Ireland

Irish foodie hotels for the ultimate gourmet getaway

Rich landscapes, creative chefs, and high-quality produce make Ireland a delicious destination for foodies, and Irish travel blogger Grace knows all the gastronomic getaways to add to your bucket list.

From rural cookery schools to Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s a real diversity of food experiences to savour in Ireland.

I’ve always found something therapeutic about cooking in a countryside setting with fresh ingredients. And I’m not alone – demand for locally-sourced produce is growing in Ireland and restaurants are embracing the farm-to-table philosophy. There’s no shortage of innovation either, as more chefs put a modern spin on traditional Irish dishes.

If you want to combine your gourmet experience with a relaxing break, you’re in luck. Some of Ireland’s best hotels are food destinations in their own right. So to help you to decide, we’ve chosen some of our favourite foodie hotels around the country. The Irish food scene is more exciting than ever and it’s a great time to dive in.

A luxury Irish foodie hotel with a celebrity chef-owned cookery school

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Set on the wild Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford, Dunbrody Country House Hotel is a food lover’s dream. With its award-winning restaurant and thriving cookery school, Dunbrody has everything you need for a gourmet break. The hotel itself is a stylishly restored Georgian manor house, surrounded by 300 acres of fields.

I took a pre-breakfast wander around the vegetable and herb gardens, excited to see the home-grown food that I’d be eating during my stay. I wasn’t disappointed – all of the produce grown on site is put to good use. Throughout my cooking class, Chef Julien Clémot talked about his love of using locally sourced ingredients. And although the interior of Dunbrody Cookery School looks sleek and professional, it’s a fun and welcoming place to learn to cook. The range of classes at the school is equally impressive, from dinner party courses to ‘One Pot Wonder’ workshops.

Inside Dunbrody House, it’s all about relaxed elegance. The hotel restaurant, the Harvest Room, is a luxe blend of contemporary artwork and antique furniture. The menus are overseen by Kevin Dundon, celebrity chef and co-owner of Dunbrody, and dishes change according to the season. If you want to go all out, there’s an eight-course Tasting Menu. Or for an equally glamorous alternative, spend an evening in the Champagne & Seafood Bar. During winter months, you can expect hearty dishes like Dunbrody’s Fisherman’s Pie. Meanwhile, the Summer Menu is packed with lighter bites, like the Old-Fashioned Prawn Cocktail.

Grace's top tip

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to balance out all the food at Dunbrody House. Golden beaches line the coast of the Hook Peninsula and woodland trails loop around Tintern Abbey. For magical sunset views, head to the edge of the peninsula, where the historic Hook Lighthouse faces out to sea.

Dunbrody Country House

8.4 Very good (269 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

Michelin-star dining with ocean views at a five-star Irish foodie hotel

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Perched on a cliff overlooking the Celtic Sea, the five-star Cliff House Hotel is worth a visit for its views alone. High above Ardmore Bay and the rolling fields of Co. Waterford, Cliff House fits seamlessly into the landscape. With slate walls and moss-covered roofs, the hotel’s careful design is a reflection of the owners’ commitment to sustainability. So if you’re looking for a blend of luxury and exceptional food in an eco-conscious setting, Cliff House is hard to top.

As one of the most luxurious five-star hotels in Ireland, Cliff House is a small hotel with a big reputation. There are just 39 bedrooms and each one has a view of the ocean. But sea views aside, Cliff House really shines when it comes to dining. The one Michelin-starred House Restaurant, under the guidance of Chef Martijn Kajuiter, is a special place to eat. The seasonal menu changes regularly, but the focus is always on using high-quality Irish produce.

If you treat yourself to dinner at The House Restaurant, expect local delicacies like West Cork scallops and Angus beef. And if the eight-course Tasting Menu seems like too much to tackle, there’s also a four-course á la carte menu.

Grace's top tip

Luckily, Co. Waterford is known as the “sunny south-east” for good reason. So if the sun makes an appearance, take your glass of wine out onto the dining room balcony and soak up the view.

Cliff House Hotel

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (706 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

An Irish foodie hotel and cookery school with a slow food philosophy

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Set in a tranquil part of East Cork, Ballymaloe House is a wholesome countryside retreat. Owned by Darina Allen and her family, Ballymaloe is also one of the most famous foodie destinations in Ireland. I’m sure I’m not the only Irish person who remembers putting on an apron and pretending to be Darina in the 90s. And although she’s no longer a TV chef, Darina still plays an important role in the Irish food scene.

Along with her brother, Rory O’Connell, Darina runs the world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School. Surrounded by a 100-acre organic farm, the cookery school has a Slow Food philosophy and a strong focus on sustainability. Classes vary throughout the year, ranging from sushi workshops to cheese-making. There’s also an internationally recognised 12-week course for those who are really serious about cooking.

But if rolling sushi sounds too stressful, you can relax in the knowledge that Ballymaloe House is a hotel with a wonderful restaurant. The ethos is farm to table here. From the Ballycotton Roast Cod to the Morrocan Lamb, every dish is made from home-grown and locally sourced ingredients. And once you’ve finished feasting, you can snooze in comfort in your tranquil room. In true country house style, the bedrooms at Ballymaloe House are elegant but simple.

Grace's top tip

As well as the cookery school and restaurant, there’s also a flower-filled conservatory for morning coffee and a cosy drawing room for afternoon tea.

Ballymaloe House

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (71 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

Luxury and fine dining at a five-star Irish foodie hotel in Kerry

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If you’re a fan of old-world luxury, then the Park Hotel Kenmare is for you. With a history dating back to 1897, the Park Hotel Kenmare is one of the most established luxury hotels in Ireland. This five-star hotel fully embraces its heritage. But despite its Victorian elegance, the Park Hotel Kenmare still exudes a contemporary charm.

Food lovers will appreciate the award-winning hotel restaurant, which uses seasonal produce in creative ways. The Tasting Menu changes daily, depending on which fresh ingredients have been brought in from local suppliers. And there are over 400 wines on The Bar’s wine, so prepare yourself for an indulgent night.

A food-filled stay at the Park Hotel Kenmare wouldn’t be complete without afternoon tea. Besides an impressive selection of teas, there are finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, pastries, and cakes. But don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to bliss out between meals. Visiting the SÁMAS Spa is a deeply relaxing three-hour experience. Meanwhile, the hotel runs an impressive timetable of yoga, meditation, and exercise classes.

Grace's top tip

If you manage to tear yourself away from the beauty of Kenmare Park Hotel, take a trip into the town. One of the prettiest towns in Co. Kerry, Kenmare is lined with cosy pubs, cafés, and small craft shops. Try PF McCarthy’s pub, if you’re in the mood for a hearty Irish dinner or a pint. They often have traditional music sessions, so it tends to get very lively at weekends.

Park Kenmare

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (254 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Adventure and wellness at an Irish foodie hotel in Co.Galway

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If you’re looking for a foodie break with an active twist, Delphi Resort is the place to head for. Located in the wild and beautiful region of Connemara in Co. Galway, Delphi Resort is all about adventure. But at Delphi, you can live the dream and combine your adventures with good food and wellness treatments.

After a day spent outdoors, sit down to a well-deserved dinner in the 814 Restaurant and Bar. From the Á La Carte Menu, you can expect local delicacies like Fivemiletown Goats Cheese, Killary Fjord Shellfish, and Connemara Mountain Lamb. Or go all out and choose the three-course set menu for an unforgettable foodie evening. The Woodland Mushroom Consommé is a delicious plant-based starter to any meal, while the Burnt Apple Tart Tatin is a perfect winter dessert. During the day, Delphi’s Wild Atlantic Café is a cosy place to stop for a smoothie, coffee, or a quick bite.

Luckily, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to work off all the food. Delphi Resort is surrounded by 300 acres of forest, nestled against the base of Mweelra mountain. Biking, hiking, kayaking, SUP boarding, and coasteering are just a few ways that guests can enjoy the outdoors here.

Grace's top tip

And after a day of activities (and delicious meals), the Delphi Spa is a dreamy place to soothe your aching muscles and settle your comfortably full stomach. All of the spa products are 100% organic and the focus is on natural healing and rejuvenation.

Delphi Resort

8.4 Very good (525 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Rural relaxation at an Irish foodie hotel in Boyne Valley

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If you’re looking for affordable luxury with a foodie twist, Dunboyne Castle Hotel might be just the place. Surrounded by the rolling hills and heritage towns of Co. Meath, Dunboyne Castle is an ideal base for exploring the historic Boyne Valley. And after a long day of sight-seeing, coming back to Dunboyne’s AA Rosette-winning IVY Restaurant is a treat.

Set in a contemporary dining room, The IVY is sleek and crisp. But attentive staff and a relaxed atmosphere make this a comfortable restaurant to spend an evening in. Ian Daly, the Executive Chef, works with local suppliers to keep the menu seasonal. Local vegetables, fresh scallops, and Irish beef are just a few of the ingredients you can expect. And if you have enough room left for a third course, choosing from the delicious desserts won’t be easy. But whether you go for a chocolate and hazelnut pudding, a glazed orange tart, or a deconstructed tiramisu, you’re in for an indulgent finish to your meal.

After dinner, don’t be surprised if you find yourself hit with a food coma. But Dunboyne’s comfy bedrooms are just steps away from the restaurant. Ranging from modern Deluxe Rooms to impressive suites, there are rooms to suit a range of budgets.

Grace's top tip

Want to work off that impressive dessert? You can hit the well-equipped gym in the Seoid Spa. Post-workout, try soothing your muscles in the sauna or chill out the in the spa’s hydrotherapy pool.

Dunboyne Castle Hotel And Spa

8.4 Very good (1876 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Grace from The Idyll

Grace is an Irish travel blogger with a passion for wellness and adventure. When she’s not writing, Grace is usually on the hunt for new yoga studios and plant-based restaurants. Her site, The Idyll, explores all of the ways that travel can make us happier and healthier.
The Idyll