle Target Shooting

Using the most advanced pre-charged air rifles on the 50m range, your instructor will guide you in the skill of precision shooting.

Archery

Despite its medieval origins, archery has now been developed into a high-tech and highly competitive sport. Using the very latest equipment guests are taught the skills required to strike gold on the competition shoot.

Horse Riding & Riding Lessons

With 614 acres to explore, horse riding around the Demesne is a wonderful experience. Experienced riders will guide you around the Demesne, trekking by the tower and lake, deep into the grounds. Horse riding lessons in the paddock can also be arranged.

Swimming Pool, Vitality Pool and Sauna, Gym and Spa

Swim laps, enjoying water exercises or simply relax, in the 14m heated indoor pool, overlooking the courtyard, invigorating vitality pool and sauna. Enjoy the fitness suite and professional Spa treatments.

HOLIDAY IDEAS / SAMPLE ITINERARIES

See below some itinerary ideas that can include Ballyfin.

Incredible Ireland

  • "Once in a lifetime, elegant beyond description"

    Joanna Heathcote Educational Trip

  • "This gem feels like a different world, definitely for people who crave authentic Ireland."

    Joanna Heathcote Educational Trip

  • "Perfect spot for golfers and the hotel is beautiful"

    Joanna Heathcote Educational Trip

 

ACCOMMODATION COLLECTION


Glenapp Castle

Sunday Times “Best Places to Stay Hotel” 2020

As you sweep up the long tree clad drive you will glimpse the beautiful façade of Glenapp Castle; encapsulating the romance of the Scottish Baronial style with magical towers, turrets, and crenellations. Oak panelled halls lead to the heart of the castle offering stunning views out to sea and the famous volcanic outcrop of Ailsa Craig. Beyond that you can see the Isle of Arran, Holy Island, and, on a clear day, the hills of Northern Ireland. Also available for exclusive use.

Rooms : 17 individually designed rooms with stunning views

Type : Couples, Families, Outdoor Actives, Golfers


Ashford Castle

The magnificent five star Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib. With 82 guest rooms, a wealth of activities and thoughtful touches, enjoy acclaimed Irish hospitality on a grand scale. The Castle dates back to 1228 when it was originally founded by the Anglo-Norman De Burgo family, later becoming the family home of the famous Guinness family whose name is now synonymous with the Emerald Isle.

Rooms : 82 Bedrooms.  Type : Couples, Families, Outdoor Active, Golf

 


Corinthia London

Rooms: 225 rooms, 51 suite, 7 penthouses          Type: Couples, family, city break, wellness

View entire accommodation collection

Ballyfin, Co Laois, Ireland

  • "Incredible service ! The BEST tour guides, tour options and always available to help smooth over any "snafus" that we ran across during our vacation. 5-star, A+ rating from us."

    Clients of Jessica Thompson, Fairway Travel, Virtuoso

  • "....their time in the U.K. was PERFECT – loved everything you guys did for them, and sang praises for everyone! Thank you!! "

    Connie Hanes, Herff Travel

  • "Everyone, from the Tour Guides to our excellent driver, were amazing. All aspects of the trip were beyond expectations. Even changing our day schedule for outside reasons (like the airline sending my bag to a city 120miles away) they were always happy to help and move the schedule around so we could keep enjoying our trip. Everyone made us feel at home and like family."

    Client of Leah Molinari, Molinari Travel, Gifted Travel Network

  • "Dream Escape was the trip of a lifetime. Excellent choice of hotels, tour guide was awesome, the planned tours were wonderful and very informative."

    Client of Trisha Rathke, VIP Travel Designs, Gifted Travel Network

  • "Dreamscape designed an itinerary that combined an exploration of Scottish history and culture and a visit to some of the filming locations for the hit TV show Outlander. The tour guides provided were personable and knowledgeable and responsive to our interests. Our driver who was with us for the entire trip was professional and pleasant and again, flexible and sensitive to our interests. The hotels were magnificent and the pacing of the trip, spending at least two nights in each hotel was perfect. The itinerary was everything we wanted!"

    Client of Susan Morley, Journeys around the World, Cadence

  • "Sally Strange was wonderful so knowledgable, friendly and fun. 100% would use her services again. We feel like we have a friend for life! We LOVED our tours, where we ate lunch, and spending the days with Sally......Thanks (once again!) for looking after our clients so well. We so appreciate you. "

    Lauren Ainsley, Black Tomato

  • "Rosie...thank you for giving us such a world-class experience in Scotland. Everyone had such a wonderful time and your presence was a large part of that. Your warmth and generosity in taking care of us on our little excursion is so beyond appreciated and I can’t wait to work with you again soon."

    Alex Martinetti

  • "Thank you so very much for the amazing trip to Scotland that you planned for us!! It was truly a once in a lifetime fabulous family trip!! Not only were the accommodations perfect, the activities were above expectations, given the people involved with so much knowledge and compassion for what they do....Many, many heartfelt thanks for making this trip so very special for our family. "

    Clients of Kristen Meckem, Kristen Meckem Travel, An Affiliate of Brownell

  • "I work regularly with Michael Davies, who I can not praise enough! Michael is a gem to work with and always delivers extraordinary client itineraries. "

    Jennifer McCrea, Boutique Travel Advisors

  • "We cannot thank you enough for all you did for us during our stay in Scotland! We loved every minute of it....and we loved you teaching us the history of each town and visit. "

    The Pogue Family - Clients of Amy Spence, Strong Travel

  • "We are so grateful for professionalism, expertise, and purely fun personality to entertain and educate our clients in all things royal! I do believe it was a smashing success. 😊"

    Pat Bowden, Red Letter Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell

  • "Michael does such an outstanding job with making sure every itinerary he works on with me is well thought out. He is attentive to detail and always allows for the clients interest to be reflected in their tours. He makes sure that the perfect tour operator and chauffeur is paired with each client. I wanted you to know what a pleasure it is working with Michael and knowing my clients will always be well cared for when traveling with Dream Escape! "

    Jennifer McCrea, Boutique Travel Advisors

  • "Without a doubt, what made all of it so special and unforgettable was having the true pleasure of having Sally Strange as our guide. She was truly incredible..so full of life, energy, amazing historical knowledge anywhere we visited was extraordinary. Her sense of humor and fun personality made her extra special. Sally was a winner in every way."

    Clients of Betsy Talbot, Travel by Talbot (Brownell)

  • "Your team excelled on all levels! The execution of the itinerary was flawless!!! Well done. The clients LOVED Sally and this was just the second note from them about how exceptional she was. "

    Cathy Major, Cerulean World Travel

  • "I just wanted to send an e-mail to compliment the excellent service I have received with Susie Little. She has been absolutely wonderful to work with. She is quick to respond, easily answers all of our questions, and has had to be patient with my clients as we have made many changes and updates to the itinerary. I really appreciate all of her hard work and the beautiful itinerary she put together for my clients. They said they were in AWE and everything looked fabulous! Thank you for providing such excellent service and I look forward to working with you in the near future! Thank you so much!"

    Krista Boyles, Unique Romance Travel

  • "I want to extend my deepest gratitude for your incredible work on this project, we really could not have gotten it across the finish line without you and your team 😊"

    Marieta Carrrero, Boost Journeys

  • "I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone at Dream Escape who helped in making the Gialamas' visit to London special. I know Dream Escape has many people behind the scenes that work on making an itinerary such as this flow seamlessly and I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work! "

    Jennifer McCrea, Boutique Travel Advisors

  • "Activities & Tours - All the events and guides were outstanding.- Guides - Simply the best. All of them. All outstanding! "

    Black Tomato Clients

  • "Thank you for everything you did to make the entire trip, special presentations and events so special. It has added a sparkle in my life!"

    Gretchen Ashworth Stewart, Client

  • "Dream Escape, to no one’s surprise, is the best in the business. I cannot begin to thank you for crafting a perfect vacation for these clients. They had nothing but fabulous things to say about each and every event."

    Nancy Ebel, Virtuoso Travel Advisor

  • "Couldn’t have asked for a better 1st trip to London!......The sites we saw were the best & Sally, you went above & beyond to make it memorable"

    Shannon Marie Long - Reed and Mackay

  • "Delightful to spend time and see the incredible city of London with you all. Dream Escape for a flawless job in seeing the best bespoke sites, Sally you are amazing. Thank you again as this was amazing"

    Josh Whitaker - Owner, Rudi Steele Travel

  • "Probably the best of the best in the UK and Ireland for organising amazing trips. They know their stuff, have fantastic relationships with suppliers and always go the extra mile."

    Rob Arrow, Al Tayyar Group

  • "Lovely suite. Fabulous private tours. Everything has exceeded our expectations. "

    William A Heim, Client

  • "I had the most wonderful time with you and learned so much...What you offer is rare and much needed in the truly exclusive travel world. "

    Jean Newman-Glock, Signature Travel Network

  • "You were the heart and soul of the trip….I truly admired your sunny personality, sense of humor, organization and professionalism.  You also demonstrated  that a guide’s work is never done as you were constantly researching….. Did you ever rest??? "

    Sharon Delano, Frosch

  • "We want to thank you and the team from Dream Escape.  All six of us in our group had a wonderful time, and we all agreed we owed that in large measure to the work of Dream Escape. From the onset of working with you, you demonstrated a tremendous knowledge about all the activities we wished to pursue —from playing golf to dining at excellent restaurants to seeing historical sites and the Tattoo and Fringe Festival.  And, then you executed "

    Thomas Cohen, Client

  • "THANK YOU a zillion times over for choosing/assigning Rosie to be with this family.  She MADE the trip for them – there’s no other way to put it! "

    Jill Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "Our holiday in Scotland now tops their lists of best trips…… To their growing list of amazing and memorable first-time experiences, our sons may add fishing for trout and salmon on the River Tay; steering a motor boat on Loch Ness; and taking private guided tours on Culloden Moor Of the eight full days we were in Scotland, Alex and Mattie thought each and every day was the best"

    Michael Guadarrama & Trammi Nguyen, clients of Peter Carideo. CRC Travel

  • "All six of us were deeply moved by the whole experience. Bravo Dream Escape "

    Max Levy, Direct client

  • "Thank you Karen and all of the staff and guides affiliated with Dream Escape…..the Flemings are having an awesome tour of Scotland. You all have made me look like a star! "

    Joni Gerace, The Travel Society, LLC

  • "Thanks for all your help and we can chalk this one up as a big success!   Our anniversary celebration was all we could have hoped for "

    Clients of Courtney Regan, Affiliate of Brownell Travel

  • "Rosie was MORE than outstanding – she went out of her way to help us in every regard...She was so knowledgeable – we all loved her"

    Jill A. Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "I cannot thank you, Nicola and all the Dream Escape “clan” for the wonderful care & attention you have provided, and are providing for my clients"

    Cindy Evans, Travel Consultant

  • "I hope I have another opportunity to work with Dream Escape in the near future. The company is so professional, yet approachable and easy to work with. It has been a pleasure!"

    Carole McFarland, Universal Travel

  • "Dream Escape is delivering in a superb manner. Jim Johnston is a great driver and one of the best guides we've had - I wish to very much thank the Dream Escape Team for fulfilling a Dream…"

    Donald M. Davis, President, Luxury Travel, Inc.

  • "Thank you all so much it's great to have trusted friends on the ground to take care of our clients!"

    Peter Carideo, CRC Travel

  • "The trip was great.... Dream Escape is the name of the game"

    Ann Lipschitz, Worldview Travel

  • "Your level of service is just outstanding"

    Debra Fini, VWTI

  • "Dream Escape don’t just organise trips – they create adventures"

    Financial Times, How to Spend it

  • "It was, without doubt, one of the most spectacular weekends I have ever had"

    Country Life

  • "David Tobin’s an ace at getting inside private castles and estates and he’s well connected.... "

    Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

  • "The level of service they provide is outstanding. They truly care about every aspect of the trip to ensure you have a fantastic stay. Rosie is a hidden gem of a tour guide. Just fabulous."

    Yvonne Malka, Signature Travel Network, April 2018