Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Irish boutique hotel and unpacked their seaweed bread and smoked salmon, a full account of their Irish luxury country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a peek inside Liss Ard Estate in County Cork…
We have an Irish chieftain by the name of O’ Donovan to thank for Liss Ard, a tooth-white mansion built in the 1850s and set in emerald countryside. In the 1970s, the building was used as a hideout for Swiss spies, until the Austrians (the ones being snooped on) caused a fuss, and the house had to be quietly passed on to a Swiss charity. Liss Ard Estate has new Swiss owners now: ones with a penchant for Scandinavian simplicity. The 15 romantic rooms are dressed in cream, taupe and tan; there’s a relaxed restaurant with one communal dining table, and four plush but cosy lounges, with crackling fires and shelves crammed with books.
The grounds are Celtic to the core, though: a sprawling, mysterious, romantic Irish wilderness, with a glittering lake, silver waterfalls and a James Turrell art installation that aims for a universal experience – lie in the Sky Garden, looking up at the clouds, and you’ll understand. The Celts have always had a thing for sky-gazing (that’s why the Celtic cross has a circle in its design, representing the sun and the moon). Whimsy aside, one thing’s for certain – you won’t be bored here: there are boats to captain, fishes to catch, bugs to hunt (if you’re a budding Gerald Durrell), a lake to swim, bikes to ride and meadows to explore. If you ever wistfully read Swallows & Amazons, you’ll love Liss Ard.
Anonymously reviewed by Mr & Mrs Smith
Reviews of Liss Ard Estate from Smith members
Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…
The 200 acres of land offered lots of activities: hiking or walking around the freshwater lake, fishing, photography… There are several gardens and stops along the walking tour, which I spent a good hour exploring. I loved the quiet and peace of the area and with a few good books, I spent good quality of time for days and felt tranquil.
Maryann, BlackSmith stayed on 24 Jun 2013
Nothing about this place could be better. It was a glorious setting. The house itself was beautifully furnished and you were encouraged to treat it as 'home,' not a 'hotel'. Our room in the stable block was tastefully furnished with everything you would hope to find. The estate itself is still work in progress. We can only think once it is restored to its former glory prices will rise steeply. Do take advantage while you can.
You need to ring ahead if you want an evening meal. The kitchen does not close on a set night.
Sandra, SilverSmith stayed on 14 May 2013