COTE DE TEXAS: Part Two–Best Little Hotel in Ireland?

Part Two–Best Little Hotel in Ireland?

Part Two:  Be sure to read Part One first!  To get there, go to the end of this post and click on the "Newer Post" button at the left! 


I put together a plan of the guest rooms, but it’s mostly a guess working off the room descriptions.  Some rooms I’m sure of their location, but some I’m not quite as confident.  Use this just as a guide.

 Second Floor:

Upstairs, the halls are as pretty as the rooms:


Before restoration.  That arched ceiling!  Those small windows on the left overlook the roof of the middle rooms:  the Saloon, Rotunda, and Stairhall.


After: halls run the length of the house on both the east and west sides. 

Off the French blue stairhall.

Suites & Bedrooms:  each room has a name of a person or a place instead of a number.  There are 14 rooms in the main house , 1 in the old kitchen, and 5 new rooms in the building behind the house, the former dormitory.

 “Sir Christopher Coote, 15th Baronet”


The largest suite in the house is named in honor of the current Baronet whose great-great-great grandparents built Ballyfin.  The study sits over the library’s bay window.   It was Christopher Coote who met with Fred Krehbiel when he was restoring Ballyfin and decided that the original Coote portraits should be returned to the house where they now hang in the blue stairhall. 


The study.  Gorgeous.  Notice the carpet and the curtains.  The 18th century wallpaper panels are from the Prince of Hanover’s castle at Schloss Marienburg.  The rolls of paper were bought, but when unrolled, it was discovered they were too damaged to hang, so Colin Orchard salvaged some of the drawings and hung just those fragments.


A view of the suite – taken by a guest as you can tell because you can see the TV in the picture!!!  Hard to believe this is a hotel and not a home.  I love this room!!!!

The bedroom in the suite. 

And the bathroom in the suite – with the pony wall hiding the toilet and a fabulous fireplace with gorgeous white marble and crystal chandelier. 

“The Westmeath”


This is the most fabulous single room in the hotel.  Martyn Lawrence Bullard stayed here last week.  The bed floats in the center and it is just jaw dropping gorgeous.  Since there are no closets, most rooms feature twin armoires custom built for the Ballyfin.  I love all the patterned carpets in these rooms. 


The bed is a beautiful antique. 


The curtains are gorgeous.  Just a stunning room. 


Martyn L.B. took this photo at night.  I love how the art is lit.   The woman in the portrait is Marianne Jeffreys of Blarney Castle, County Cork.  Blarney!  I mean, Blimey! 

“Lady Caroline Coote”


This is a crowd favorite.  This is Lady Caroline’s actual  private sitting area and this room connected to her bedroom.


Notice the trim on the canopy – amazing all the different details for each room.   This room has original columns.  I assume this suite was one of the best since she was the lady of the house.


The wallpapered room and bathroom both overlook the front and lake.


The bathroom. 


And, to hide this toilet, a small screen was made.  I guess the Irish don’t like to see their toilets??? 

“The Butler”

This was once the actual bedroom of Lady Caroline and it connected with the above room to create her personal suite of rooms.   Notice the gorgeous antique – Georgian II armoire. 


Besides all the antique furniture in the guest suites, the antique portraits add so much elegance.

The attention to detail – the mirror with sconces and blue and white plates.  Beautiful damask wallpaper.  These photos were taken by a reporter – you can read his first hand account at his web address.


The large bathroom with rose marble.  All the bathroom fixtures are first class.  Even here, in the bathroom – it is decorated like a home, filled with antiques.


Those plates!  That chandelier!  This is a bathroom!!!! 

“The Knights”


This room is on the other side of Lady Caroline’s.  The mantel was moved from the old billiard room.


Look at the front ionic column. 

“The Wellesley Pole Suite” 


This sitting room is just beautiful.  This room was once known as the Garden Room – it is centered on the west side, across from the Fountain Cascade.  The chandelier and the mirror are so pretty. I love the fabric.  This suite is so pretty.

The chandelier reflected in the gorgeous antique mirror. 


Another view of the sitting room, by a guest.  Even the trash bin is cute. 


The bedroom is perfect – love the bench and love the patterned carpet found in these rooms.


A peek inside the closet shows that it is upholstered in the fabric!  No expense was spared.


The bathroom has rose marble and a fireplace.  The toilet hides behind a pony wall.

 “The Mountrath” 


Next to the Wellesley Pole suite, this room is in lilac and purple.


It’s an ultra feminine room. 

“The Maryborough” 


On top of the Library, next to Sir Christopher’s suite, this room is in green stripes with the patterned carpet.  Orange is the accent color.


The bathroom with the wallpaper cutouts – the same as the suite next door. 

“The Marquis de Massigny”


This is a personal favorite!  I love the toile walls, but the antique 18th century oval windows are ones that I have wanted for years and years!  And notice that chandelier! 


Just beautiful!  Yellow porcelain lamps, with yellow plates on the walls.


Reflected in the mirrors is a sibling portrait.  Love love love!!!! 

Can I move in???


That beautiful marble.  Even the toilets are pretty!

 “The Tapestry Room”


This is Sir Charles dressing room, next to Lady Caroline’s bedroom (now The Butler Room) and the nurseries.   The entire room is covered in 17th century Flemish tapestries.

Let that factoid sink in.The entire room.

17 century Flemish.



Can’t imagine.  They say this is the most atmospheric room


The Tapestry bathroom with rose marble.  This room overlooks the courtyard and the old dormitory.The Tapestry room is connected to the “The Morrison Room:”


Once the nursery, this small single room connects with the Tapestry.  It has check fabric on the wall with chintz curtains.

 The Mezzanine:

There are two rooms on the floor between the two floors.

 “The Small Library”


This room is incredible.  Because it’s on the mezzanine – the ceiling is a little lower, but it has TWO fireplaces and TWO huge library shelves!!  I would be in heaven!!!  You too?


It even has a sofa for sitting by that fireplace!  This room overlooks the courtyard and has a small balcony to watch the parties outside and the bar activity.


The Small Library bathroom with an antique chair and mirror.


At night, the shades come down.

“The Sarah Pole Room”


This charming room shares the mezzanine with the Small Library.  It has a corner fireplace.  Love the fabric.  Love this room.   OK, I can’t pick a favorite.  There are too many beautiful rooms!

What is so smart about these rooms – is because the headboard is a fabric, it has a partial slipcover to keep it clean.  I always tell my clients to be sure to keep a euro pillow between your husband’s head and the board, because OY!!!  In a year or two, there will be a big mark on the headboard from his hair.  But this white slipcover/throw is a great idea.  Just toss it and wash it and replace and keep the headboard fresh and clean. 

The Dormitory:

Last year saw many changes at Ballyfin.  They started allowing diners to dinner and brought in a new chef.  They opened new spa treatment rooms.  And, Ballyfin is now open for Christmas.  But the biggest excitement is that they revealed five new guests rooms – in the old dormitory building:


The hall to the rooms with urns and fabulous paintings – so what is new at Ballyfin?


There is the Duke of Wellington with a gorgeous tapestry, chintz fabrics and a sitting room.


The sitting room in the Duke’s room. 


There is Dr. Beaufort’s room, with his toile fabric walls. 

image_thumb87_thumb[1]And “Lady Kildare” – with her Claremont’s Mikado covered walls. 

Lady Kildare is the famous socialite of her time who went green with envy when she saw Ballyfin in 1759 and wrote “yesterday I saw a most delightful place indeed, much beyond any place I have seen in Ireland – Ballyfin, there is a piece of water there very like what I fancy ours will be, only broader; fine plantations and the greatest varieties of trees and flowers almost that ever I saw anywhere.”  Her poor husband.  He was building her a lake too, but before it was even started she didn’t think their lake was going to be as grand as Ballyfin’s. 


Lady Kildaire’s bed and half canopy. 


There is Lady Mornington, in a small suite.


The dusty pink walls are so pretty – and that mantel is beautiful!!!


Before:  But it is this bedroom that really sets itself apart from the new five suites. 

The Trellis.


Here are the plans for the walls.  They were drawn by artist Lucida Oakes at her studio.


Once she was through, she brought the canvas over to Ballyfin to hang in the room.


The finished look – fabulous!!!  Colin Orchard even had the bed painted to match the walls.


There is a small balcony out the door.


The bathroom is rather special – all mirrors and crystal sconces with white marble, it is perfect with the trellis walls.

I have only one comment about the five new rooms – where is the patterned carpet?  There is pretty wool carpet with a tiny pattern but I do miss the bigger patterned carpet found in the house.  I think it add so much to those rooms, why not use it here???

Finally….There is one bedroom left. 

In the Old Kitchen Building, by the courtyard, is

“The Viceroy” 


It has a Diocletian window and is a half octagon.   The room is very secluded and is on the ground floor.  It also comes with twin beds and two bathrooms and one of the bathrooms is for the disabled.


That chintz.  My favorite. 

Whew!  I’m exhausted!!!  I need a vacation at Ballyfin Demesne.


Want to know more?   Watch this interesting documentary on the history and restoration of the house. HERE.


Want to go?


Order the book about the restoration – click below.

AND in honor of Ballyfin….


Spode!  On sale: HERE


  1. The screen in the Lady Caroline Coote bathroom is because there is a window adjacent to the toilet that faces the front entrance to Ballyfin. So the screen would protect you from view if you were seated on the toilet - but will NOT protect you from view as you stand up or sit down lowering your pants.

    The dormitory rooms have plain carpeting because these are the less expensive rooms versus the main house.

    Your post - as usual for the most part usually incredibly thorough -- is what happens when you aren't actually at the place you are writing about.

  2. Really Jody? Why criticize such a wonderfully informative post? I don't care whether Joni was actually there or not - I just appreciate all the detail she went into and loved reading it.

    1. I brought the points up because Joni made them and I corrected her. If Joni had been there, she would have known. really, how silly you are to harp on me.

  3. Well, I learned a lot from Joni's article, which was written mainly to highlight the history of the decor. We don't know why screens were used around the toilet, but I would guess it stems from privacy from the Staff. Or cold drafts. Whatever the purpose, it's a historical component, and as time marches on, we're losing why things were done a certain way. This house was built with money, but I see that it now serves to allow guests to vacation in a bucolic setting, with true class and grace. Who can criticize this house, or how Joni wrote this incredible 2-part article? It took her time to share it, and I enjoyed the virtual journey. My family is from Ireland, but I've not been there, so this meant a glimpse into a rich past.

  4. I get the comment. I realized that the window was there - but there are also shades that come down. In other bathrooms, the toilet was built into an alcove that acted like a screen regardless of the window. And yes, obviously money was an issue with the rugs, I just didn't want to come out and say that - BUT wool rugs are expensive rather they have large patterns or not. It may be more of a maintenance reason - something they discovered in the older rooms. I can't visit the world. I don't want to. But I do enjoy seeing a place to go and talking about it here - then you can decide if you want to visit.

    1. And you did an incredible job, as always, which is what I prefaced my comments with.
      Having traveled extensively at small luxury boutique hotels, and being incredibly observant and detail oriented, I just find that I'd rather know everything prior to making a decision to stay there. Had i read your review before going, I would have been thrilled with the accuracy overall of it. There was no room for an alcove in the Lady Caroline Coote bathroom, and that is why the toilet is placed where it is.
      p.s. it is my absolute favorite bedroom in the house!
      p.s.s. I loved every single one of your posts about Prince Charles garden at Highgrove, and Kensington Palace, where The dUKE & Duchess of Cambridge's apartment 1A is. (Having actually had a 60 minute private tour of KP before they moved in, I was privy to some things you were not, just as I was with Ballyfin.)

    2. you toured Will and Kate's apartment - that one? or another one. Still can't believe the pictures of the drawing room we got to see. Now I want to see their country house, especially since Ben P. decorated it. Have you stayed at Althorp? You can now, for a hefty price tho. sigh....

    3. Jody, whether I'm "Anonymous" or named, I'm still a real person who finds you irritating, placating and just plain mean. Money can't buy you class, and you really are proof of that. I hope that you didn't give the Ballyfin staff a hard time.

      Joni, I really enjoy your posts, but don't believe everything people say.

    4. Joni,
      Will and Kate's current apartment 1A - before they renovated it. It was incredibly fun to see the spaces and the private garden outside, which is really lovely. The Duke & Duchess definitely moved some walls. It was about 54 tiny poky rooms (almost closet spaces) prior - now it is being described as 20 rooms, which would be a really nice way to have opened things up.

      Would love to see Amner Hall, but I doubt that will ever happen! I only got to see Apartment 1A because of Kensington Palace allowing private tours before opening hours, and it was well before the couple began their renovations.
      Never stayed at Althrop - that would be nice to do!

      And Anonymous, as Giselle Bundchen would say "I'm not what you think I am. You are what you think I am"

      I smiled at everyone on staff at Ballyfin when I interacted with them, said please and thank you at every request, and tipped the staff lavishly at the end of my stay (which is not required nor requested or expected). Which i do everywhere i stay.
      So there goes your theory on giving them a hard time. (rolls eyes)

    5. p.s. Princess Margaret's former drawing room is the room we saw with President Obama visiting the Duke & Duchess.
      It used to be blue, and was one of the largest rooms on that floor.