Connemara, situated at the very edge of Europe, is one of the most beautiful corners of the world. From the rugged mountain ranges, through lake-rich boglands, to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, you will know you are in Connemara by the light that constantly dances, painting the mountains and lakes like a watercolour and changing the mood of the landscape. This natural terrain and unspoilt environment presents a wonderland of sights, experiences, and adventure. It is here that you will find the fairytale Ballynahinch Castle Hotel and Estate, nestled in the woods, overlooking the river. It is the closest you will ever get to absolute tranquillity.
Ballynahinch is one of the finest luxury castle hotels in Ireland and is set in vast acres of woodland, rivers, and walks. It overlooks its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the majestic Twelve Bens mountain range. Over the years it has been the house of the O'Flaherty chieftains, Grace O'Malley, Humanity Dick Martin, and an Indian maharaja, the Maharajah Ranjitsinji. The castle was built in the 17th century for the Martyn family and has been in use as a hotel since 1946. It is now part of Denis O’Brien's portfolio and many improvements have been carried out since he acquired it in 2015.
Grand, elegant, and utterly charming, Ballynahinch has a way of making you feel at home. With a number of different sitting rooms where you can cosy up by one of the many open log fires, you cannot fail to find an area to relax in.
Many of the rooms overlook the picturesque river, where you can take in the stunning sunrises or sunsets and simply bask in the beauty of nature. Throughout the hotel there is a country house feel, from the framed memorabilia on the walls, to the cloakroom filled with wellies and fishing gear, and the bookcases filled with dusty old novels — it is a place that draws you in and makes you want to keep going back for more.
Just past reception you will find the Owenmore Restaurant, which perches above the hotel’s terraces and overlooks the idyllic river. When dark, with no street lights around, you are treated to a sea of sparkling stars while you enjoy your meal. The Owenmore Restaurant boasts an exquisite menu, the majority made with local produce from the surrounding area. Dinner at Ballynahinch Castle is a showcase of Connemara’s finest products, using the best seasonal produce available.
During the day, the Owenmore transforms into a delightful breakfast venue, making use of the morning sunshine. You can choose from a buffet breakfast — with a magnificent cooked ham you can slice yourself — or order from the table menu. If this is not enough, the Owenmore also hosts a delightful afternoon tea, a traditional high tea boasting Connemara produce.
One of the best things about Ballynahinch is the staff. You are greeted by Patrick, the ever-present general manager who makes sure everyone feels right at home. His warmth and friendliness is mirrored by all the other members of the staff.
Any time of year if the perfect time to visit Ballynahinch as the Connemara scenery is enchanting all year round. As one of Connemara's most iconic buildings, this luxurious hotel is renowned for its tradition of hospitality, service, and food, the perfect setting to while away an afternoon relaxing with family, catching up with friends, or simply watching the magnificent view. A jewel of the west.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess, Connemara, Co Galway, Ireland. Tel + 353 95 31006. Email [email protected].