Situated around a 40-minute drive east of Cork, Ballymaloe House sits amid an expansive farm estate, which also contains its prestigious and internationally acclaimed cookery school. It is a family business, with three generations involved in either the farm, the hotel, cookery school, shop or café. The hotel is a wisteria-clad country manor, built around the remnants of a 14th-century Norman castle. Within, rooms are elegant and warmly decorated, with fireplaces, portraits, tall windows and several hidden seating areas.
The restaurant is spread across seven adjoining rooms, from the light and leafy conservatory overlooking the lake, to the deep blue Yeats room. Dining here is a highlight, and menus showcase locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Guest rooms are located in both the main house and the adjoining courtyard, and although each is individually decorated, all have a traditional, elegant style and high quality furnishings.
None of the rooms has a television. Superior rooms have their own private terrace, and most courtyard rooms have exposed stone walls. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts for the warmer summer months, and several walking trails interlace the grounds. Next door to the hotel is the Ballymaloe shop and café, while the cookery school is just a short drive away.
This small, family-owned hotel has a warm and friendly atmosphere, and we loved curling up with a book downstairs, looking out onto the grounds outside.
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Each of the 29 rooms at Ballymaloe is individually decorated, but all have classic, inviting decor in keeping with the style of the manor house. Rooms are divided between the main house and an adjacent courtyard building. Room categories are standard, large and superior, with large rooms providing more space and a kingsize bed. Superior rooms have a private terrace and access to the garden, and have both a bath and a separate walk-in shower. Courtyard rooms match these categories but are more spacious than their main house counterparts, and those situated upstairs have exposed stone walls or wooden beams.
Ballymaloe is situated in a small village called Shanagarry, 40 minutes’ drive east of Cork city. It is around 20 minutes south of the Old Midleton Jameson Distillery, and half an hour’s drive from the port town of Cobh, famed for its Titanic history. The hotel is set with its own large estate grounds, including woods and fields.
Food and drink
Dining at Ballymaloe is a particular highlight. Ingredients are either grown onsite or sourced locally, as provenance is important to the chefs here. Lunch is a set three-course menu, while dinner has five courses. Adjacent to the hotel is the Ballymaloe shop and café, which serves cakes all day and light lunches between noon and 4pm.
Facilities and activities
The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts which are available for use during summer. A short drive away is the Ballymaloe Cookery School, which hosts in-depth classes as well as afternoon demonstrations. Several walking trails weave through the grounds of the estate, and there is a shop and café next door to the main manor house.
Tour ideas in Cork
Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Ballymaloe House as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.
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Location & places nearby
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Cliff House HotelCork
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Cork and nearby places
- Cobh 10 miles away
- Kinsale 23 miles away
- Killarney 63 miles away
- Kenmare 65 miles away
- Limerick 61 miles away
- Waterford 50 miles away
- Kilkenny 65 miles away
- Dingle Peninsula 96 miles away
- The Burren 89 miles away
- County Wexford 76 miles away