Cashel Palace hotel is one of the new hotels that I had listed in the blog at the beginning of the year. After months of renovation, this former well-known hotel in the region is enjoying a new lease of life as a four-star palace and we were excited to try it during our first trip to Ireland.
- 42 rooms
- From 350 Euros
Cashel Palace is ideally placed for exploring the rock of Cashel
Cashel Palace is spectacularly located by the Rock of Cashel in picturesque Co. Tipperary. The manor dates back to 1732, and has been purchased by the Magnier family, owners of Coolmore Stud, and arguably the most influential people in horse racing in the world. The hotel is ideally placed to access the iconic Rock of Cashel, and you can see it from rooms or the gardens.
Arrival at the hotel is a bit underwhelming as you drive down the main street of Cashel and enter a space that looks more like an office building entrance. I’m a bit picky there because the well-renovated main house with its bricks and large windows is very attractive.
As soon as the car is parked, a member of staff comes to welcome you in an extremely warm way and you cross the few steps of the hotel to discover an elegant, classic and warm atmosphere.
Warmth, elegance and individuality
In fact, you enter directly into one of the living rooms, but the way the sofas are arranged, the burning logs in the fireplace, the textiles and the colours, both sober and warm, really makes it a lounge.
The reception of the hotel immediately gives an idea of the style of the establishment. Here it does not disappoint with its very high ceilings and large windows and comfortable sofa.
We are quickly led to our rooms. We have two bedrooms. Mademoiselle has Main House avenue deluxe room. We have a Main House Rock View Suite.
Our room definitely had the wow factor. A classic and elegant style that is not at all intimidating but on the contrary very calm and seductive. The height under the ceiling is impressive and can accommodate a four-poster bed, large wardrobes, a beautiful fireplace and a lounge area.
The soft beige and pale green tones are completely to my taste and reflect well the view of the gardens and, icing on the cake, the famous Rock of Cashel.
The bathroom is a beauty all in white marble with a very nice bath, a beautiful shower and Lanvin products in ecological mode with a pump so as not to spend too much and which smell deliciously good.
The bedroom offers a wardrobe with plenty of space to store clothes and this is also where the safe is, as well as a minibar where all the contents, fruit juice, chocolate bar, bags are crips, are complementary. You also have at your disposal a tea and coffee service and right next to it kindly offered a very cute muffin. The TV is hidden in a sort of desk with lots of little drawers.
Mademoiselle’s room is also very pretty. Obviously smaller since it is a lower category, it does however have a very pleasant romantic character with fabrics in pale pink. A big bed again and a nice bathroom with a shower bigger than ours but no bath.
Unlike ours, it overlooks the entrance of the hotel so it is a less pleasant view.
Cashel Palace hotel offers a lovely spa
There are not many activities in the hotel although they can of course arrange many. But there is a lovely spa.
The other advantage of our room, which is on the first floor, is that it is actually very close to the spa and we just have to go through a door, take the elevator and go down one floor to arrive directly at the spa.
Here again, a very pretty reception with very chic beige and white tones. The receptionist shows us around and introduces us to the changing rooms, which are in fact unisex. There are individual cabins with everything you need: a shower, a toilet and a sink so you have your own little space which is really nice.
The spa includes an indoor heated pool that opens outwards, a Jacuzzi and a spa, a hammam and different shower experiences. The spa also has views of the Rock of Cashel.
With Mademoiselle we tried the showers which was a lot of fun. Each one offered a different experience with names such as ‘ocean waves’ or ‘tropical rains’ or ‘sea breeze’ with jets of water at different water pressure levels and different temperatures changing in tune with an array of colours.At the same time a scent is diffused: fresh, minty air or smooth and exciting for tropical showers.
There aren’t many sunbeds to lay on so this is definitely a place you come to do a few lengths in the pool (17m long) relax in the spa or jacuzzi or after a treatment .
A very nice spa which you do not expect when you arrive at the hotel and which is really a very pleasant surprise. The only criticism is that the hours are too limited (9am to 7pm) and the pool water was a bit cold.
The spa opens onto the terrace which must be very pleasant in spring or summer. We stayed over the Easter break so not surprisingly the weather was not the warmest. In the spring or summer, this would be a lovely place to enjoy a drink as it has a direct view of the very pretty garden which uphill brings you closer to the castle.
Cashel Palace restaurant: we’ll have to try another time
Breakfast is served in the Queen Anne Room, another living room with high ceilings and very comfortable sofas and rounded chairs. Breakfast is served at the table, there is no buffet. The choice is limited but just right: selection of bread croissants, fresh juices, fruit salad and hot dishes such as scrambled eggs, full Irish breakfast of course or brioche en pain perdu. All this served in an extremely classy and pleasant silver breakfast service.
We were unable to dine at the hotel’s restaurant which seems to develop a very good reputation, as it is closed on Sunday and Monday evenings.
So we dined at Chez Hans, a well-known place in Cashel. The setting in a former chapel is impressive yet extremely cosy. The food was very well presented but would have benefited from being simplified as many of the ingredients on the plates were very good but there were too many of them. My advice would be to still go for the atmosphere but to choose some more simple dishes on the menu. Mademoiselle chose the sole, which was very good.
On the way back we decided to have a last drink in the bar. There are actually two: a bar near the entrance which is open to both hotel residents and co-visitors, and a basement bar which is for residents only.
The basement bar has a pub-like atmosphere with a big TV where people watch golf. We therefore decided to go up to the bar on the ground floor which was very warm and intimate atmosphere. We had great cocktails there.
The second night, we dined at their pub just outside the hotel called Mikey Ryans. I’m afraid that I can’t recommend it: the food was quite ordinary, the chef refused to cook my burger as I wanted (rare) and they managed to spoil a very nice piece of beef tenderloin by overcooking it and not serving any sauce with it. The green beans were also too tough and the skinny fries were of normal thickness !
This was forgotten with yet another lovely night cap at the bar.
Cashel Palace hotel: overall verdict
I need to make a note of the service and it was very good.. The staff everywhere is extremely pleasant and friendly. Most of them were young Irish people, proud of their establishment and ready to help. For example, they offered to take us by car to the Sunday restaurant even though it was only a six minute walk away!
Lovely touches such as carrot cake on arrival, cleaning shoes, chocolates with the turndown service, and bottles of water waiting for us in the car add to the sense of being very well looked after.
It’s always a bit of a gamble when you go to a new hotel so soon after its opening and initial photos on social media didn’t really appeal to me. In reality, Cashel Palace really exceeded my expectations. It is a true boutique hotel with individual style, great service and a unique identity. I definitely recommend it.