A night in Moy
As Manager Seamus puts it, “Not a bad place for something that started out as a mistake”. When the original owner Sir Augustine Fitzgerald built Moy House just south of Lahinch in the early 19th century, the plans were mixed up with another house being built simultaneously in Italy, so posterity is blessed with a glorious and quite modern-looking white Italianate villa marooned on the coast of County Clare (and perhaps somewhere on the Italian Peninsula there’s an Irish cottage perched incongruously next to the Mediterranean).
The atmosphere is warm and convivial and really feels like a party at a friend’s country house rather than a hotel. When you first enter, you are greeted not with an impersonal and officious reception area but by a friendly guided tour of the house. The kitchen is open to guests, and you can stroll in any time of day or night and help yourself to some cold beer from the refrigerator. The twin glories of the sitting room are the views over the bay and the honesty bar, which can be quite convivial at night as guest swap stories of their treks across the Burren.
I stayed in the Moymore Room, which was the original master bedroom of the house with a huge turf burning fireplace (happily not needed on this warm and sunny July day) and an enormous bay window seating area with sweeping views out toward the Atlantic. The bed was huge and comfy, the ceilings high and spacious and I loved all the period detail in the bathroom.
You will definitely want to stroll down the lawn to the sandy beach at some point during your stay at Moy House. The views of Lahinch Bay out toward the sea and down to the beginning of the Cliffs of Moher in the distance are nothing less than soul-stirring.
I didn’t get a chance to eat dinner in the much-acclaimed two AA Rosette dining room, but I can vouch that the breakfast at Moy House is one of the finest you’ll find anywhere in Ireland. Best of all, however, is the sense of peace, calm and smiling good cheer this magical place clearly creates in both the staff and the guests – not that is priceless.
Ryan Eiland – Editor – Best Loved Hotels