The charming 18th-century manor-house hotel at the five-star Castlemartyr Resort is just a twenty-minute drive from the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Cork, yet nestles amidst 220 acres of breathtaking countryside; with woodland, rolling meadows and a glistening lake providing the idyllic backdrop for this heavenly retreat.
Steeped in history, the magnificent hotel stands adjacent to eight-hundred year-old castle ruins, originally built by knights under Richard Earl de Clare. The charming manor-house has been beautifully restored and enhanced to offer 103 elegant rooms and suites, boasting luxurious furnishings, Italian linens and high-tech flourishes such as touch-panel control for lighting and drapes.
With an inland links-style golf course designed by Ron Kirby, fabulous wining and dining, a host of resort activities and an incredible spa, the resort is popular with couples, families and groups alike. Its combination of innovative interior design and world-class facilities has attracted celebrities who, I’m told, enjoyed the most opulent of all the suites - the Presidential - with its silk-lined bedroom walls, private sauna and sumptuous living areas.
There’s something for everyone at this Irish gem; with a host of activities including clay pigeon shooting, archery, croquet, strolls through the woodland trails with the adorable resort dogs Earl and Countess, boating on the lake and pony and trap rides around the vast estate. Weekend visitors can step back in time and trace the steps of Sir Walter Raleigh with a tour around the ancient castle ruins and manicured gardens, whilst children are treated like little lords and ladies of the manor, with their own Kids Zone packed full of activities. For adventure-seekers, outdoor pursuits including fishing, sailing, nature tours and quad biking are all available nearby and the concierge team are only too happy to assist in making arrangements for you.
Spa enthusiasts will be in seventh-heaven in the peaceful surroundings of The Spa at Castlemartyr; a 24,400 square foot state-of-the-art wellness centre. If you’re after a pampering sojourn, choose from the extensive range of treatments, such as the signature Gaelic Escape massage, which use the exclusive Anne Sémonin product range. The stylish treatment rooms induce total relaxation, with two being designed especially for couples to enjoy a massage together – the perfect prop for rekindling the romance in your relationship! Guests can also enjoy swimming in the ozone-treated pool, relaxing in the sauna and steam room, taking yoga or Pilates classes or simply soaking up the views from the comfort of a poolside day bed.
Gourmets will adore the elegant Bell Tower restaurant with its exquisite locally-sourced seasonal menu, impressive wine list and breathtaking views of the manicured grounds. Dress to impress when you head down for dinner though, as in these surroundings, you definitely don’t want to feel underdressed. There’s a fashionable bar where you can enjoy an aperitif and the grand piano in the hall can be heard over the early evening chatter. For more casual dining, the contemporary Clubhouse offers tempting dishes and a fantastic kids menu in a less formal setting, with stunning views over the golf course from the huge panoramic window.
Castlemartyr Resort is a perfect base from which to explore the delights of Cork City and the beautiful South East of Ireland. You’ll find ten Blue Flag beaches in the area, as well as quaint fishing villages and harbours which are famed hotspots for whale-watching. The vibrant city centre offers the best of designer shopping and boasts the only Brown Thomas – Ireland’s leading department store - outside of Dublin. There are a host of not-to-be-missed sights as well, including the legendary Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, The Titanic Trail at Cobh where the famous ship last docked and whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery.
With easy International access via Cork Airport, as well as great motorway links from Dublin, Castlemartyr Resort is ideally positioned for discovering this breathtaking region of Ireland. There are also direct ferries to Cork from the UK for those on a touring holiday.
For reservations or more information, please visit www.castlemartyrresort.ie, or call +00 353 214 219000.