Situated in the heart of Northern Ireland, Gerardine and Eugene Kielt’s Victorian townhouse exudes charm and instils a sense of curiosity within the many guests who travel here from far and wide to experience not only the warmth and enthusiasm of the owners, but also to enjoy their permanent exhibition of the poet Seamus Heaney, who was born only a few kilometres from this fine old residence.
The four individually decorated ensuite bedrooms have period furniture and all the modern comforts, and there’s a cosy reading room where guests are invited to relax - or alternatively to research family history, using the vast array of resources available and the wide-ranging local knowledge of the owners. Heritage and cultural tours are available on request, taken by Eugene who is a professional guide, or you may be lucky enough to combine your stay with one of the Laurel Villa special poetry reading evenings.
Breakfast is served in the wood panelled dining where tasty cooked breakfasts using local produce are garnished with fresh herbs picked from the kitchen garden; freshly baked wheaten bread and Gerardine's fresh fruit salad are popular with guests, many of whom return often to relax in these comfortable surroundings.
This is an unusual place to stay, and an asset to the area - an absolute gem.
Laurel Villa is an NITB 4 star guesthouse and won the 2009 Northern Ireland Tourism Award for Highly Commended Non-Hotel Accommodation and received a very favourable review in the London Observer.