Rest, relaxation and Michelin-starred food
The Cliff House Hotel in Waterford: stunning views across Ardmore bay
The Cliff House in Waterford is a very different experience to the traditional five-star hotel, writes SÉAN FLYNN
The Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford is building a reputation as one of the hottest venues in the country for rest, relaxation and Michelin-starred food. So, what’s it like to stay there? If you watched the recent BBC documentary Inside Claridge’s you might have some notion. The Cliff House has the same exacting standards, extraordinary attention to detail and glorious food.
There has been a hotel on the site which looks down and across Ardmore Bay since the 1900. The new Cliff House opened four years ago with a much-lauded contemporary design – by Coughlan DeKeyser and Associates in Cork – which opens up the views and brings the light in. These days, guests can stand at the glass balustrade in the lobby and gaze at the expanse of Ardmore bay in front of them.
Design is a major element of the Cliff House experience. If you appreciate great interior design, you’ll love this place. Every one of the 39 rooms has its own distinctive look, created by interior designer Garry Cohn of Douglas Wallace.
Our room – the Aran – was on two floors. The centrepiece was a display of Aran sweaters of different hues on the staircase. From the shower you could peer across the bay. In the bedroom, you could use the remote control to slide the TV out of the way and into an elegant cabinet. Downstairs, there was bespoke music to match your mood. The Cliff House is full of these trendy – some might say gimmicky – features. But they all add to the sense that you are somewhere unique.
The Cliff House is a very different experience to the traditional five-star country hotel. There are the same high standards but the overall feel – from the dining room to the stunning spa area – is younger and less traditional. It is also a surprisingly unstuffy place.The staff are warm and friendly.
Dining in the Michelin starred restaurant is an extraordinary experience. Drawing on local produce, Dutch chef Martijn Kajuiter has created a bold and beguiling cuisine. Anyone for beetroot flavoured macarons? You don’t just eat at the Cliff House. You experience a radical, innovative cuisine where the chef is creating new, exciting flavours.
The food is terrific and the overall experience is great fun. Full disclosure: like virtually every other guest , I used my smartphone to photograph Kajuiter’s culinary creations; some things are worth saving. thecliffhousehotel.com