Stunningly located on a 300-acre estate in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of the west of Ireland and eleven kilometres northwest of Leenane on the road to Louisburgh (R335), is Delphi Mountain Resort, a sensitively designed hotel, restaurant, spa and adventure centre.
Since 2008 the resort has been owned and managed by husband and wife team Rory and Aileen Concannon, who emphasise its remoteness (‘no TV and limited phone coverage’) and do everything possible to make it a complete away from it all experience for guests.
The main building is an environmentally friendly blend of stone and wood, and the comfortably furnished bedrooms (especially those at the back) have beautiful views; the suites have a loft bedroom over a downstairs living room and all have either a window balcony or patio and locally made organic bathroom products.
In addition to the adventure centre and spa, hotel facilities include The 814 Brasserie restaurant on the first floor, the Wild Atlantic Café, and a destination dining experience, The Chef's Table by Stefan Matz (see below).
Conference/banqueting (60/80); free broadband wi/fi. Rooms 38 (7 suites, 10 junior suites, 4 executive, 5 family, 22 ground floor, 1 for disabled, all no smoking.). B&B special offers from as little as €41 per night. Hostel rooms also available for activity breaks. Children welcome (under 4s free in parents room, cot available free of charge, baby sitting arranged, kids club).
Spa (sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, massage, treatments); walking, archery, cycling, cookery classes. Equestrian, fishing (fly) & scuba diving all nearby.
2015 brought an exciting change at Delphi Resort, with the arrival of the gifted chef Stefan Matz; Stefan established his reputation in Connemara in the 1990s, when he ran the wonderful Erriseask House Hotel at Ballyconneely with his brother Christian, and who has since delighted diners at Ashford Castle.
On re-opening in early February after a brief annual closure, Stefan and front of house manager Warren McElhone first focused on the main hotel restaurant on the first floor; combining what was previously the bar and dining room, The 814 Brasserie is in plain view - and within, it seems, touching distance - of the Mweelrea mountain range. Expansive dormer windows fill the room with light and, as in the rest of the building, there is extensive, tasteful use of wood, also a fine stone fireplace The ambience here is casual, with an à la carte menu offering favourites from the locality.
Then, at the end of March, came the big change, with the opening of the new 34-seater restaurant,The Chef's Table by Stefan Matz. Separate from the hotel and with its own entrance, The Chef's Table offers a totally new dining experience and it is quite different from anything else in Connemara. With all tables surrounding the open kitchen and an emphasis on the best of foods available in Connemara, especially seafood, Stefan cooks there himself all the time and it is proving to be a very interesting and engaging dining venue, with regular events and special dinners all part of the vision. Here, Stefan just offers a small 5-course tasting menu and an à la carte with no more than four or five choices per course - a style that is pleasingly reminiscent of the Matz brothers' restaurant at Ballyconneely.
If this sounds exclusive, it is not. The Chef's Table is a warm and relaxed venue, where everyone is made very welcome. And it is only one part of a bigger plan, as day time business and tourists are catered for very nicely in the casual Wild Atlantic Café and shop - and the team will, of course, continue to look after students and pupils coming to stay at Delphi as school, corporate or private groups taking part in the various activities on offer.