Award winning Travel Writer and Author Muriel Bolger brings us on a journey through the doors of Renvyle House Hotel.
There are fewer places which exude more of the essence of Ireland than Renvyle House in Connemara. The former home of home of eminent Dublin surgeon, poet and statesman, Oliver St John Gogarty, who is widely believed to have been the inspiration for James Joyce’s character Buck Mulligan in Ulysses, described it as “My house stands on a lake – but it stands on the sea – waterlilies meet the golden seaweed at this – the world’s end.’ And he was right. A four-star establishment, it has managed to retain its unique country house ambience, while offering every luxury a visitor could want. The welcome is always guaranteed. The walls are hung with history. And there’s lots of that to enjoy.
Although the present house was built in 1927, after it had been burned to the ground during the Irish Civil War, it has been a hotel since 1883. Over the previous centuries it had been the towns land of ancient Irish chieftains, the O’Flaherty’s. Renvyle has seen its own share of illustrious visitors through the ages – Winston Churchill, Lady Gregory and Augustus John. WB Yeats spent his honeymoon here with his bride, Georgie Hyde-Lees and Gogarty entertained aviator Lady Mary Heath and her husband there too.
Located on the the Wild Atlantic Way it is the perfect setting for spectacular sunsets, nature walks, beachcombing, painting, and communing with nature at its best.
You need never leave the 150-acre grounds to find diversion. There’s boating and canoeing on the private lake and the chance to while away a few hours fly fishing there, surrounded by the best Connemara has to offer. There are two all-weather tennis courts, lawn bowls and croquet, and if all that seems too energetic there are always the spa and wellness options – the hot tub versus the numerous swimming opportunities that mother nature provides in the beaches around about here.
Several time a year, renowned watercolour artist John Hoar runs courses at Renvyle, taking his pupils on field trips to recreate the scenes that have captivated artist for decades. These days culminate in the jewel of Renvyle’s crown – its restaurant. Renowned for its food, at whatever time of the day, dinner is always superb, serving the best of fresh produce from their own gardens.
And if all that was not enough to entice a visit – for a little added value and cultural experience – guests have the opportunity to enjoy a local theatre group twice a week. (Yeats first Noh play was performed in the Long Room here!).
It’s a cliché to say you’ll find everything you could want at Renvyle, but it’s true!