Ballyfin Demesne, Co. Laois

At the foot of Ireland’s unexplored Slieve Bloom Mountains, Ballyfin Demesne is the perfect place for a luxurious escape from city life. Surrounded by 614 acres of private forest and gardens and consisting of 20 beautiful rooms, this 19th century stately home makes for a tranquil getaway. Spend your days in Ireland’s emerald-green countryside horse riding, clay pigeon shooting or fishing before whiling away your evenings indulging in the finest Irish whiskey in Ballyfin’s contemporary cellar bar.


Ballyfin is located in the heart of Ireland in County Laois, an hour and a quarter drive from Dublin Airport and no more than a couple of hours drive from Kilkenny and Galway. Whilst these cities are only a day trip away this hotel’s appeal is in its seclusion. Whether you want to enjoy a round of golf on the famous Palmer Ryder Cup Course, hike in the virtually untouched Slieve Bloom Mountains or cycle to the picturesque village of Kinnitty, Ballyfin is a paradise for those looking to enjoy the simple and calming pleasures that come from being deep in the countryside.

Your room

Each of the 20 rooms at Ballyfin has been individually and meticulously designed to reflect the 1820s neoclassical style of the house. Whilst no two rooms are the same, all boast stunning views over the vast grounds and ornate touches such as grand four-poster beds and antique furniture, that will transport you back in time to give you a real taste of 19th-century upper-class living.

Why we like it

Ballyfin is the gift that keeps on giving and the house and grounds are awash with hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. We find the library particularly enchanting, home to over 5,000 books to peruse in a quiet moment and a secret door leading to a tropical conservatory, hidden away behind one of the many bookcases. Step outside and the grounds will leave you similarly in awe as you stumble upon quaint grottoes and Edwardian rock gardens one day and see kestrels and buzzards flying above a Medieval tower the next. To top it all off, the hotel will prepare a picnic basket at your request for you to enjoy at the lake or any one of these other stunning country spots during your stay. What could be more idyllic?