Last week we were lucky enough to go to Cork, Ireland for a luxury anniversary break. Upon arrival in Cork, we checked in to The Maryborough Hotel and Spa, a beautiful hotel converted from an old manor house, situated on Maryborough Hill and a convenient drive away from Cork city centre.
When we arrived at the hotel we took the grand steps leading up to the front door, instantly aware that the hotel was steeped in history. Over 300 years old the property, dates back to 1710, built by the Newenham family onto a 400 acre estate. Today the hotel has kept much of the Georgian charm of the property alive, both inside and out with rooms full of period features and glimmers of the past and beautiful gardens, with up to 2000 different types of plant, bush and shrubs, which have been established across the years.
Walking up the stairs and into the hotel lobby, you are greeted with high-ceilings and open stately rooms, still possessing many of the manor house features. From initial contact with the staff at the Maryborough we instantly warmed to how the staff exhibited a family feel, with everyone being warm, welcoming and happy to help in any way they could. The deputy general manager Shane met us at the reception desk to show us up to our room, a junior suite in the old manor house section of the hotel.
Pushing open an old and rickety door we came face to face with a magnificent spiralling stone staircase, surrounded by bright red walls and embellished with a chandelier. We followed the winding stairs up leading up to the top floor of the hotel where our suite was based imagining the many people that have walked these same stairs throughout the centuries.
Arriving into our junior suite, we were instantly impressed with the beauty and character of the rooms, with the old wooden ceiling beams on display and decor of bright greens contrasting beautifully with regal purples. The suite, with its Georgian features and antique fireplace was made up of a separate bedroom, lounge and modern bathroom allowing plenty of space for relaxation.
One of the first things we became aware of at our stay at The Maryborough was their excellent attention to detail exhibited in a range of personal touches. The VIP welcome, with sweet treats of macarons, strawberries dipped in chocolate and a bottle of bubbly were pleasantly received after our flight over to Ireland. Once we had unpacked our suitcases we sat back and relaxed in our lounge popping the cork on our bottle of Moet champagne and toasting to the start of our luxury stay in Ireland.
After an afternoon of rest and relaxation we decided to take a walk around the hotel to see what other delights The Maryborough had to offer. We walked through from the old manor house into the new hotel extension, built on the footprints of the old stable, the perfect juxtaposition of old against new.
The hotel is nicely laid out with plenty of places to sit and relax. We found that the lounge, bar, ballroom and Bellini’s restaurant have a very 1920’s art deco feel – much like a scene from The Great Gatsby, with beautiful shimmering golds against black and sleek, elegant, straight lines. Walking out into the grounds of the hotel you are met with lush, manicured gardens and rolling lawns, perfect to sit out in the sunshine (if the Irish weather goes in your favour).
The first evening of our stay at the hotel we went to dine at the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Bellini’s. Opening the menu you could see that each course contained the freshest of ingredients which had been perfectly paired with complimentary flavours and delicate accents. Almost spoilt for choice, we picked our three courses, each beautifully presented, full of character and bursting with flavour.
Starter – Textures of Bluebell Falls goat’s cheese, pistachio, beetroot meringue, Reisling and vanilla jel.
Main – Marinated rump of Slaney Valley lamb, courgette and fennel puree, glazed baby beets, buttermilk mash, Ouzo infused jus.
Dessert – Dark chocolate cremeux, griotte cherries, pistachio ice cream.
Starter – Warm chicken salad, maple glazed potato, cherry tomato, pine nuts, grana padano, passionfruit and lime dressing.
Main – Hereford 8oz fillet steak, white onion puree, sweet potato croquette, asparagus tips, charred cipollini onion, Jameson whiskey and pepper jus.
Dessert – Strawberry baked Alaska, Prosecco foam, strawberry and basil salsa.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Bellini’s, with excellent service and delicious food it made for the perfect first evening in Ireland. We sat at the bar for an evening cocktail before making our way back up to our room, finding our suite very comfortable and quiet; our surrounding windows looking out across the treetops.
In the morning we had a Bellini’s breakfast of pancakes and eggs benedict… a lush holiday treat, before making our way to the spa to visit the thermal suites followed by a morning swim in the main pool. The thermal suites are separated into male and female and have a range of facilities to relax and cleanse the body such as laconium, saunarium, heated loungers, vitality pool, lifestyle showers and an ice fountain. Ultimate relaxation and rest can be enjoyed in the thermal suites, where the worries of the world are lifted off your shoulders as you relax enjoying the sounds of flowing water and the scents of fragranced candles. The Maryborough also offer a range of luxury ESPA treatments for you to indulge in during your stay.
After our relaxed morning at the hotel, the sun tried to peak its head through the clouds and we took the opportunity to visit The Orangery at the hotel. Streaming with light, The Orangery is fresh and airy and you can see why many couples choose to marry here. The ceiling is adorned an arrangement of elegantly draped flowers, which light up in the evening creating a magical canopy.
After talking to Jean, the digital manager at The Maryborough, we discovered that The Orangery sits on the ground that used to be the orchard back in the manor house days. Jean said that locals fondly remembered rushing down to the manor house in summer time to pick apples from the trees and it is lovely that those memories of the house have been kept alive by staff at the hotel.
Our stay at The Maryborough was one of rest, relaxation, pampering and luxury treats, all whilst enjoying imagining days gone by in the old manor house, appreciating the history which seeps from the walls.
I really could not recommend a stay at The Maryborough enough, the elegant charm and character of the property is topped off by the welcoming staff and the fine attention to detail across all areas of the hotel. What a perfect way to start our holiday!
Our two night stay and meal at Bellini’s was kindly gifted to us by The Maryborough Hotel, Cork. As always, all opinions and photographs (with exception of the old image of The Maryborough as a manor house) remain my own.