World’s Best Hotel Reopens

Shuttering a hotel for an 18-month renovation is a risky proposition even in a bustling tourist hub. To do it in the bucolic countryside of County Limerick, Ireland, well, that better be one jaw-dropping transformation, guaranteed to bring visitors in droves.
And indeed, for Adare Manor, it was a doozy. More than 800 workers and craftspeople were on site, doing everything from building a gold-leafed ballroom from scratch to replacing or repairing every single roof tile on the manor house. Luckily, the hard work, a multimillion dollar renovation, reaped spectacular benefits: Upon reopening, the property was soon named 2018’s Hotel of the Year by Virtuoso’s Best of the Best awards, an influential organization of more than 17,000 travel advisers.
But in more granular terms — especially when “best” can be so subjective — what does this even mean?
Broadly, sure, it’s a hotel that’s firing on all cylinders. Everything from the meals to the amenities to the grounds must be flawless. But for a guest, it must be more personal than that to obtain such high esteem.
At Adare, it’s eating breakfast in a room that looks like it was lifted straight out of Hogwarts. It’s learning the ancient art of falconry alongside the hotel’s resident Snowy Owl, Olaf. And it’s definitely sinking your teeth into a freshly baked scone with a dollop of house-made lemon curd.
So how, exactly, does Adare craft its magic?
The secrets: A staff seemingly capable of mind reading. A farm-to-table menu unlike anywhere else in Ireland. How they keep the golf greens, well, so green and a massage so good, it makes jet lag disappear.

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