Our stomachs were signaling that it was time for dinner so we reluctantly tore ourselves away from our luxurious lake view room and descended the stairs. At the bottom we were greeted warmly and escorted to one of several, beautifully decorated, drawing rooms. Taking a seat on a period settee in front of a blazing wood fire we placed our pre-dinner drink order and settled in to admire the comfortable surroundings. Before long our charming host, Frank Slattery, appeared to welcome us and present dinner options for the evening. Apparently we were to be taken to our dining table only once the first course was ready. Until then we would enjoy our fireside apertif.
If you have ever watched Downton Abbey and imagined what it would be like to live in an old English manor then you’ll have a sense of the Carrig Country House experience…minus the snobbishness.
The Story of Carrig Country House
This circa 1950’s Victorian country house was originally built for the upper class to be used as a hunting lodge and an escape from city life. It has seen many owners since then, mostly British Aristocracy, but finally in 1996 it was purchased by an Irish couple, Frank and Mary Slattery.
The house has been meticulously restored to its former glory and decorated in period style with antique furniture. However, this does not mean stuffy and pretentious but rather warm, cozy, comfortable luxury. The result of Frank and Mary’s dream and hard work is an award winning, welcoming country retreat which is equally perfect for a weekend getaway or as a home base for exploring the wonders of County Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.
Location in County Kerry
Carrig Country House sits on the shores of pristine and scenic Caragh Lake between the town of Killorglin and the village of Glenbeigh, County Kerry in the southwest of the Republic of Ireland. The closest International airport is in Killarney and it is less than a four hour drive from Dublin or Galway.
The ideal location, just off the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way, make it a perfect place to stay while driving these popular scenic routes. But it is also a destination on its own for those wanting to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the waterways, forests, mountains, and bog-lands in the area as well as Killarney’s National Park.
Amenities & Activities at Carrig House
The Carrig House and grounds offer all you need for a relaxing weekend getaway without leaving the property. Outside, enjoy a game of croquet on the manicured lawns, take a personalized garden tour or simply sit and take in the view of the lake. Inside the house there are drawing rooms for reading and relaxing and a games room for playing chess or other board games.
For meals there is the award-winning Lakeside Restaurant. The critically acclaimed Carrig culinary team create masterpieces from local, fresh seafood, meat and produce that are as beautiful as they are delicious. The Ring of Kerry Lamb Rack with sweetbreads and goats cheese curd and the Steamed Atlantic Stonebass with asparagus 3 ways were our personal favorites. There is also an excellent wine selection to pair perfectly with dinner.
As mentioned there is also plenty to see and do nearby. Aside from exploring the Ring of Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way there’s also an abundance of nature based activities. Country walks and cycles, fishing, boating and swimming in the lake, plus hiking, bird watching and golfing…the list is almost endless.
There are a variety of rooms to choose from at Carrig Country House but all of them are luxurious, comfortable and beautifully decorated with period antiques. They also all come with en suite and one king or two singles.
Standard rooms enjoy a view of the landscaped gardens and lawns and Lake View rooms afford a stunning view of the lake and mountains beyond even from bed! The romantic Junior Suites have an antique four-poster bed and a genuine Victorian tub for soaking. There is also a Presidential Suite for that extra special occasion complete with a canopied Indian bed once owned by a Maharaja in Southwest India, His and Hers dressing rooms, a Jacuzzi bath and the best views in the house.
We stayed in a Junior Suite and felt like nobility with our incredibly comfy four-poster king bed, massive en-suite and cozy sitting room overlooking the lake. It really was very difficult to leave the room.
Book a Stay at Carrig Country House
Carrig Country House is one of 48 unique properties in Ireland’s Blue Book collection and can be booked with them as well as directly through the property. If you are looking for a romantic getaway in an Irish country house, a historic manor or even a castle Ireland’s Blue Book should be the first place you look.
Full disclosure: We were hosted for two nights at Carrig Country House by Ireland’s Blue Book. However, all opinions and impressions in this article are entirely our own and we would not hesitate to recommend a stay at Carrig Country House.