Why Staying In Ardmore’s Gorgeous Cliff House Hotel Is A Must When Visiting Ireland’s South Coast
My visit to the tiny Irish village of Ardmore was initially prompted by a personal literary connection rather than a burning desire to stay at the Cliff House Hotel (because I didn’t know it existed). But as soon as I saw photos of the hotel, I was completely hooked and knew it was the perfect way to end my Irish roadtrip.
I mean, how can I not start with this view…and the fact that my room had a staircase?!
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The Cliff House Hotel is located in Ardmore, a tiny village in County Waterford. It is perched on top of the coast above the village, boasting incredible views out over the ocean. Ardmore itself is worth a visit for being really darn cute, and having an impressive religious role in Ireland’s early Christian history.
But there are dozens of pretty coastal villages dotting the southern coast, so why was I set on Ardmore? Well, I fell in love with Nora Roberts’ Gallagher trilogy when I was a teenager, and it was the first thing I remember giving me a sense of travel wanderlust (the cliff hotel even plays a role in the books, but I didn’t realize it was real!).
Many people visiting Ardmore will end up staying in larger nearby towns such as Dungarvan or Youghal (or even further in Waterford, Cobh, or Cork). There aren’t tons of accommodation options in Ardmore proper, but that’s what helps this hotel fly under the radar a bit more.
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My TL;dr review of Cliff House Hotel (Ireland)
This hotel is absolutely gorgeous, has the best location, amazing views, and my room was heaven. The service was very good, food (that I had, which was breakfast) was delicious, and I really wish I could have stayed longer. That’s honestly the best compliment I could give.
In particular, this is 5-star luxury at an excellent price point vs. others at a similar luxury/star level in Ireland. If you’re planning to visit Ireland’s southern coast at all, I HIGHLY recommend you spend a night or two here! You can see rooms, prices, and reviews on Booking.com (this is where I booked, and would recommend), and more reviews on TripAdvisor.
Want to know (and see) more?? Read on…
You may also find my guide to choosing the best hotel or rental helpful as well!
Other Ireland adventures to plan your trip!
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Tips For Renting A Car & Driving In Ireland
How to do the Gorgeous Ardmore Cliff Walk
The Medieval Charms of Kilkenny
Driving Ireland’s Beara Peninsula
Exploring Ireland’s Breathtaking Dingle Peninsula (& 10+ Hidden Gems)
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So let’s dig into the details! Ardmore is tiny and finding the hotel isn’t difficult at all…it’s at the very top of the village, and there are plenty of signs. The famous cliff walk trail begins right next to the hotel, so you can follow signs for that as well. You’ll want to valet park for simplicity, as parking is very limited/non-existent otherwise.
The Cliff House Hotel’s look and feel is a bit more modern than the more traditional castle hotels, but certainly brings in that cozy, luxe “lord of the manor” feel as well.
I was greeted warmly by the staff, but my room wasn’t ready yet (I was an hour or two before check-in), so they got me officially checked in, took my bags, and then took me on a short tour of the hotel. The spa is supposed to be great here as well, but they were booked up for my stay.
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The first thing you notice when walk into the lobby is the multi-floor floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views over the bay. It all feels so bright and open, even on a rainy day when I arrived. In fact, I bet seeing a sea storm roll in would be quite the experience.
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From the lobby you can go down a level to the dining rooms and terrace, or up to a little lounge/sitting room area that’s quite cozy. This is the level my room was on as well.
I sat here for a few minutes to rest from a long morning’s drive, and then decided that, rain be damned, I was going to do the cliff walk anyway.
They offered me a giant umbrella and I was on my way! (You can see photos from this beautiful walk…which I did twice, once in a rainstorm and immediately thereafter when the sun came out)
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When I returned (a bit damp and tired), they whisked me away to my room. I was staying in the Posies room, #70. And the first thing that caught me by complete surprise when the lovely staff member opened the door was that I had a LEGIT staircase in my room!
I don’t know how I missed that when I booked, but I was a bit gobsmacked. I loved this charming little writing desk setup (very “I have an important letter to write to Georgina Darcy”), then eagerly climbed the stairs on the plush purple carpet to see the rest of the suite.
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And it did not disappoint! First off, I adore the rich purple decor (a fave color of mine…my bedroom was painted this color in my last house). The main room was very spacious, and I appreciated that it had a comfy sitting option so I could chill and read later that evening while noshing on leftover banoffee pie…so many hotels miss a good comfy seat!
The bed was SO comfortable, tied for the best I slept in on my Ireland roadtrip. There was a mini fridge (handy for storing my leftover bottle of wine from dinner) and a very fancy coffee machine that took me a few minutes to figure out how to even turn on.
Also, those little windows above the bed had remote-controlled shades, to give you a full blackout effect while sleeping. BONUS POINTS.
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I totally fell in love with the bathroom, which continued the purple theme with this gorgeous pearled mosaic tile. I didn’t have time to make use of this tub (or the two out on my patio), but the toiletries were really nice.
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And yes, that IS a glass shower with a view out onto the ocean!
Tell me the last time you had a view like that in your shower…
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But in addition to how lovely the room was, one of the biggest things that sold me on the Cliff House Hotel was the VIEWS. Whether looking over to the left at beautiful Ardmore Bay, or out ahead and to the right on sweeping ocean and coastline, this view is to die for. And yes, those are individual bathtubs on the balcony!
My only nitpick was that I didn’t love this sloping roof thing that was right below the balcony, as it was in every photo I took and kind of ruined the effect.
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I didn’t get a chance to catch a sunset from the balcony and got up too late for sunrise, but enjoyed a little bathrobe + coffee time in the morning, and loved watching the lights come on in Ardmore as it got dark.
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The Cliff House Hotel’s restaurant is supposed to be great, but I ended up going back to Whitehorses for dinner (I’d had lunch there and been wowed). I did enjoy the complimentary breakfast at Cliff House the next morning, though, and you just can’t beat that view!!
I was greeted with some basics and a tower of baked goods (YAS scones and brown bread). I could then order off the limited warm menu as well, and decided to go with smoked salmon and eggs since some protein felt necessary to balance out the carb-palooza. Not gonna lie, though, the waffles sounded delish.
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As I mentioned above, the famous Ardmore cliff walk begins just a few steps from the hotel’s entrance, and I did it twice in the span of a couple hours. You can’t miss this experience no matter the weather!
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Sadly, my time here was way too short and I had to hit the road to catch my flight in Shannon. I’m dreaming of a return to Ardmore, and to the Cliff House Hotel…it more than lived up to my expectations and is a wonderful luxury hotel option in the south of Ireland!
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