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5 of the best contemporary luxury hotel stays in Ireland

Not everyone wants “old world”, history and castles. For lovers of all things modern, slick and exceptional design there are some great contemporary luxury hotels in Ireland. From trendy and hip to architecturally impressive there is something for every style.

Cliff House Hotel, Waterford

Perched on a cliff looking out to huge sea views, this new contemporary hotel has a Michelin star restaurant, spa, and floor to ceiling views of the ocean. Small in seize but not in stature, the hotel is famous for luxury and fine dining. Additionally every room features a one-off work by a leading Irish artists, be it a canvas comprised of polished glass, or a playful homage to the Aran jumper. Each piece, commissioned by the Cliff’s owner-designer Gerri O’Callaghan, works with modern egg-shaped baths and back-lit headboards that perfectly reflect a sense of contemporary Irish style. The veranda suites offer a large balcony that takes in massive sea views and overhang the waves below crashing on the cliff edge. The stunning glass balconies celebrate the cliffside location, the building’s cascading terraces causing nothing to hinder your view. You might even spot a Minke Whale or a nesting Kittiwake while you take in pretty Ardmore Bay.


The Europe Hotel & and Spa, Killarney

This 5 star Killarney hotel is located in the stunning County Kerry on the south west coast, overlooking the famous Lakes of Killarney, Lough Lein, the largest reflects the wilderness of Kerry’s magnificent McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain range. Away from the hustle and bustle of Killarney town, this hotel is stunning in its appointment and relaxing in its atmosphere. One of the best places to base yourself while touring the world famous ring of Kerry.


ESPA at The Europe Hotel is billed as one of the most luxurious spas in Ireland . It is spread over two levels. The active level boasts two pools, a fitness studio, and thermal suite which includes a salt water pool, sauna, steam room, ice fountain and relaxation areas, again overlooking the stunning hotel grounds. It’s one of those ‘because you’re worth it’ destinations

g hotel, Galway

Located in the vibrant and colourful Galway city, the 5 star g hotel is the epitome of contemporary style and glamour. Design director, the famous Irish milliner Philip Treacy, strove to create a five-star hotel interior unlike anything seen before in Ireland. His unique flamboyant style can be seen and his attention to detail is evident everywhere – from the use of colour and exquisite materials, to the choice of the hotel’s artwork. The bathrooms are in Jura limestone, with double showers in all suites and bathroom products by Etro – exclusively made in Milan. Bold colours, artistic influences and light instillations that certainly have the wow factor! A fantastic contrast to the rustic whiskey pubs and Irish traditional music scene in the scenic culture city, the g hotel is only a stones through from the bustling Eyre Square were the best restaurants and Irish pubs are all located.The spa and pool will melt away the aches and pains of guided hill walks in the stunning Connemara landscape or cycle tours of the nearby beautiful Aran Islands.


Ice House Hotel, Mayo

The river suite of this historical but contemporary designed hotel is so beautiful one can stare out the floor-to-ceiling windows all day. The spa is small but who can complain when you are sitting in an outdoor hot tub in a light mist, overlooking the river. So relaxing and special. The view of the river and birds and boats is very special. It feels like a secret, stylish getaway (in an unexpected location) and you still manage to feel close to nature.

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The new glass addition complements the historical original part of the building and cleverly opens the boutique hotel out into the ever-changing river Moy views. The restaurant, serving fantastic locally produced food in a delicious and contemporary way, makes full advantage of the views of the nature that surrounds. Perfect for long slow dinners followed by an after dinner cocktail. A hidden gem in Ireland’s north west and a unique experience.

The Dean Hotel, Dublin

Funky, cool and quirky. The pop artist in you will love this luxury boutique city hotel. Developed by the Press Up Entertainment Group, which also operates U2’s Clarence Hotel, The Dean is an urbane and boldly-designed hotel that gives Dublin city’s boutique hotel scene a much-needed jolt.


The location is fantastic, within lovely walking distance and lovely walks to all the high end shopping and best restaurants. This is a city stay that is a destination in itself. Surrounded by some of Dublin’s busiest bars and nightclubs, The Dean is not for the faint hearted or the seeker of tranquillity. However, inside the eclectically designed rooms you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin’s night life. The light-filled, higher floor bedrooms with dual-aspect looking out over Dublin rooftops and framed by city sky scenes. Included is a 50″ TV (with Netflix subscription), and a retro record player with a selection of classic vinyls to soundtrack your stay. This is not the place to come for a quiet rest of the head, so enjoy the music!

Naomi Sheehy is CEO of Ireland Luxury Travel.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Naomi Sheehy

Naomi was a lawyer for five years before leaving the law business to follow her love of travel. She founded her boutique travel company, Ireland luxury Travel, with her husband and operates her company from the wild Atlantic coast of Ireland. She explores as much of Ireland as she can at every opportunity and has developed a huge knowledge of her country. Planning unique bespoke trips to Ireland is her specialty.

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  1. I noted recently that the Irish Government has invested heavily in the last few years in improving the road network across Ireland, has this made many of these wonderful hotels more accessible or are they easy to find already?

  2. As a native of Dublin who used spend half a day to get to the other side of this small island I have to say the road network now is light years ahead of what it was. Take change for the motorway tolls!

  3. Ireland has alot of new infrastructure which lets you get from one side of the country to the other much faster. We have kept our smaller more picturesque routes though, so we have the best of both worlds.

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