ADARE MANOR CASTLE & GOLF RESORT
BACKSTORY: This large, gloriously eccentric neo-Gothic manor was commissioned in 1832 by the Second Earl of Dunraven, who died before it was completed three decades later. Life in Adare village revolved around the manor and its 840-acre grounds until 1982, when it was acquired by an investment consortium. In 1987, the property was bought by the Florida-based Kane family, who have transformed it into a lavish hotel and golf resort that has hosted the likes of Bill Clinton and John Travolta.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: A picture book–quality landscape of mature forests, formal gardens and rolling grasslands, along with an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., which runs beside the ruins of a 12th-century castle and has a 15th-century Franciscan abbey at its center. Nearby is Adare village, whose pretty thatched cottages, ancient churches and welcoming pubs do a commendable job of luring guests away from the splendor of the estate.
DESIGN NOTES: The manor’s exterior, with its faux battlements, looming towers and leering gargoyles, only partly prepares you for what’s inside: a riotously ornate clutter of tapestries, carvings, pillars, arches, vaulted ceilings and Venetian chandeliers. It’s what you’d expect of a royal retreat, with stone fireplaces and arched windows overlooking the grounds, creating the illusion that you’ve not only traveled back in time but have been bumped up a few dozen social classes in the process.