This Cork hotels got a fine country house at its heart and is set in its own garden and is quietly situated on the south of the city and very convenient to Cork airport and the Jack Lynch Tunnel, .
The main entrance is via the original flight of steps up to the old front door and guests are welcomed at a the reception desk in the beautifully proportioned entrance hall.
The original house has many fine features and is furnished in period style with antiques; spacious public areas now extend from it, right across to the new accommodation wing through the Garden Room, a spacious contemporary lounge furnished with smart leather sofas. Not surprisingly, the Maryborough is a popular meeting place for local people - and also a fine venue for weddings and other events.
The new section of the hotel - which is modern and blends comfortably with the trees and gardens surrounding it - includes excellent leisure facilities, the main bar and restaurant, and guest accommodation.
Guest rooms and suites are exceptionally attractive in terms of design - simple, modern, bright, utilising Irish crafts: rooms are generously-sized, with a pleasantly leafy outlook and good amenities; compact, well-lit bathrooms have plenty of marbled shelf space, environmentally friendly toiletries, very small baths and towels, and suggestions on saving water by avoiding unnecessary laundry (the hotel's positive environmental policy has achieved recognition with a Green Failte Gold Award / Best in County).
The hotel has adopted a very family-friendly policy, with on-site pet farm with a swing and slide (children can play or help to feed and tend the animals), tailored half day and full day family itineraries for outings and other services including picnic baskets made up to order.
Conference/banqueting (500/400); business centre, secretarial services, video conferencing, free broadband wi/fi, laptop-sized safes in bedrooms. Leisure centre (swimming pool, children's pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room); beauty salon; Spa. Children welcome (under 2s free in parents room, cots available without charge, baby sitting arranged, unsupervised playroom in school holidays, children's DVDs). No pets.
Creative use of lighting separates areas within this art deco inspired dining area without physical divisions - and the tables are considerately spot lit (ideal for lone diners who wish to read).
Head Chef Gemma Murphy has earned a local following for imaginative cooking and her thoughtfully planned menus offer an ambitious range of contemporary dishes that showcase local produce with style.
The famed English Market in Cork city is of course the source of some produce including fish (Matt O Connell Seafood) and chicken (PJ Sheehan & Co. Poultry) while other respected names listed include Skeaghanore Duck from West Cork, Bluebell Falls cheese and Goatsbridge Farm Trout Roe from Co Kilkenny.
The cooking has real finesse and everything on the menu - including some very good vegetarian dishes - seems to be equally desirable. There's a good Irish cheeseboard, although the pretty desserts are definitely worth leaving room for, notably some retro treats such as Baked Alaska.
A good wine list includes an unusually wide choice of half bottles, all moderately priced, and plenty of other drinks from the full bar.
Great service too, making for an interesting and relaxing meal.