In a lovely area of green and gently rolling hills and river valleys, the immaculate exterior of this modern hotel attached to the Christy O'Connor-designed championship course creates a good impression on arrival, a feeling quickly reinforced by friendly, helpful staff who set a welcoming tone that is noticeable throughout the hotel.
You don't have to be a golfer to enjoy a visit here - the hotel also has special appeal for spa-lovers and it makes an attractive venue for weddings and other events - but it must help, as this is a picturesque and varied course to play.
The hotel is only an hour and a half from Dublin and, with spacious public areas, well finished accommodation and plenty of activities on offer both in the area and on site, it is understandably popular as a short break destination - and guests have the choice of fine dining in Fredericks Restaurant (see below) or eating more casually in the Aaron Lounge & Morrissey Bar.
Conferences/Banqueting (750/550); Business centre, video conferencing, laptop-sized safes in bedrooms, free broadband wi/fi. Archery, clay pigeon shooting, cookery classes, garden visits nearby, golf (18), leisure centre (fitness room, pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, spa), tennis, walking. Heli Pad.
Rooms 143 (3 suites, 8 junior suites, 4 executive, 4 family, 60 no smoking). B&B €75-115 pps; SS €30. Lift; 24 hr room service. Children welcome (under 12s free in parents' room, cot available free of charge, baby sitting arranged, playground, play room, kids club).
Named after Frederick York Wolseley, the original owner of the estate, the restaurant is in a bright and airy dining room with a pleasant outlook - and smartly appointed tables with crisp white linen and fresh flowers set the tone for imaginative contemporary cooking backed up by helpful, well-informed service.
The food standard is higher than is usual in hotels and, while ever-popular steaks and roast lamb dishes are always in demand, menus are varied and will include some unusual choices such as a starter of homemade oxtail ravioli (served with buttered leeks and a beef reduction) and venison, in season - carpaccio, perhaps, served pomegranate salsa, rocket & parmesan shavings.
Among the main courses, surf'n'turf comes as a refreshing variation on the usual steak and prawns: showcasing Kilmore scallops and slow cooked belly, it's paired with Pat O'Neill's back pudding (from Wexford) along with a honey & mustard mustard dressing. Vegetarian dishes are also imaginative - and it's well worth saving some room for elegant desserts, such as a hazelnut mousseline with caramelised pinenuts and Chantilly cream, and the speciality coffee menu too.
The set dinner menus offer good value, and there is live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.