EMLAGH HOUSE

Comfort-rich guesthouse on the shores of Dingle Bay

BUILT A FEW YEARS AGO in pleasingly traditional style, Emlagh House looks every bit the old-time country house. But inside, you'd swear the paintbrushes were only put away yesterday – everything in this impeccably groomed house feels laundry-fresh from top to bottom. 

Mother and daughter team Marion and Grainne Kavanagh have thought about just about everything at Emlagh House. Baths sunk into marble surrounds, twin basins, music while you soak, full-on power showers an array of Gilchrist & Soames bathtime bottles, waffle robes and underfloor heating.

This faultless theme continues in the bedrooms – all named after wild Irish flowers – where polished period style furniture is matched with down duvets, lush linens, top-notch CD players, and an ice bucket at the ready for that chilled glass of bubbly. Our room  had a sheltered private patio, while Fuschia – the honeymooners' favourite – is done out in striking cerise and purple, with a canopy bed.



Hit the Spot
On the edge of Dingle, with sweeping bay views.

Bedtime
The passion-perfect Fuschia room is a riot of cerise, purple and gold, with a canopy bed.

Be Savvy
Skip the tourist boats and go dolphin-spotting from the shores.

Be Smitten
Lashings of  creature comforts without a hair out of place.

Dingle dolphin spotting

It's all very much designed to please – and that's not to mention the views. From the rear terrace, green fields shelve away into glittering Dingle Bay and a coastal path meanders down to a series of little coves and a lighthouse. It's just the place to spot Fungi, Dingle's celebrity status resident bottle-nosed dolphin. He even has his own bronze statue in the harbour.

Determined to spot Dingle's famous flippered friend for ourselves, we set off for the shore. And sure enough, having given a fleet of tourist boats the slip, Fungi was soon giving us and a handful of other spectators a private picture show, twirling and arching in the shallow waters off a small sandy beach. Pretty amazing.

But back to Emalgh House. You'll find tea and cakes on arrival, a help-yourself  honesty bar, a piano and a giant chess, plus a library with internet access, shelves of CDs and a great collection of books on local history. You're a five-minute stroll from the town, with all its bars and restaurants.

There was one more treat to come, as we found next morning.  Emlagh House breakfasts are historic. They are served in the sunny conservatory with its stripped wood floors, stripey cotton-backed chairs and wide-open views.  Where do we start? Baskets bursting with home-made soda bread and crumbly-fresh scones. Freshly squeezed juice. Endless coffee. And signature dishes like ham and cream baked eggs with a cheesy topping. It's enough to set you up for a week.


Emlagh House was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.











Dining in
Only breakfast is served, but Emlagh House definitely gets our historic breakfast award. The house speciality is owner Marion’s signature ham and cream baked cheesy eggs, as well as the traditional full Irish. If you can resist the aroma coming from the kitchen there are plenty of lighter options to choose from: freshly baked soda bread and crumbly scones, freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade muesli or fish that come straight from the sea to the stove. Breakfast here will certainly see you through till evening – and did we mention the views? Gaze out at Dingle Bay while you munch.

Dining out
There are six great restaurants within 500 yards. Doyle’s Seafood restaurant is close by and the menu varies according to what was caught that day. Another great local restaurant to win plaudits galore is the bistro-style Chart House.



Where?

Emlagh House

What’s cooking?
Maybe the best breakfast you’ve ever had.

Dress the part
Irish informality rules.

Top table?
Next to the window, so you can look out for resident Dingle Bay dolphin Fungi.

See & Do

Dingle's Slea Head peninsula is one of the loveliest places you’ll ever see and offers a wealth of activities. Swim with the local dolphin (preferably in a wetsuit), go fishing or enjoy bracing coastal walks. Keep in shape with a round of golf or some arm-in-arm tramping around the bay. Take a day trip to tranquil Blasket Island – just ask your hosts for a picnic lunch.

Shop
Label lovers will love Dingle's top boutique fashion store, La Boheme. You'll also find top quality goldsmiths and leather goods in town.

Spa
If all those cooked breakfasts are threatening to take their toll, there is a spa hotel 500 yards away.

After dark
There are 50 pubs in town starting from just 50 yards away.  Most of them stage traditional Irish music and you're assured a warm welcome in  the land of cead mille failte. Best of all, they're all within staggering distance of your bed.

Dates
August
Dingle Bay plays host to boat races and a regatta – so find your sea legs.

September
For some more restrained entertainment head off to the film fair and check out the latest releases.
GETTING THERE

Location
Dingle, Co. Kerry

Parking
There is free guest parking.

Trains
Tralee station – 50 km

Taxis
Around EUR 50 from the station.

Airport
Kerry – 50 km



Rooms and suites

Ten rooms

Special features
Luxurious rooms come with half-tester beds, fireplace, free wi-fi and CD player. Some also have a terrace.

Also…
There's a comfy drawing room with an open fireplace –  just the place to unwind with a whiskey – and a book-filled library.

ESSENTIAL INFO


Rates guide
EUR 200 - 300
Champagne and chocolates in your room – EUR 80

Open/closed
Closed 1 November – 10 March

Check-in

2pm

Check-out
Midday

Minimum night stay?
No

Breakfast
Breakfast is served until 10am

Room service

If getting up early is too much, breakfast can be delivered to your room.

Children
Emalgh House is not suited to under-eights.

Pets
Yes

Air conditioning
Yes – all rooms

Languages
Irish and English

Wedding license?
Yes. Up to 40 guests can be catered for based on exclusive hire.

Eco conscience
Recycling and use of only local produce is practiced.

Coming soon
A conservatory style dining area overlooking Dingle Bay is being added shortly.

Your contact
Grainne Kavanagh –owner
IRELAND> CO KERRY> DINGLE> Emlagh House
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