Announcing Adare Manor
Limerick’s charming countryside castle
Written by Emily Bunn
June 7, 2023
Encircled by an 840-acre estate flush with formal French gardens, verdant trees, and the charming bubble of the River Maigue, the historic Adare Manor offers the opportunity to stay at in the home of the late 2nd Earl of Dunraven and his wife, Lady Caroline Wyndham. As opposed to staying at a traditional hotel, this historic home “invites guests to discover relics of the past while still incorporating the contemporary luxuries and technological conveniences necessary to meet the needs of today’s luxury traveler,” the hotel’s General Manager Brendan O’Connor explains.
At its genesis, the iconic manor employed the residents of the surrounding village’s townspeople during the Irish potato famine before its debut in the hospitality industry. Eventually, the property evolved from a family home into a venue for hunt balls, game fairs, concerts, and a movie set, The Last Remake of Beau Geste. With the home’s far-reaching popularity, famous public figures including members of the Royal Family and poet Aubrey de Vere have stayed at the property over the years. Now, Adare Manor still retains the same sense of warm hospitality to its fortunate guests.
“Adare Manor is a tribute to the Dunraven’s sense of style. Its architectural design was heavily influenced by the castles and manor houses of the 13th-century medieval period, which is reflected in the decorative and intricate arched windows,” explains O’Connor. He continues, “Much of the exterior of the building recalls the medieval period with its gargoyles and grotesques, window surrounds, and heraldry. As for its accommodations, every room is worthy of the Dunravens’ grand legacy with the interiors drawing inspiration from the Georgian period.” Since its original construction, the property’s architectural and landscape transformation has been spearheaded by ReardonSmith to carefully preserve its original charm and 19th-century Gothic Revival design.
Over the past two years, a renovation has taken place to modernize the home. This operation has included re-doing the floors, limestone, ceiling, paneling, chimneypieces, roofs, and windows. As the house has 365 leaded windows, 52 ornate chimneys, 7 stone pillars, and 4 towers – making it a rare ‘Calendar House’– the undertaking has been lengthy. Over the course of 21 months – “the largest restoration project of its kind in Ireland at the time,” according to O’Connor – the manor was expanded with a new 42-bedroom wing (increasing Adare Manor’s total occupancy to 104 guest rooms), a ballroom which can host up to 350 guests, and the addition of the Padel Club, Adare Manor’s state-of-the-art wellness and recreational facility. In November of 2017, the majestic manor was again ready to welcome guests.
Within the renovated property, guests can take advantage of the view-strewn Drawing Room, well-stocked Tack Room, and beautifully renovated Carriage House. In the later space, they can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a smart casual environment. The Gallery also has relaxed bites and Afternoon Tea. However, for those looking for a more gourmand grub, look no further than the Michelin-star Oak Room – the first-ever Michelin Star restaurant in Limerick. Led by Chef Michael Tweedie, Adare Manor’s high-end dining establishment pairs artisanal Irish eats with a fine wine collection, curated by expert sommeliers.
Enjoying the serenity of the manor home is sure to bring relaxation and respite to guests. However, for those looking for a little more excitement, the estate’s Padel Club activity center provides endless entertainment. Athletes can take advantage of the custom-built indoor padel courts, sports simulation room, sauna, steam room, full gym, and contemplative studio.
Beyond the Padel Club, a variety of additional experiences are hosted on the estate’s premises. For those less inclined to break a sweat, rare whiskey and wine tastings, movie screenings, horse-drawn carriage rides, and historical tours are offered. Or, if you’re feeling especially daring, try your hand at axe throwing, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, or archery. Perhaps the most unique activity is the Irish Gundog Experience. More traditional activities include fishing, golfing (on a championship 18-hole course designed by world-renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio), swimming in the pool, or relaxing with restorative spa treatments.
With all the activities posed on the manor’s verdant grounds, the property pays astute attention to maintaining the natural growth and development of its surrounding environs. Adare Manor looks to reduce its waste through its water and recycling management, involvement within the “Clean the World” foundation, and the elimination of food waste through the on-sight biodigester. Furthermore, several biodiversity-enriching programs have been developed to support the manor’s ecosystem – from planting trees, flora, and fauna to constructing new wetlands, supporting fish and river quality monitoring, and raising honeybees to support pollination. Guests can even contribute to these efforts by utilizing the property’s 15 electric car charging stations.
Conor Shaw, Adare Manor’s Director of Rooms, elaborates on the property’s eco-conscious efforts. He explains, “Adare Manor is always taking steps to bring itself into the 21st century and beyond. To preserve the historic grounds, our team has increased its sustainability projects, including working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to survey our 840 acres to sustainably manage the grounds; planting thousands of native and locally sourced saplings; recycling food waste into soil compost that will fertilize our greens and gardens; and welcoming our own hives of honeybees.”
Looking toward the future, the property is planning to extend its solar farm to directly provide renewable energy to the home. Already, Adare Manor has reduced its carbon footprint by 50% by producing 80% of the property’s required energy. In recognition of these efforts, the home has been awarded ISO’s International Sustainability Standard 20121 certification.
As Adare Manor’s staff looks to preserve the property for years to come, the hotelier’s Director of Rooms has announced the home looks forward to debuting a new guest experience next year. Shaw revealed to EQ that in 2024, the Manor’s historic Harry Lowes Cottage will transform into a chocolatier house and floral oasis designed by Kim Partridge Interiors.
Before the upcoming renovation, Adare Manor already has its hands (and rooms) full hosting their busiest season, summertime. “The summer season is ideal for playing a round of golf, going for a carriage ride, or fishing on the River Maigue. There [are] delightful experiences for guests of all ages during peak season,” caps Shaw. Whether guests would prefer to live like a royal in the manor’s manicured margins or venture out into the charming Irish countryside, Adare Manor offers the unique opportunity to experience the Dunraven’s legacy of luxury.