Ireland should be on your bucket list. The land is intensely green, the architecture varies from grand to quaint and the people are kind, with a sense of humor and a genuine love of both their beautiful country and those who want to experience it.
The Ritz-Carlton on Powerscourt Estate in the village of Enniskerry is a magnificent resort set on the most picturesque plot of land imaginable. I will briefly touch on what wonders lie ahead of you should you choose to visit, but know that this is just a prologue. There are more wonderful things to see, do, discover and experience here than you will have time for, unless you plan to be here a long while.
My husband and I chose Ireland for our wedding anniversary trip. In January, the plane fares are almost reasonable from the U.S. We began our tour in Dublin, then drove across the island to Cong, then to Waterford to take a crystal factory tour and on to Enniskerry just to see The Ritz-Carlton. We spent one night there, then caught a plane home. This hotel should have been our first stop. Even in the dark of early evening, the estate was mesmerizing. A tiny winding road lead to the great gates and on to the main building. The hotel lobby was bedazzled with gilded hot air balloon chandeliers, expansive spaces, a huge picture window at one end and cascading staircases.
The bellman whisked us off to our room as we had reservations at the main restaurant, Gordon Ramsay, in just a half hour’s time. We used up most of that time admiring the room instead of getting ready. The suite was spectacular! Its two bathrooms, master bedroom, small changing area, large balcony and sitting room with fireplace were elegantly appointed and exceptionally comfortable. The touch-pad controls in the entry and bedroom controlled the drapes, lighting and other features. The beautiful bathroom had a separate tub and shower (I used both). It was heaven to soak in the tub and watch the in-mirror TV. Only in Ireland have I seen make-up vanities in every hotel. The U.S. needs to take a cue from hospitality in Ireland – every need is anticipated.
At Gordon Ramsay, David and I were shown to our table…in the kitchen. As an anniversary surprise, we had reservations at the Chef’s Table, where we could talk to the chefs and watch them prepare our meal. Our tasting menu was so delectable we both ate an overabundance and tried new cuisine like stuffed duck neck (delicious) and sorbet in an edible cup. The restaurant staff came from several European countries. Each spoke impeccable English and was both friendly and knowledgeable. Our server was from Portugal and gave us an incredible evening that we won’t forget.
After a night in the (so very) soft bed, we tiptoed down to the spa to see the famous pool. The water appears dark and is lit by delicate Swarovski crystal lights in the pool’s floor. It gives the appearance of a reverse galaxy – the stars are below instead of above. Swimming here is magical.
All too soon it was time to go. We hadn’t been able to explore the village or walk on the 1,000-acre Powerscourt estate. The gardens feature a fish pond, Italian terraces, walled garden and a Japanese garden. Guests can go horseback riding, play croquet, shoot, be an archer for a day and a lot more. ESPA (a well-known name) has 20 treatment rooms and a thermal suite. Sigh. Next time.
Had I known this hotel/estate would turn out to be one of my favorite hotels in the world, I would have planned for a week in this one spot. Don’t make my same mistake – book your room and stay for a while.
Visit The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt online to make a reservation.
Examiner’s Note: Thank you Sinead Cox, Public Relations Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, for arranging our stay! I’ve never felt more welcome.
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