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The Good Hotel Guide

"The best Irish Hotel we have ever stayed in" - a new plaudit this year for a stately creeper-covered Georgian mansion, former home of a branch of the O'Donnel family. It stands close to the sea in a touristy little town on lovely Clew Bay, facing towards Achill Island. There is magnificent scenery for miles around.

Owned and run by Thelma and Kieran Thompson, who offer "great hospitality", it is a Relais & Château member, but it has "a lovely unstuffy atmosphere" and friendly service. Other visitors wrote: "It was marvellous, with wonderful staff, charming bedrooms" (some have four-poster beds). The public rooms are impressive: fine plasterwork, and a grand staircase with a lantern and dome. "Our room was gloriously old-fashioned: huge bed, linen sheets, towels changed daily in our green-and-white bathroom. You could doze by the sitting room fire, amid antiques". Some rooms in self-contained sections are particularly suitable for a family.

As to the food: "Each meal was poem of excellence; the dishes using freshly caught fish were irresistible". The chef, John Gavin, cooks sophisticated dishes such as Connemara scallops with spinach and vermouth cream sauce; quail stuffed with mousseline of duck, brandy and wild mushroom sauce. Local oysters are available (for an extra charge), and you can have eggs Benedict for breakfast. The hotel has its own fishery on the Newport river.





Newport House
Newport, Co. Mayo, Ireland