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Irish history fans can stay in an 18th-century manor hotel


The backstory: Ireland’s County Tipperary is home to many medieval sites, like the Rock of Cashel, a cluster of limestone buildings once home to kings, and those looking to explore these storied buildings have a new spot to stay. The Cashel Palace Hotel is set in a 1732-built Palladian manor, and it once housed the archbishops of Cashel before becoming a hotel in the early 1960s. Now, the property has been restored, and it reopened to guests in early March, complete with a private pathway to the Rock of Cashel.

Originally a Palladian manor built in 1732, the Cashel Palace is now a boutique hotel.

The space: The hotel spans 42 guest rooms and suites, each elegantly designed with cosy furnishings, a palette of pastel creams and pinks, and textiles and paintings that show the rich heritage of the palace. Many top-floor rooms and suites boast views of the Rock of Cashel and the surrounding rolling landscape and ancient trees, while select ground-floor rooms have their own private garden patio.

The Rock of Cashel is one of many historical landmarks near the Cashel Palace.

The dining: The Bishop’s Buttery, the main restaurant, offers seasonal menus highlighting local Tipperary ingredients, with dishes like seared foie gras with rhubarb and pistachio, or black sole grenobloise with lemon, capers and beurre noisette. On the ground floor you’ll find the Guinness Bar, a nod to Archbishop Arthur Price, once a resident of Cashel Palace; Price was godfather to Arthur Guinness, founder of the Irish dry stout we know and love, and the brewery was started with a bequest from the archbishop. Also at the hotel, on adjacent grounds, is the casual Mikey Ryan’s for al fresco summer dining.

The Residents Cocktail Bar is a stylish spot to sip drinks before dinner.

The extra amenities: After a day of exploring, guests can unwind at the spa, which features a heated 17-metre indoor and outdoor swimming pool, and seaweed baths in soaker tubs. There are also hot and cold experience showers, a Klafs sauna and a Jacuzzi, and the facilities extend to a fully equipped gym, yoga studio and hair salon.

Enjoy a therapeutic soak in the seaweed baths at the hotel's spa.

The nearby sights: Beyond the Rock of Cashel, other historic spots close by include Holycross Abbey, a more than 800-year-old monastery with beautiful grounds, and the Ormond Castle Carrick-on-Suir, one of the finest examples of Ireland’s Elizabethan manors. Tipperary also offers quaint countryside roads to cycle, and the River Suir Blueway, 20 kilometres from the hotel, is perfect for kayakers. For city sights, Dublin is just about a two-hour drive away.

One of the bright bathrooms, with a garden view from the tub.

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