A short drive south of Dublin city, in one of Ireland’s most scenic locations in the beautiful Wicklow Hills, this deluxe hotel set in the 47 acre Powerscourt Estate has brought new facilities to the area. Reminiscent of a formally iced wedding cake when seen from across the hills, the crescent shaped building is in fact designed to sit as neatly as possible into its forested site.
Entry is on the fourth floor, where palatial public areas are designed to make the most of the wonderful location overlooking formal landscaped gardens and the Sugarloaf mountain beyond; informal meals are served in these areas, and the scent of turf burning in open fires add a human dimension.
Accommodation, in quite traditionally furnished suites and rooms, is to a predictably luxurious level throughout, with items like signature linens and marble bathrooms as standard and the hotel lays a special emphasis on service (including details like evening turndown service for VIP rooms).
Resort amenities include the existing 36-hole championship-quality Powerscourt Golf Club golf complex, and a 30,000 square foot spa with VIP suites, 20 treatment rooms, and an equally impressive Fitness Centre and a children’s activity programme and babysitting services.
With such an exceptional location and state-of-the-art meeting and event amenities, this is a sought-after venue for a wide range of events, both corporate and private, including weddings. Canadian chef Eric Meloche - who is responsible for banquets and all meals served in The Sugar Loaf Lounge, McGills Irish Pub - is a strong advocate ot local seasonal produce
The dining experiences offered range from Afternoon Tea or casual meals in The Pub bar or the foyer lounge area, to fine dining on the terrace. But what has really interested everyone is Gordon Ramsay’s first Irish venture – see below.
Conferences/Banqueting (500/350); broadband wi/fi; business centre, secretarial services, video conferencing, laptop sized safes in bedrooms. Golf (36), walking, gardens, leisure centre ('pool, fitness room, steam room, jacuzzi); Destination Spa (treatment rooms, massage etc); Equestrian, fishing (fly, coarse & sea), garden visits & hunting/shooting all nearby. Children welcome (under 5s free in parents room, cot available, baby sitting arranged, kids club). Wheelchair friendly. Rooms 200.
Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt:
The formal dining room is surprisingly low-ceilinged, but large tables are generously spaced and in fine weather the large terrace is particularly appealing, offering diners the chance to absorb the breathtaking mountain views al fresco. Indoors a pale green palette has been used in an understated way, with floral rugs in camouflage colours the main features in this low-key room.
Like Ramsay's other culinary outposts around the world, the Scottish chef isn't actually cooking here (he was very upfront about this from the outset), and the kitchen is now manned by Executive Chef Peter Byrne (formerly of Chapter One).
The menu to date has been high on luxury ingredients and seafood, and the welcome prevalence of items like Wickow venison or Tipperary lamb has demonstrated a policy of using use local seasonal produce. Especially good breads and a cheese trolley, comprising over 20 Irish and French cheeses in prime condition, merit special mention.
A tasting menu (to be ordered by the whole table) is designed to showcase many of Ramsay's signature dishes, although those choosing à la carte should be equally spoiled with plenty of delicious complimentary morsels between courses.
Adjoining the dining room is a classy bar - packed with large armchairs, it is a pleasant spot for aperitifs or digestifs.