"A gem on Ireland's west coast" Ardagh Hotel Clifden Tip by crosswind96

Ardagh Hotel Clifden, Clifden: 394 reviews and 0 photos

Ardagh Hotel

The short version

Location: could not have been better. Staff: professional and helpful. Owners: Truly first class ? nothing was too much trouble. Food: Outstanding in freshness, preparation, choice and presentation. Welcome: warm and genuine. Room: clean, spacious and wonderful view. Cost: very reasonable for all that was offered. The downside: nothing whatsoever, everything was five stars all the way.

The long version

This was a really last minute decision for us. We had been working in Dublin for a couple of weeks and suddenly found that we had a long weekend to ourselves with little else to do ? other than find somewhere comfortable on the west coast to relax and unwind. Thanks to the efficiency of the internet we soon had a range of suggested places to stay. Within a few minutes we had booked ourselves into the Ardagh Hotel, near Clifden, little knowing what we were letting ourselves in for.

The drive across Ireland was interesting, but gave us little in the way of clues as to what we might expect to find on our arrival. We were certainly not disappointed, in either the countryside, or our chosen venue. Let me start with the hotel; it was easy to find and looked impressive from the exterior, with plenty of parking. The co-owner, Monique, was waiting to greet us and, within seconds, had grabbed hold of my hefty suitcase and was lugging it up the stairs for me. We had booked an ordinary room at the back of the hotel, which was only to be expected given the lateness of our booking. I was truly astonished to find that Monique had upgraded us to a small suite at the front of the hotel.

This was a lovely room with acres of space and all of the facilities you would normally associate with a five-star city hotel. Above all, we had a massive double-glazed picture window which afforded us the most incredible views of the bay opposite. It really was quite a revelation.

After the long trek from Dublin, neither my partner, nor I had any energy to go out and seek food, so we took a chance and booked a table at the hotel?s restaurant instead. Having bathed and changed, we sauntered down to the bar for a pre-dinner drink in the bar. I doubt that there was a drink that they could not have provided, so we opted for the comfort of our usual tipples and began reviewing the night?s menu. This was torture; it is not often that I find myself with such a choice. I settled on mussels followed by lobster. I cannot remember the last time that I was fortunate enough to savour such fresh food, cooked to perfection. The wine list was an equal trial, given the spread of choice and what was delivered to the table was superb. Exactly the right temperature and served to perfection.

The waiting staff were truly professional and ?mine host? was everything that you would expect from a quality country house hotel. Nothing was too much trouble and our every whim was catered for. As though the food and drink were not enough, the evening just got better and better. At a little before 9pm the Venetian blinds were drawn up to reveal a magical and awe inspiring sunset which lingered for ages, before finally disappearing over the horizon. We took our coffee and after dinner drinks down in the bar, which was accompanied by some scrumptious petit fours.

The stay just continued to get better and I found it refreshing to find a hotel where such a myriad of languages were spoken, where friendliness and comfort are bywords and food and drink of the highest standard. The hotel was only bettered by the location ? this part of Ireland is just so beautiful. A long weekend was not enough ? we will be back, and soon !!!

Unique Qualities: First rate staff
Professional multi-lingual
Free wi-fi
Free room upgrade
Free parking
Fantastic views (especially the sunset)
Great food, especially seafood
Just relax and be pampered

Address: Ballyconneely Road, Connemara, Clifden, County Gal
Price Comparison: about average
Directions: Between Clifden and Roundstone
Phone: +353 95 21384
Price: US$120-180
Theme: Hotel
Website: http://www.andrewatkinson.org

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  • Written Sep 14, 2009
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