Oriel House Hotel, which is located in Ballincollig, a suburb of Cork, is a great base from which to explore this varied and beautiful region. Ballincollig is a quiet suburb on the outskirts of the busy and bustling city of Cork which makes it the perfect place to stay; especially for families or business travellers. It is conveniently located only 15 minutes away from Cork Airport and close to some spectacular attractions such as the famous Blarney Castle.
Oriel House Hotel is a lively place full of friendly staff members just waiting to make your stay enjoyable. There are plenty of stylishly decorated common areas throughout the property designed for both professional and casual meetings. Surrounded by a wide array of entertainment facilities, places to eat, shopping centres and local attractions, this unique hotel is ideal for a visit to Cork. A 24-hour bus service functions throughout the area and a bus stop is located right by the entrance making public transport easy.
Oriel House Hotel is the perfect example of how well the old and the new can blend together. The original building was built in the 19th century and a tower is still visible to the left of the main entrance. More recently the building was renovated and upgraded to include the modern side which now houses the upscale collection of rooms. These include the luxurious Tobin and Ellis Collections.
Both the original and modern sides of the hotel offer extremely warm, welcoming and spacious common areas and rooms. The hotel is also popular for hosting conferences, meetings and special occasion events such as weddings. Each day of my visit brought a new event and exciting mix of people giving Oriel House Hotel an upbeat and energetic feel at all times. Guests are also encouraged to enjoy all the hotel has to offer such as the restaurant, bar, coffee dock, and the fully equipped gym.
Oriel House Hotel consists of 100 luxury guest suites that are both spacious and stylish. Rooms and suites in the original building showcase lovely period features such as high ceilings and large sash windows combined with all the modern amenities you’d expect from a four-star hotel. The mix of the old and the new is most evident in these huge rooms and multi-room suites. These are particularly appealing for families or groups travelling together. Guests can choose between classic rooms, family rooms or suites.
On the other side of the building is the more modern side ideal for travellers looking for an ultra luxurious experience. I stayed in the Tobin Collection and loved the lavishly decorated space with its stunning designs. The gorgeously decorated corridor to these rooms definitely set the tone for a luxuriously relaxing experience. My room was decked out with everything I could need including underfloor heating in the bathroom, which was greatly appreciated after an icy day outdoors.
The Ellis Collection makes up the other half of the modern rooms and truly offers up a unique experience for guests with its luxury vintage decor. Both collections were created with guest experience in mind and provide relaxing and comfortable spaces. After a cold winter day of exploration my warm room was a welcoming sight, upon arrival I instantly felt at home and settled in to unwind.
Food and drink
Oriel House Hotel has two spectacular establishments for guests to dine at with Oriel Restaurant, which is open from breakfast through to dinner, being the epitome of sophistication. My guest and I thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely breakfasts here each morning; the buffet was well-stocked with the best breakfast fare and was a great way to start the day. Large floor to ceiling windows along one side of the room also provided lovely views out over the Cork countryside, this space also serves a la carte dinner to guests and can be hired out for catered events.
Oriel Bar and Bistro is another superb food outlet on the property that caters for more relaxed dining experiences. Here, guests can enjoy a scrumptious brunch if breakfast was missed, or can opt for the delicious carvery lunch, while a new addition to the food and drink offerings at Oriel House Hotel is the coffee dock in the lobby which offers sweet and savoury treats for afternoon tea.
Cork County and has plenty for travellers to do regardless of age or interest. Head into the city to walk the lively streets and admire the architecture and, while there, visit the English Market, Elizabeth Fort and Cork City Gaol. Another must-visit attraction is the Jameson Centre and Midleton Distillery and further afield you’ll find Spike Island, the Cobh Heritage Centre and the Titanic Trail.
But the most famous and enjoyable attraction is Blarney Castle, of course. If there’s one thing you must do while in the area, it is to visit this iconic castle and its stunning grounds, I spent a whole morning exploring the castle and grounds and could easily have stayed all day. Arrive early and beat the crowds to the top of the castle for your chance to hang over the edge and kiss the Blarney Stone. This harrowing experience is well worth it though as legend has it that anyone who kisses this stone will be blessed with the gift of the gab.
After this, take a stroll through the fascinating poison garden at the base of the castle before making your way to the more magical part of the grounds. There is just so much to discover all over the property such as the Druid’s altar, the fairy forest and even a stone circle.
In a nutshell
County Cork is a treasure trove full of exciting places to discover and lovely landscapes to admire. Oriel House Hotel, full of comfort and luxury, truly gives visitors a great base from which to explore the diverse region of Cork.
Rooms at Oriel House Hotel can be booked from €109 per night.
Address: Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
Phone: +353 21 4208400