Set in one of Ireland’s areas of outstanding beauty, Adare Manor looks forward to welcoming back guests soon and, in the longer term, to hosting golf’s most prestigious international tournament – the Ryder Cup in 2026. By Selma Day

Adare Manor may be closed now due to the Covid-19 crisis, but when life gets back to normal, the future looks bright, not only for this luxury hotel – set in one of Ireland’s most stunning and unspoilt locations – but for the entire region. In 2026, its 18-hole championship golf course will play host to one of the biggest tournaments in the sporting calendar – the Ryder Cup.

The opportunity to host such a prestigious event will be a dream come true for Adare Manor’s owner JP McManus – known as “Ireland’s golden boy”. When the local businessman (born in nearby Limerick) and racehorse owner bought the hotel in 2014, securing the tournament was part of a legacy he wanted to leave for his family and for his country.

At the official launch in April 2018, two of Europe’s most experienced touring professionals, Padraig Harrington and Paul McKinley, teamed up with fellow Irish legends Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry to hit the inaugural tee shots at a ceremonial four-ball exhibition match that raised £500,000 for charity.

Adare Manor lies at the heart of the pretty village of Adare – just 25 minutes from Shannon Airport. Its story began eight centuries ago when the original manor was granted to a Norman knight, while a monastic community was established on the nearby riverbanks. From the 17th century to the 1980s, the manor was home to ten generations of the Quin family, including the seventh Earl of Dunraven.

In 1832, the 2nd Earl and his countess, Lady Caroline, started work on a new Gothic Revival mansion at Adare. The building was completed 30 years later by their son Edwin, the 3rd Earl. In 2016, McManus initiated a no-expenses-spared renovation of the existing mansion, along with the construction of a new wing and the hotel reopened in 2017.

In 2018, a clubhouse known as the Carriage House opened. Designed by David Collins Studio as a contemporary interpretation of a traditional golf clubhouse. It comprises a grill restaurant, bar and lounge, spacious glazed terrace, cigar lounge and private dining chamber.

Adare Manor has 104 guest rooms, varying from the new rooms in the West Wing to the original Victorian suites in the Manor House. The decoration is the work of London-based Kim Partridge Interiors. While keeping the old-school charm, the interiors are designed to be comfortable with all the modern luxuries you would expect of a five-star hotel. Lavish marble bathrooms feature a double sinks, rainfall shower, separate bath, his and her bathrobes and slippers (and for the kids too), complete with Aqua di Parma amenities.

The house is on an 842-acre estate surrounded by beautifully manicured lawns, with sculptures dotting the landscape, including acclaimed Irish artist Patrick O’Reilly’s 4.5 metre-high bronze of a giant bear, and a cedar tree overlooking the River Maigue that is said to date from 1645.

The spa is in a secluded underground sanctuary. It boasts five treatment rooms offering face and body treatments using the Rolls Royce of skincare products, Creme de la Mer. There’s also a fitness centre, hair salon and manicure and pedicure stations, relaxation area and indoor pool.

Set to debut in the autumn is a new activity centre, the Padel Club, which will feature two padel tennis courts, gym and pilates and yoga studio. A large infinity pool leading to a hydro pool will be surrounded by a steam room, sauna, tropical rain shower and seating area. There will also be a simulation room where guests will be able to take golf lessons, practise their putting or play family games.

On the food front, there’s plenty to choose from. For fine dining by candlelight, there’s the Michelin-starred Oak Room restaurant, where head chef Michael Tweedie serves fine, delicate plates of food using fresh, artisan produce from Irish suppliers, alongside foraged plants and herbs from the estate. Dishes are paired with wine, curated by head of wine and beverage Jurica Gojevic (Michelin Sommelier Award winner 2020). Be sure to ask Jurica for a tour of the original cellars at Adare Manor, which house over 650 bottles of wine.

For a more relaxed experience, try the restaurant at the Carriage House. Here, you’ll find lighter dishes for lunch, while the dinner menu spotlights heartier favourites showcasing locally farmed produce.

Overlooking the gardens is The Drawing Room, the perfect spot for a coffee, light lunch or an aperitif before dinner, while The Tack Room – an underground drinking den – is where to go if you want to enjoy a fancy cocktail or whiskey (it houses over 100 rare quality bottles).

For breakfast (and afternoon tea), you’ll rarely find a more magnificent setting than The Gallery – the second longest in Ireland. Whether you’re having the full English or a coffee and croissant, being surrounded by soaring arched ceilings, stained glass windows and ancient carvings is an experience you won’t forget.

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