Ireland, the Emerald Isle is home to some spectacular country houses and manors. If you have ever dreamt of spending the holiday season with your family and friends in an elegant country retreat then, perhaps The K Club in Ireland might just be the perfect destination for you. Just 30 minutes from Dublin international airport, this magnificent country house hotel enjoys a rural location but is within easy access of the capital. Once known as ‘Straffan House’, the property was built in 1832 by the famous wine makers, the Barton family and to this day retains several original features and historical details. The owner, Sir. Michael Smurfit has recently spent over €$25 million on the property which has been completely renovated and extended and now includes 140 bedrooms, designed with ultimate comfort in mind. This property offers everything that the discerning international traveller expects served with more than a dash of classic Irish hospitality.
Every Christmas the original house is magically transformed into a winter wonderland. Open log fires crackle and warm the elegant drawing rooms while a 20ft Christmas tree takes pride of place in the lobby. Every one of the 140 bedrooms boasts its own Christmas tree while traditional decorations and lights create a wonderful festive atmosphere in the library, bars and many drawing rooms. Designed in the exact same style as the original house, the new Liffey Wing has been sympathetically created and blends seamlessly with the old. The bedrooms are in the new ‘Liffey Deluxe’ category and many of them enjoy views to the stunning gardens or the River Liffey which meanders through the 550 acre resort.
There are a range of suites and interconnecting rooms available which are ideal for families celebrating Christmas. Bedrooms are generous ranging in size from 410 sq ft to 800 sq ft. and feature lofty ceilings, air conditioning, huge windows, and Nespresso coffee machines. The spacious hand painted bathrooms are complete with twin sinks, extra deep baths and also have separate power showers with traditional and rain water heads. The furnishings too are in keeping with the original ‘Straffan House’ and have been designed to echo classical elegance, comfort and of course luxury. Meanwhile, timeless art pieces adorn the public walkways and bedrooms and are in keeping with the original art work collection which The K Club is famous for.
Despite the classic interiors, the hotel enjoys the very best in modern technology and enjoys all of the comforts expected of an international resort. A new bar called ‘The Media Puzzle’ has also been added as part of the renovation programme and is a wonderful space to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif or a pint of the black stuff. Named after Sir Michael Smurfit’s Melbourne Cup winning horse, the new bar is painted in a classic racing green and features large windows and French doors to the gardens. The ‘Gatzby’ style chandeliers in the bar were fitted by one of the previous owners of the house and had remained largely unnoticed and unloved for many years, languishing in the old swimming pool room. They have since been restored to their former glory and now take pride of place in the new watering hole.
The K Club has a wonderful three night Christmas offer which starts from $670 per adult sharing (children under 6 years of age eat for free). Check in on Christmas Eve for three glorious nights and enjoy breakfast each morning, a table d’hôte meal on Christmas Eve and a traditional Christmas lunch or dinner on Christmas Day. Your Christmas experience will be truly memorable as carol singers will take centre stage in the magnificent Old Entrance Hall for a mulled wine and mince pies reception on Christmas Eve. The man himself, Santa Claus will arrive on Christmas morning by horse and cart and will present a gift to every child. There is also entertainment and live music every evening.
There are lots of activities to keep the whole family entertained over the festive period including a kids club, family treasure hunts, a duck race on the River Liffey and golf or spa treats for the adults. Outdoor pursuits include fly fishing with the resident ghillee, horse riding, archery, clay shooting or falconry. The resort spa offers a comprehensive array of face and body treatments while golfers will be spoilt for choice with not just one, but two Arnold Palmer designed championship golf courses to choose from.
For those of you who want to ring in the New Year in style, there is also a three night New Year’s Eve experience available from $670 per adult sharing. On arrival, you will be greeted with a festive glass of mulled wine, before checking into one of The K Club’s famous luxurious rooms. Each morning guests will enjoy a scrumptious full Irish Breakfast in the magnificent River Room, overlooking the gardens and the River Liffey while on the 30th guests can enjoy an exquisite meal in The River Room Restaurant. An unforgettable gala ball will take place on New Year’s Eve and guests will enjoy an evening meal and live entertainment. At the stroke of midnight, the skies above will be brought to life with an exceptional fireworks display.
With all the family well catered for what could be better than putting your feet up and spending the festive season in an elegant Irish country house complete with roaring fires, afternoon teas, delectable cuisine and luxurious facilities. Classic Irish hospitality awaits you and your family! To make a booking or to find out more about the festive packages at The K Club log on to www.kclub.ie or call + 353 (0) 1 6017200