Bellinter House

Co. Meath, Leinster, Ireland Book from

Georgian mansion with uber-stylish rooms, an award-winning restaurant with, a spoiling seaweed spa and 12 acres of parkland that just beg to be explored
First impressions recall the opening scene of a period drama (the gated entrance, the long tree-lined drive) but this is one country house hotel that doesn’t do all the usual clichés. A 3-year restoration, which coaxed the Palladian mansion back to life after 40 years as a Sisters of Sion convent, took a chuck-out-the-chintz approach. And thanks to interior designer Pierce Tynan, the result is a fresh take on the stately home - classical-
meets-rock’n’roll with hints of disco and jazz.

Fashionistas will love the cocktail of antique, retro and contemporary furniture (glass, leather, velvet, tubular steel, gilded mirrors, a silver grand piano), the polished floors sprinkled with cow-hide rugs, the bold colours, the sense of fun (we like the light-up paper hunting trophies on the drawing room walls). But the transformation won’t disappoint romantics nor offend historians: the baroque plasterwork, the Corinthian columns, the ballroom proportions, the original panelling, are just as the architect intended when the house was built in 1750. Thus, history lives alongside boho glamour and Irish hospitality.

Highs

  • Fabulous bedrooms and glamorous bathrooms - particularly the panelled apartment-sized rooms
  • The Eden Restaurant: international cuisine, generous Irish portions and a relaxed atmosphere
  • There's a spa, seaweed treatments and a sauna with a floor-to-ceiling view of the gardens
  • So much space - no matter how full the hotel, it never feels crowded
  • Perfectly situated for country life: trout fishing, clay-pigeon shooting, horse riding and hunting

Lows

  • The remote-controlled gizmos in the rooms are not for the technophobic. If you work out how to use them by the time you leave, you're smarter than we are
  • Some of the smaller rooms are, well, smaller - for the true Bellinter experience think big
  • Beware the compulsory 12.5% service charge in the restaurant
  • We've had reports that some rooms are looking a little tired

Best time to go

The weather is better (though not necessarily dryer) in the summer, but the spa, restaurant and location make this a good all-year-round destination. March - September is the best time for fishing on the Boyne.

Our top tips

Great for a long, relaxing weekend, or a 2-3 day mid-week break, and there’s plenty to see and do in the area for those who want to stay longer.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 34
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Snooker Table
  • Parkland
Room:

Rooms

There are 34 rooms, spread across a number of buildings: the Main House, the East and West wings, the Stables and ‘The Ruin’ (it was a pile of rubble until renovation). They come in various sizes (from cosy to colossal) and styles, but all offer extra-large beds, goose-feather pillows, downy duvets dressed in soft white linens, a mix of bespoke and vintage furniture, underfloor heating, and remote control everything. Most rooms are furnished with a nifty light-box wardrobe by designer Pierce Tynan, and all bathrooms are supplied with Voya organic seaweed toiletries.

In the Main House the 4 first-floor rooms (there is another in the attic) are stupendous: huge, with lofty ceilings, painted Georgian panelling, original shutters, fireplaces, polished wood floors and tall sash windows with views of the estate. In Main House 1, midnight blue panelling provides the backdrop for a king-size roll-top tub and a walk-in glass shower lined with glitzy mirror mosaics.

In the East and West Pavilions, 2 original blocks either side of the main house, the rooms are smaller and plainer, though most have sunny aspect with parkland views. While in the estate’s original stable block, overlooking the yard, there are now duplex apartments, ideal for families, and single-storey “dwellings” in what they call the Lean-To. These rooms have wooden floors, stable doors, big skylights in sloping whitewashed ceilings and bean bags in the living rooms.

The tranquil rooms in The Ruin, share a courtyard outbuilding with the Bathhouse spa, and offer simpler, more intimate spaces with clean textured white walls, contemporary furniture and low windows overlooking the grounds. Details include deep purple plush headboards and wooden Venetian blinds, copper slipper baths or roll-top tubs, and/or walk-in power showers.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Sister to renowned Dublin restaurant of the same name, Bellinter’s Eden Restaurant is down in the basement, in a former convent chapel (created during the Sisters of Sion’s 40-year residency). Steel pedestal tables and chairs and a swirly pop-art carpet lean towards 1970s retro chic, and the white stucco chapel arches are faintly reminiscent of an esoteric set from a Star Wars movie, but it’s got a great atmosphere. In the morning, shafts of sunlight pour in through high cellar windows; in the evening it’s all shadows and flickering candlelight.

The food is big and hearty and cooked with fresh, seasonal ingredients and local produce. A typical dinner menu might include pan-fried scallops, chicken liver parfait or stuffed roast quail breast, followed by pork belly, roast fillet of cod, pan-fried fillet of Irish beef or vodka and beetroot risotto.

Less formal, and easier on the pocket, is all-day-dining (11am - 9.30pm) in the Bellinter Bar (just off the dining room). The bistro-style menu includes soup, salads, fish and chips, Clare Island smoked salmon, club sandwiches and classic afternoon tea. In the summer, there are tables on the lawn; in the winter you can snuggle up by a real fire (the fireplace was a gift from author Jonathan Swift). There's also the Wine Bar which has an excellent vino selection.

Breakfast, served in the restaurant, consists of a continental buffet (juices, cereals, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt) and/or a full Irish to order: pork sausages, fresh eggs, black pudding, smoked bacon and soda bread.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Book into the spa: treatments include reiki, reflexology, body wraps, U-spa facials, deep tissue or aromatherapy massages. Then treat yourself to a seaweed bath, using Voya organic products made from ‘hand-harvested’ wild seaweed from Sligo. The spa’s side-by-side tubs enables a couple to enjoy the experience together
  • Visit the nearby megalithic burial grounds at Newgrange (Ireland’s only World Heritage site is older than the Egypt’s pyramids). Access to the passage tombs is via a series of timed tours which quickly get booked up in high summer. Prepare to queue, or pass the time in the visitor centre
  • The Hill of Tara, the seat of the Celtic High Kings of Ireland, is within a 10-minute drive
  • Do a Dublin day trip: the city is an easy 45-minute drive to the south
  • Go fishing on the Boyne: Bellinter has rights to 3 miles of the river, best for dry-fly brown trout fishing
  • The hotel can arrange horse riding in one of the 5 equestrian centres, a flight in a hot-air balloon and clay pigeon shooting
  • We love this beautiful corner of island, and there’s lots more to see and do. For a more comprehensive guide, check out our destination guide

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being

Kids

Children are welcome, although they are not allowed in the restaurant after 7pm, or in the drawing room after 8pm. Kids up to 12 year olds stay for free (B&B).

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

We'd recommend the duplex Stable Rooms or the Main House Rooms which offer more space and can sleep 2 adults, a child and a baby.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

7/
Rooms
8/
Food
10/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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