It’s really difficult for me to pick a favorite Ritz-Carlton property as I’ve had such a spectacular experience at every one I’ve visited, but if I had to call one out for being exceptionally amazing- it would have to be the Ritz-Carlton at Powerscourt in Ireland. Nestled among the lush gardens and rolling hills of Powerscourt Estate just 30 minutes south of Dublin, The Ritz-Carlton provides the ideal setting for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the romance of Ireland. Having long been a Ritz-Carlton fan, I decided to check in, and check out, the hotel when I was in Ireland last month.
The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt is ideally located for anyone visiting the Dublin area. It is just across the county border in Wicklow , which is considered one of the most beautiful parts of the country. The actual hotel sits inside Powerscourt Estate, a sprawling 1000 acre manor known for its landscaped gardens, ornate houses, scenic views and natural wonders. It’s only an half hour drive south of Dublin, but an entirely different experience. For an urban dweller like me, the lush rolling hills and and expansive landscape were a welcome sight, especially after a long day traveling and expiring the city. For experienced drivers (get a GPS), The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt is easily accessible by private car. Otherwise, you can also arrange for the hotel to pick you up from the Dublin Airport for a truly hassle free arrival.
My first impression of the property was that it was almost palatial- from the grand entrance, to the majestic building to the classic European details and design of the guest rooms. Yet, there was something about the hotel that was also simultaneously low key, warm, and friendly. You can choose to self park your car if you wish, which I actually prefer and the bell staff that greets you is genuinely cheerful and always happy to help. From the moment you walk into the hotel, you’ll be wowed by the regal space, lavish decor and attention to detail. The best rooms are actually a couple levels down from the hotel lobby- and face the rolling hills and famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, the iconic emblem of Wicklow County.
Visitors should absolutely take advantage of living in the middle of an estate. The property provides complimentary bike rentals which I took out for a spin along the idyllic River Walk. You could spend hours walking and exploring the property- from the famous gardens to hidden, romantic trails, to quaint Irish country roads, to lavish golf courses. The estate also houses the highest waterfall in Ireland, amidst a lovely park with picnic benches and grilling areas. In fact, Powerscourt Estate is a destination in itself and the Ritz-Carlton is not just a place for lodging but a country resort in its own right.
The rooms at the Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt are phenomenal- and one of the most regal and beautiful spaces I’ve ever stayed at. I checked into one of the 93 suites at the hotel and would absolutely recommend the upgrade for a special occasion. We’re not talking about just a living area in addition to a bedroom here, but an absolutely amazing sprawling space complete with balconies and a full kitchen both larger than my entire New York apartment. I’ll let the images do the story telling:
Just a fraction of the living room space
Luxurious detailing is found throughout the entire property
A full size kitchen includes two ovens
A beautiful bedroom featuring signature Ritz-Carlton featherbed
Love the aethestic
I actually took these home, which I never do
It’s all in the details
A lavish bath
A thoroughly modern bathroom
The room command center: everything from drapes to temperature to room service can be configured here
The third floor of the property houses a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, one of the finest dining destinations in Eastern Ireland. The restaurant was absolutely bustling when I showed up for my 9:30 reservation. Gordon Ramsay serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and an elaborate tasting menu for special occasions. The modern menu features many Irish specialties and local produce from foie gras starter to a main course of Irish lamb and local cheeses for dessert. I decided to splurge for the mystery tasting menu, which was well worth it, but make sure you have a full three to four hours to enjoy the entire experience- and bring a very empty stomach! Some of the highlights are featured below:
Foie Gras starter with pickled vegetables
The Ritz-Carlton at Powerscourt tops the list of my favorite hotels from around the world. It strikes that perfect balance between modern comfort, European lavishness, and local Irish sensibility. You can get lost in your fairy tale world here and spend hours playing among the picturesque scenery. Then you can get pampered at the spa, wined and dined at the restaurant and retreat back to your own private palace. In my mind, I’ve always imagined Ireland as a romantic, natural yet mythical place – and the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt brings that fantasy to real life.