The perfect honeymoon destination – and this is one occasion when you really should be looking for perfection – should be romantic, bewitching, luxurious, entertaining and give you memories that will last as long as your love.
The house’s builder, Lady Edith Gordon described her Elizabethan revival retreat as ‘the house of my dreams’ and it is considered one of the most important examples of Arts and Crafts architecture in Ireland.
Built in 1913 by Lady Gordon, Ard na Sidhe is wonderfully situated on the banks of Caragh Lake in the Killarney National Park. The comfort, opulence and elegance is everything you’d expect from an aristocrat’s country residence, an ambience carefully maintained with beautifully selected antique interiors, with William Morris wallpapers, brought up to date with the latest modern comforts and conveniences.
The house’s first owner was certainly a romantic herself. Ard na Sidhe means Hill of the Fairies in Gaelic and the building was constructed almost entirely of local materials to the designs of an architect, Morley Horden, who Lady Edith chose for his dandyish looks rather than his design pedigree.
It was a gamble that paid off. Horden took inspiration from the ancient Gaelic remains in this cradle of Irish civilisation. For many honeymooners, their wedding will be a time to celebrate their own Irish heritage and there is no more appropriate area than the far south-west, close to where the Celts are believed to have first landed on the Emerald Isle.
The philosophy of Ard na Sidhe is of total comfort and relaxation. Unusually there’s no TV or radio in the bedrooms, a perfect romantic destination for honeymooning couples.
With only 18 luxurious bedrooms Ard na Sidhe is an intimate, boutique hotel experience. No crowds, no rush, nothing to worry about, plenty of time spent alone together.
With its unrivalled setting, Ard na Sidhe celebrates the agricultural and maritime riches of Kerry in its modern Irish cuisine. Lamb from the mountains, salmon from the streams and all the riches of the sea make Kerry one of the capitals of new Irish gastronomy.
While there is enough to entertain and engage on the estate, the countryside around Ard na Sidhe is justly celebrated as containing some of Ireland’s most iconic and stunning landscapes.
The Ring of Kerry – a world-famous touring route that has been attracting tourists since the 19th century – passes through nearby Killorgin, a charming market town that is home to Ireland’s longest-established traditional fair each August.
The Kerry mountains are never out of sight and make a wonderful backdrop to any walk or ride – the horse-drawn jaunting cars that ride through the Gap of Dunloe pass are the traditional way to travel.
The Dingle Peninsula is just a short drive to the north west. Named by National Geographic as ‘the most beautiful place in the world’, the Dingle’s dramatic peaks, rolling green lowlands and sandy shores are a world unto themselves. Just to the south, the Beara juts out into the Atlantic, shrouded in myths, studded with mysterious ring forts and standing stones, this is where the story of Ireland begins, the legendary landing place of the first Celtic settlers.
There is plenty to entertain visitors too. The local golf courses are rated as some of the best – and certainly the most beautiful - in the country. Riders can choose from beach gallops while the Atlantic rolls or treks far into the misty mountains that include Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil in the MacGillycuddy's Reeks.
Ard na Sidhe is a place to lose yourself and find each other.
Ard na Sidhe Country House in the beautiful south west of Ireland meets and exceeds all those criteria.go back