I’ve had a stressful few weeks of it so it was a welcomed joy to have some nice plans for the past weekend. The Friday night was dinner in Shanahan’s (review here) and then on the Sunday I had a night in The Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Waterford. I had SO MANY nice hotels in mind to choose from but I’ve heard such great reports on this place that I decided to go for it.
The hotel is a fair distance from Waterford city but coming from Dublin it’s a great road all the way down till about 10 minutes from the hotel. We had the traffic on our side driving down on a Sunday so it was a nice drive.
Once we arrived we parked the car and were eager to get in and see the place. The whole front wall of the hotel is covered in slate, which they also carry throughout the hotel. It’s amazing to think how many thousands upon thousands of slate pieces are used.
We arrived at about 2pm, before check in time, but they had our room ready for us in about 5 minutes. The Doorman, Ted, and Reception staff were amazingly friendly, they couldn’t do enough for us all weekend. The reception area was nice and bright and airy and when you walk toward the windows you just see the fabulous view of the sea in front of you.
Along the corridors the walls are again covered with more of the slate.
A lady showed us to our room which was a Terrace Suite and we had a little nosy around. The room was decorated beautifully, mostly in a fresh white and turquoise colour scheme. There were 2 small balconies, one with a small table and chairs. Inside there was a large bed and the suite was separated with a pillar in the middle with a tv on each side and an electric fire on each side too. On the opposite side was a cosy 2 seater sofa.
The best part of the room had to be the bathroom. It was fab, lovely slate walls, turquoise mosaic tiles and a lovely free standing bath….. I’m annoyed to say I didn’t even have the time to use the bath!
The weather wasn’t as great as we would have liked and we could see the fog starting to come in over the sea so decided to get out on the balcony and enjoy it before it got too dull. The views are absolutely amazing here, just miles and miles of sea stretching out in front of you. We had a lovely bottle of Prosecco and spent an hour or so just chilling on the balcony.
After that we were pretty much starving so decided on some lunch. We headed downstairs to the bar area, expecting there to be a few people around but nothing major… we were wrong! The place was almost full and so we got a seat at the bar, ordered a drink and had a look over the lunch menu. We got the chicken wrap and went for the Yawl Bay Crab salad. My glass of Pinot Noir was €11, a beer was about €6, the wrap was €9 and my crab was €13.50.
I thought portion size on the wrap was pretty small and it didn’t come with any kind of crisps or anything on the side. My salad was mainly just an open crab sandwich with a tiny bit of rocket and lettuce. While the food was lovely, I thought slightly overpriced for bar food. €45 including tip for a very small lunch.
The bar was lovely and cosy and we probably could’ve spent a fair few hours there chatting but we wanted to get some good use of The Well Spa. We went down and for a while we had the place pretty much to ourselves which was lovely. There’s a big enough pool, some wall features that you can lie in, a sauna and steam room and then the main attraction – the outdoor hot tub / Jacuzzi.
Even though it was slightly chilly outside by now and the fog had come in, the water was lovely and warm and it was pretty special relaxing there while looking out to the sea. We didn’t get any treatments in the spa but spent a lovely few hours there just chilling out.
As the restaurant in the hotel is closed on Sunday evenings we had dinner booked in the bar again that night. After a quick shower and change we headed back down. Although we were obviously in the same place we had lunch that day, it felt much more intimate and restaurant-like in the evening with the dimmed lights and candles. We were seated by the window and given some lovely brown bread to munch on while looking over the menu. The package I booked included 3 courses for dinner.
We ordered a bottle of dry Prosecco (€44) then chose the starters. I went for the scallops to start and E got the McGrath’s Corned Beef . I LOVE scallops but am not so used to getting them in a batter. They were lovely but I would have preferred them without the batter.
The corned beef was surprisingly gorgeous!
For mains E got the old reliable steak. I chose the cod with risotto. I’ve only had risotto once before and wasn’t crazy about it so decided it was time to give it another shot. Well as per usual, I had food envy. The steak was fab, cooked perfectly (well done as requested) and served on a nice wooden plank with some lovely carrots and boiled potatoes.
While the fish in my dish was lovely and fell apart when I cut through, I wasn’t mad on the risotto. It wasn’t cooked badly or anything like that, I just don’t think risotto is for me!
As I left a good bit of the risotto, I decided on a cheese plate for desert. I NEVER get cheese after dinner as I’m usually so full of savoury food and wanting some chocolate cake but this time I still wanted savoury. E got the chocolate fondant and we ordered some cocktails as the Prosecco had been polished off. I loved the funky stems on the cocktail glasses! However, would have liked even more if my glass was slightly fuller for €12!
My Farmhouse cheese selection was exactly what I needed to finish off the meal. Lovely crackers, similar to some I’ve had from Sheridan’s before, and the cheese selection was great.
The chocolate fondant was soooooooo good too, lots of gooey dark chocolate through the middle – yum!
The food was fab here, however I found the drinks a bit overpriced. €12 for a cocktail and the glass nowhere near full just seemed a bit much. I drink Prosecco pretty much everywhere I go too and for the cheapest one on the menu to be €44 was quite steep too. Dinner was included but after paying for the Prosecco, cocktails, cappuccino and then adding on a tip it was almost another €100.
The next morning we headed down for brekkie. Again we were given a nice seat by the window which was lovely as it was a slightly clearer day.
Breakfast is made to order which I much prefer than having to go up and choose from sloppy scrambled eggs and dried out rashers! It starts with a lovely bowl of fruit salad which is served with some natural yoghurt.
We ordered the full Irish and poached eggs on toast. While waiting, the waitress came out with a lovely 3 tiered afternoon tea style serving stand loaded with croissants, scones, brown bread, toast and jam. I haven’t ever seen this at breakfast time before and it was really nice.
The full Irish wasn’t swimming in oil or anything which can be the norm in some hotels. We polished it off and felt set up for the day!
After checking out we decided to go on the Cliff Walk. At Reception they gave us a small map detailing the points of interest that we’d be passing along the way and we set off. They even have some Hunter wellies for guests to borrow.
Some lovely views out over the sea though so definitely worth trying to get out if you do make it down there. We had a nice walk for an hour and then got back to the hotel and got back on the road home, albeit reluctantly and wanting to stay another night!
I really enjoyed my stay in The Cliff House and thought it was a beautiful place. I did find it expensive though, bearing in mind there isn’t anything else close by so you have got to dine and leisure in the hotel. I would say if you have a nice wad of cash to treat yourself then it is definitely a place worth going to.
The Cliff House Hotel
Ph: +353 24 87800
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