On the west coast of Ireland, overlooking Cashel Bay, sits Cashel House. This 50 acre estate, in Connemara, County Galway, in the heart of Ireland National Park, has been welcoming guests for a long, long time; over 50 years by the McEvilly family. The four star family-run, historic hotel, built in the 1700’s, is a garden lover’s delight and ideal for those looking to relax in a gracious country house. For equestrians like myself, you’ll be able to ride a Connemara pony on the beach!
While her training was as a nurse, owner Kay McEvilly has hospitality in her blood. The unassuming host was at first a reluctant hotelier, as Cashel House was her husband’s passion and vision. However, Kay is now the keeper of the manor, along with her son Frank and a welcoming staff. As Kay showed me into some of the 30 bedrooms and suites, she sprinkled the conversation with a little background on some of the prior guests. Mr. Steven Spielberg stayed here when he was writing some of his films, as well as movie stars Julia Roberts and Daniel Day Lewis. In fact, Day Lewis and his wife are frequent visitors – having named one of their son’s Cashel, after Cashel House.
Our room, a mini garden suite, (priced at €190 with breakfast and tax,) was flooded in natural light, and, as the name implies, this room looks out to one of many gardens on the property. Standard rooms have twin or queen beds, all decorated in an Irish country house style. In addition to several pet-friendly rooms, and family-friendly rooms, there are two Master Seaview Suites offering wonderful views of Cashel Bay. All rooms include television, bathrobes, complimentary mineral water, tea & coffee making and evening bed turndown service. My favorite feature of this wonderful hotel room – a warm hot water bottle left under the sheets at night – fabulous!
Kay has the green thumb in the family. With 30+ acres devoted to the gardens on this 200 acre property, you’ll have plenty of room to roam. You’ll see four champion trees on the property, including a tulip Magnolia, Parrotia (Iran Iron Tree) and the Ragged Robin, which typically grows four feet tall, while this one is 70 feet tall. Meander further along the foot path to the Secret Garden, in memory of Kay’s sister.
Farm to table dining
After a day of horseback riding on Connemara ponies or a round of golf at Connemara Golf Club, you’ll be ready for afternoon tea or dinner. The five course dinner, priced at €55.00 per person during our visit, featured locally sourced meats and seafood served on fine bone china. If you enjoy rack of lamb, cross your fingers that Connemara lamb is on the evening menu.
Breakfast, a full Irish affair, offered farm raised eggs, house made ham and fresh baked pastries among other items, served in the light-filled conservatory. Breakfast is served from 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Lunch, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Dinner 7:00 to 8:45 p.m.
Need to know:
Cashel House is closed from January 5 – February 10 each year. In addition to garden tours and guided walks of the area, guests are welcome to visit with their pets.
Rates range from €80 to €140 per person sharing per night, plus tax. Special packages are offered for 3 day stays. Dinner may be included in the hotel package. Room 18 and 21 are family-friendly. Cashel House, an Historic Hotel member, is a founding member of Ireland’s Blue Book and is featured in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
Be sure to visit to Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden. This is the number one must-see attraction in West Ireland. Have a walk around the lake and purchase the wonderful chocolate made by the nuns in the Benedictine Community. For more information on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way click here. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and @Cashel House Hotel on Twitter.
If You Go:
Cashel House Hotel
Connemara, County Galway, Ireland
Cashel House Hotel review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Cashel House while visiting Ireland.