After a comfortable crossing from Holyhead to Dublin thanks to Stena Line and their luxurious Stena Plus Lounge, we drove the short 30-minute journey from Dublin city centre to rural Kildare in our seven-seat Lexus RX L to the gates of Cliff at Lyons.
Set in an unusual and impressive collection of historic rose-clad buildings including a mill and former dovecote, Cliff at Lyons Hotel & Country Retreat is a glorious eighteenth-century village in an idyllic rural setting. The original buildings, built of granite and slate, have been either rebuilt or stylishly renovated to create contemporary rooms and suites, as well as one and two-bedroom apartments and cottages.
On the edge of Lyons Demesne, which is considered one of the great historic houses of Ireland, Cliff at Lyons is dotted through orchards and lawned gardens on the banks of the Grand Canal, where barges still ply the waters.
Each of the 39 rooms at Cliff at Lyons is individually designed, spread out through the different historic buildings.
Estate and Lilypond rooms have contemporary accents with chrome detailing, sophisticated lighting, elegant leather and trunks, and simple colours, including grey, black and sage-green velvets.
Beds are backed with floor-to-ceiling velvet-studded walls…
… whilst en-suite bathrooms feature outsized rainfall showers.
The two-bedroom cottages suit both families and groups of friends holidaying together and are popular for longer stays. They are decorated in a more traditional country-house style with rich patterned fabrics, and are in close proximity to the beautiful fountain-dappled water feature that sits at the heart of the property.
Cliff at Lyons also features apartments, all of which have separate sitting rooms and kitchenettes, that overlook the courtyard, potager or Orangery. For those who can’t bear to leave their four-legged friends at home when they holiday, certain Cliff at Lyons rooms are pet-friendly too.
Botanical ingredients are key to The Well in the Garden too, the luxurious two-storey spa in a beautifully restored cut-stone, wisteria-clad carriage house on the grounds of Cliff at Lyons, surrounded by lush green gardens and countryside views.
Lovingly renovated to maintain the old-style elegance of the original structure, The Well in the Garden has three spacious treatment rooms under the eaves, a manicure/pedicure suite and a large relaxation space with double height ceilings and a handsome fireplace.
Active wellness is also encouraged at Cliff at Lyons, with maps of local walks and jogging routes provided, including one following the Grand Canal tow path, and yoga and private trainers are available on request.
Cliff at Lyons has magnificent walled gardens to spend quiet time in whilst opening up the countryside surrounding Dublin is what makes Cliff at Lyons a destination worthy of a longer stay.
As a relaxed and welcoming country venue so close to the city, Cliff at Lyons is popular for weddings, corporate meetings, events and private dinners. The iconic Mill building is ideal for conferences or dinners and the cottage-style architecture provides 19 different spaces for smaller gatherings. Weddings can be beautifully catered for with exclusive use of the whole property.
Dining at Cliff at Lyons maximises the benefits of its rural location, with a kitchen garden adjacent to both the main restaurant, The Orangery, and the casual Trellis. The Orangery opens every day for dinner service from 5.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
From the fresh snip of verbena in your morning tea to the French radishes sliced at your dinner table, the connection to the green surroundings is real and emphasised throughout the dining experience. Our dinner at The Orangery was an elegant affair of glass-walled dining beginning with pan-fried soda bread served with Irish butter as we browsed the menu inspired by foraged ingredients and the best of Ireland’s larder.
To start, Kilkee Scallops were served with violet artichoke, chimichurri and seafood crunch. The freshness and succulence of the scallops balanced the explosion of flavours from the chimicurri.
A delicious starter of 30 Month Parmigiano Reggiano Risotto came with smoked Irish oxtail and confit egg yolk. Beautifully rich but not at all heavy. The perfect size for a delicious starter.
For the mains, Duvillaun Beg Island Glazed Lamb Shoulder with glazed carrot and rosemary jus was accompanied by creamy mashed potato. Under the Family section of the menu, it is definitely enough to serve 2-3. If there are two of you it may feel like you are Adam Richman on Man versus Food, but the lamb is so delicate yet flavourful it’s definitely a challenge you can complete.
Sides include chips made from Irish potatoes and a moreish dish of bacon & macaroni cheese bites. I highly recommend finding that extra bit of room for the mac and cheese bites, you’ll regret it if you don’t.
What a wonderfully elegant way to end our day enjoying the array of contemporary luxuries in the idyllic rural setting of Cliff at Lyons.
Just a short 30-minute drive from Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre on the N4 and the N7, Cliff at Lyons is a fresh and luxurious take on Irish country living at its best. Check out the video below to take a peek at this luxurious hotel retreat in the Irish countryside.
Cliff at Lyons Hotel & Country Retreat
Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland W23 H3NP
+353 1 630 3500