At first sight, The Cliff House Hotel leaves an impression on you and a really good one at that. Overlooking the sea, it’s a stylish, cascading hotel where modern terraces, gardens and balconies seem literally to trickle down the cliffs.
The 2.5 hour drive from Dublin quickly evaporated into a distant memory as we settled into the bar for some hearty lunchtime seafood chowder, over floor-to-ceiling views of the Celtic Sea.
Room to book
Any room, as they all have magnificent sea views. My room, a suite set on two levels, is “contemporary Irish” – stylish and comfortable but not too cool. The large, funky bathroom is a joy with a bath plus a double shower, edging onto a private veranda.
The king sized bed is made for an undisturbed slumber, and I loved the tasteful touches of “Irish” here and there – Donegal Tweed throws on the bed and a giant piece of art, commissioned locally for each room (in my case a two metre high arrangement of hurleys mounted on canvas).
More on the room in the video below with a full room tour!
Foodies will be right at home with the One Star Michelin menu at the hotel’s ‘House’ restaurant. I didn’t get to try it as it was closed the night I stayed (its open Wednesday to Saturday), but the bar food menu has a full restaurant offering, offering local, seasonal ingredients and lots of sea food. Two of us ate a starter and main each, shared a dessert and had two drinks each and the bill came in at €115.
The pamper factor
The Well spa and small-size indoor pool sit in the basement, with wall to wall glass that offers that sea view while you swim (again – it’s one of the best features of the hotel). A must-try treatment is the outdoor bathing experience for two – soak in a hot bath tub infused withVoya seaweed – champagne optional! (45-60 minutes €35 per person, sans champers).
The Jacuzzi, sauna, gym and pool are free to use while treatments include Voya for seaweed baths and Anne Semonin for skincare. Reflexology, massage, yoga and reiki are all on the menu and the hotel’s setting itself is so perfectly tranquil that it’s not long before you disconnect from the outside world.
What to do
Ardmore is a vibrant village on the West Waterford coast and the beach is at the heart of it. The Cliff Walk by the hotel is a must-do, with the hotel offering Hunter wellys to all guests (this really impressed me –and the fact that no-one has stolen a pair to date!), so there’s really no excuse not to do it.
One can swim a few lengths in the sea from the comfort of the hotel steps or go Bottlenose Dolphin watching in Ardmore Bay. Golfers will revel in the fact that you can tee off into the sea from the hotel’s garden and try and land on their floating green, using biodegradable golf balls that turn into fish food in 48 hours! They really have thought of everything.
This is five star luxury at its best and a one-night stay midweek costs from €216 per double room per night, including breakfast. Saturday nights are very popular, so book well in advance.
Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Tel: +353 24 87 800, thecliffhousehotel.com
Video of my hotel room