Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Refined luxury at an historic castle

Lough Rynn Castle Hotel

It is not too often that I get the opportunity to stay in a luxurious castle hotel, so when the chance came up to spend a whole day and night at Lough Rynn Castle Hotel, Mohill, you could say I jumped (quite high) for joy.

The hotel is the ancestral home of the Clements Family and the notorious Lord Leitrim. I studied Modern History at University and wrote my final dissertation on the big bad William Sydney Clement, Earl of Leitrim. My essay was quite different o many others that have been written on the man as I actually focused on the good that he did, his forward thinking in relation to agriculture and the measures (like evictions) he set about to implement his futuristic ideas.
Anyway this may be the reason for my fascination with the hotel, but it could also be that for years as a child I attended the Lough Rynn Harvest Festival which was held on the ruins of the old house. There were vintage cars and demonstrations, a playground and it was always sunny and children ran through the house out into the gardens giggling with delight at the freedom. Even without any management the walled gardens beside the old house were a spectacle to look at.
Lough Rynn House (I wouldn't quite call it a castle) is beautiful, the Baronial hall with the large open Inglenook fireplace and views of the lake make you want to click your fingers and be transported to the late eighteenth century wearing a large ballroom dress. Antique furniture, pictures of the Clement family, long hallways, a dungeon bar and a sprinkling of mystery all add to the medieval atmosphere.
Food deliciously prepared by Head Chef Jean Michel Chevet is quite a treat, with the presentation second to none.
Each of the 43 rooms are beautifully dark and grande with stand alone baths and massive walk in showers that make you want to stay inside and linger around your large room. But you can't because you must go explore the acres of gardens around Lough Rynn. The manicured lawns have to enjoyed and the walled garden is somewhere you will not want to leave, photos will look amazing but nothing will beat your emotional attachment to the area.
Walled gardens at Lough Rynn
It is a pity that Lord Leitrim was so evil, it would be much nicer to imagine a princess living here waiting for her prince charming to return to her.
Instead we all know this little man of high collar lorded over thousands of acres and tenants, evicting those who did not pay rent on time, attended Catholic mass or did not obey his rules for improvement.
The John McGahern Library is worth a few hours at least to flick through a beautiful collection of Irish novels, most worthy those by McGahern himself who came from Leitrim.
The hotel has built a large glass ball room onto the hotel, tastefully hidden from the front view which provides a beautiful setting for weddings, or large functions like the Leitrim Rose.
The air conditioning in the rooms are most welcome and is the one thing that is missing from large hotels in Ireland.
Breakfast was delightful with a complimentary newspaper to keep me from feeling the lonely chill dining by myself. A choice of smoked or unsmoked bacon, traditional or pork and leek sausages and a variety of eggs along with toast being brought to the table (you know my feelings on toast) made for throughly relaxing and yet inspiring night away.
Inside Lough Rynn House

History geeks, nature lovers, romantics and luxury seeking ladies and gentlemen should put Lough Rynn Castle Hotel on their list of jolly jaunts this year!


  1. My bro had his wedding reception here (before Brian and Amy!! ha ha) Breakkie was amazing and the beds....oh the beds. Amazing!

  2. @el - yes the beds were truly amazing - especially because I was sleeping alone! Your brother is really a trend setter - follow that guy!

  3. Glad you enjoyed your time in Lough Rynn. I got married here a few years back too. I too attended the harvest festival as a child when the place was a ruin. It was lovely to be able to get married here. I didnt even contemplate any other wedding venue.

    All things nice...

  4. I have not been to a wedding in the hotel, but I can only imagine it would be beautiful. The grounds are stunning and the inside is do regal!