Review: Mount Juliet Estate Kilkenny, Ireland

mount juliet estate, kilkenny, ireland, kilkenny hotel, luxury hotel kilkenny
Mount Juliet Estate in Kilkenny, Ireland. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

You may be able to spot someone fly fishing off the banks of the River Nore, or riding an Irish Cob along a tree-lined path. But what may surprise you is that the former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, might be the one holding the fishing pole or Bruce Springsteen might be the guy hanging with the horses. Mount Juliet Estate is the ideal escape for those seeking to slow down and relax a little bit.

Located one hour from Dublin, the 32 bedroom manor house is a luxury lodging destination built in 1757 in Kilkenny, Ireland. The manor house rooms, rose garden lodges and Hunter’s yard rooms all harkon back to the 18th century when Somerset Butler and his bride Juliette moved into the stately manor house. Designed during the Georgian era, the hotel rooms are large and bright with elegant features and Georgian styling, yet offer modern amenities such as complimentary wifi, cable tv and in-room safe. My husband was grateful for the in-room coffee maker, as not every Irish hotel offers this option.

mount juliet estate, river view king room, kilkenny luxury hotel room, ireland
Riverview king looks out to River Nore. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Our room, The Earl of Carrick, named for his patronage of “Captain” James Freney, a highwayman sometimes described as Ireland’s Robin Hood, offered a view of the River Nore with a king bed, walk in closet and huge bathroom with bath and separate shower. I also loved the heated towel rack. One of my favorite amenities in the room were the products from The Handmade Soap Company with scents of cedarwood and lemongrass. The potions, crafted in Slane Village from County Meath, Ireland, were so intoxicating that I smuggled some home in my carry on luggage.

swimming pool, indoor pool, mount juliet, kilkenny, ireland
Swim in the indoor pool or relax at the spa. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

While some guests might be content to float in the indoor pool or relax in the spa, my husband and I opted for an active adventure vacation for baby boomers. He golfed on the Jack Nicklaus champion golf club – don’t worry if you aren’t traveling with clubs, they have loaner sets available. I opted to go horseback riding with Mount Juliet Equestrian Centre. Read my complete review of the equestrian center here. Additionally there is fishing on the River Nore, archery, a beautiful garden (take your picture in the Chinese Moon Gate for good luck) falconry and miles of walking trails around the estate – so much history here.

READ  Paws Up: American West Luxury in Montana
jack nicklaus golf course, mount juliet golf, fairway, kilkenny, ireland
Jack Nicklaus designed golf course.

After a full day of outdoor activities, we popped in to the Majors Bar, named after former residents Major Dermot McCalmont and Major General Sir Hugh McCalmont, followed by a fine dining experience at the Manor House. The Lady Helen is a Michelin Star restaurant under the direction of Chef Ken Harker. While we enjoyed a fabulous dinner of scallops, veal sweatbread, quail and local fish, it was the chocolate “Namelaka” raspberry sorbet and compressed streusel that had me licking my lips.

Breakfast is served from 7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Afternoon tea is served from 1 p.m.-4:45 p.m. daily. The property is not pet-friendly, however, there are local kennels available.

irish breakfast, mount juliet, kilkenny hotel, ireland
Full Irish breakfast photo © Nancy D. Brown

Need to know:

Rates start from Low Season €185BB to High Season €475BB at the Manor House. Our riverview king rented for 300€, including breakfast, during our March visit. As always, check the website for current pricing and special offers. Mount Juliet Estate is a member of Virtuoso, Signature Travel Network, Kiwi Network and Ireland’s Blue Book.

Check in: 4:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.

john duggan, falconry, harris hawk, mount juliet, ireland
John Duggan falconry demonstration with his Harris Hawk. Hawk photo courtesy Nancy D. Brown

Insider tip:

One of the coolest activities we did during our entire visit to Ireland was an experience with Hawkeye Falconry. John Duggan has had a fascination with birds of prey since childhood. Duggan introduces manor guests to the ancient sport of kings like no other. We began with Harris hawks demonstrating their keen hunting skills, experienced a hawk landing on a gloved fist and were able to handle an adorable owl, all while capturing the encounter on camera. For more information on falconry, visit the website. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and @MountJuliet on Twitter and @MountJuliet on Instagram.

If You Go:

Mount Juliet Estate 353 56 777 3000
Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland

Mount Juliet review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Mount Juliet Estate while visiting County Kilkenny, Ireland.

READ  Inn at Dos Brisas, Luxury Ranch Resort in Texas Hill Country