Luxury midweek breaks at Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co. Waterford
Heating systems splutter into action, hot water bottles reappear, fireplaces are stoked and stacked, darkness rolls in from early evening – Autumn has well and truly arrived. While the sunshine and warmth of the summer season is lamented, Autumn is the time of crackling fires, bracing walks, golden leaves crunching underfoot and early fiery sunsets.
At Cliff House Hotel, a midweek getaway promises five star luxury indulgence atop the rugged cliffs of Ardmore in Co. Waterford. With the surging Atlantic Ocean as a mesmerising backdrop to each room, suite and dining space, Cliff House Hotel is an outstanding five-star contemporary Irish resort, a restful haven during the Autumn season.
Check in to selected rooms or suites, enjoy super king beds dressed in crisp Irish linen and cosy Donegal Tweed throws. Bathrooms are beautifully appointed, many with free standing bathtubs and vibrant mosaic detail, all with rainforest showers and luxury Anne Semonin products. Sip a Nespresso or herbal brew, grab a water or wine from the fridge, kick back with a book from the library or unwind with your favourite tunes on the in-room entertainment system. Suites boast separate living room, flickering fireplaces, deep plush sofas, terraces or balconies. Every room and suite is filled with light, overlooking the picturesque Ardmore Bay, the wild Atlantic wind and waves kept at bay by floor to ceiling windows.
The location of Cliff House Hotel affords guests the opportunity to enjoy the most inspiring of nature activities. Rise early and grab a pair of Cliff wellies and join forager Andrew Malcolm for a bracing walk across the cliffs of Ardmore, discovering edible flowers and fungi, tasting and sampling every few steps. Borrow binoculars at reception and breathe in the sights and sounds of the bountiful wildlife that dwell around the hotel and environs. With luck and patience, fin and humpback whales can be spotted from the cliff, and with the right weather conditions, common dolphins in pods of over 100 can be spied. Grey seals, otters, ravens and choughs are regular visitors around Ardmore. Potter through ruins from Napoleonic times, enjoy the tall tales and rich heritage of this rural, unspoilt southerly destination.
Returning to Cliff House Hotel, stroll down to The Well Spa for a relaxing all over body massage or an invigorating facial. The brave step outside and immerse in the super heated outdoor seaweed baths, steam billowing, gazing out on stormy seas. Leap from the baths and dive into the indoor infinity pool, before finishing with a sauna or steam to heat the bones. Food lovers can indulge in innovative seasonal breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, made with fresh local produce and foraged ingredients from the shores and cliffs around the hotel. Choose from the Michelin star House Restaurant (open Wednesday through Saturday) and the intimate Bar Restaurant (open seven days). Feast on daily changing menus, savouring dishes such as Cork Scallops, West Cork Lobster, Atlantic Halibut, Irish Rose Veal, Black Angus Beef, Squab Pigeon and much more. The wine list is a global journey of discovery with many unusual and rare selections by sommelier Thierry Sauvanot, while the cocktail menu boasts delicious award winning concoctions by head mixologist Ariel Sanecki.
A two night midweek break at Cliff House Hotel costs from €450 for two people sharing. This price includes two nights in a Deluxe Seaview room, full Irish breakfast on both mornings, one evening meal at the Bar Restaurant and 20% off all pre-booked Spa treatments. The offer runs Sunday through Thursday in October, November and December on selected dates. Foraging, guided walks, whale watching and many more outdoor activities with Andrew Malcolm can be booked in advance and cost €50 per person. See www.cliffhousehotel.ie