Grand houses always also tell grand stories. In this case, it is a story of physical pain and a way to overcome it: The 2nd Earl of Dunraven, a man full of energy and used to spending a lot of time enjoying the chase of the hunt, was laid low with severe gout. Adare Manor had been built in the early years of the 19th century, but when the Earl was diagnosed an illness that kept him housebound and in pain (not even aspirin was invented at that time!), his clever wife, Lady Caroline, suggested that he rebuild their home. The planning and supervising of this vast scheme took her husband’s mind off his suffering and gave him new challenges to surmount.

Being a couple full of ideas, the Dunravens must not have made life easy for the architect of their choice, James Pain, at the time at the pinnacle of his fame.
The enlargement plans were full of eccentric details. For example, the Manor was built as a “Calendar House” meaning that there are 365 stained glass windows and 52 chimneys to mark the days and weeks of the year. There are many other references to the days of the week and the yearly seasons. Mottoes in French and Latin, symbolism from India, imagery from Judaea to Versailles abound throughout the building. One motto in particular is telling of the Dunraven’s philosophy: “Quae sursum volo videre” – what is heavenly I would see. When the 2nd Earl died in 1850, the Manor was not completed. The 3rd Earl brought an equal dedication to the project, along with 6 children, converting the Manor into a family home. By the early 1860s, the Manor was finally considered complete, along splendid gardens with many tree and shrub specimens making them into exceptional areas.

Fast forward to the late 20th century, when the 7th Earl sold it. In 1987, it was bought by the Kane family from Florida, who proceeded to restore it with great love, care and attention to detail. Nowadays, there are many manors turned hotels, but I dare say the Adare Manor is unique in that every visitor immediately feels that this was once a family home and thus imbued with a warmth all its own.

Currently, the 5 star hotel & golf resort boasts luxurious suites, rooms and separate villas, various gourmet restaurants, a spa and an 18-hole golf course designed by the internationally acclaimed specialist Robert Trent Jones, all surrounded by the gorgeously landscaped gardens. A stay here is sure to enchant you! Should you ever get bored…. cute Adare Village is just steps away!

Where to find Adare Manor

Adare Manor is situated in the heart of Adare Village in Co. Limerick and sits neatly on the gateway to south-west Ireland.

Shannon International Airport is a 25 minute drive away, Cork city lies 62 miles due south on the N20 and Killarney a similar distance on the N21. Limerick is a mere 10 miles north-east.
Staying at Adare Manor provides the ideal base from which to explore some of Ireland’s most notable visitor attractions.

The Cliffs of Moher (an hour and a half drive), The Dingle Penninsula (a two hour drive), Bunratty Castle & Folk Park (a 20 minute drive) and Killarney (an hour and fifteen minutes drive).

Connecting flights to most major European and US cities can be taken from Shannon, Dublin and Cork Airports.
Note: A big thank you goes to Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for making this trip possible. All views expressed above are mine, and mine only.

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