County Meath, Ireland

Bellinter House

Rates from (inc tax)$158.39

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Urbane Palladian mansion

Setting

Rolling riverside parkland

A modern makeover has thoughtfully blended the original stately Georgian elegance of Bellinter House hotel with modern luxuries, creating a beacon of high-style less than an hour’s drive from Dublin. No sleepy country estate, this is a contemporary marvel with playful-clever furnishings and 21st-century accoutrements. The restaurant’s seasonal and inventive menu is not your typical Irish country fare.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A 55-minute Les Luneides bath treatment each (choose one of the following: Green Tea Detox Bath, Chocolate Bath, the Cleopatra Milk and Honey Bath or Rejuvenating Grape Bath); there are two baths, so couples or friends can bathe side by side

Facilities

Photos Bellinter House hotel - County Meath - Ireland

Need to know

Rooms

34.

Check–Out

12 noon; check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $158.39 (€141), excluding tax at 13.5 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR160.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Designed by Richard Cassels, 18th-century architect of the Irish Parliament, Bellinter House is of significant historical interest; the grounds and building are therefore open to the public daily from noon until 4pm.

Please note

Bellinter House will be closed for refurbishment 10-12 October 2016.

At the hotel

Gardens, library, games room, spa, sauna, steam room, hot tub. In rooms: minibar, flatscreen TV, Handmade Soap Company toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Main House rooms have high ceilings, huge bathrooms and cracking views; Main House 1 has a tub for two. For a peaceful, pampering-focused stay, rooms in the Ruin are tranquil, secluded and close to the spa; Ruin 3 has a copper bath, Ruin 4 a roll-top tub.

Packing tips

Swimwear (Bellinter House has an excellent spa with an outoor hot tub, steam room and sauna), horse riding gear and boots made for walking.

Also

The countryside here is rugged and gorgeous – explore on foot in a pair of Bellinter House’s loaner wellies, or on horseback from one of the five local equestrian centres.

Children

Welcome, with advance notice. Cots and foldaway beds provided; babysitters can be arranged. The split-level duplex rooms in the Stable block are best for families.

Food and Drink

Photos Bellinter House hotel - County Meath - Ireland

At the hotel

Eden, set in the bright, vaulted basement, is where the chefs conjure up Modern Irish bistro fare from fresh seasonal ingredients.

At the bar

In the Bellinter Bar, pints are pulled perfectly and cocktails are cunningly crafted (we defy you not to like the honey-sweet Bees Knees martinis); oenophiles could spend a happy afternoon tasting their way around the Wine Bar’s impressively stocked cellar.

Last orders

9.30pm in Eden Restaurant and the Drawing Room; 11pm in Bellinter Bar and the Wine Bar.

Room service

8am–9.30pm. There’s also an all-day menu available in the Drawing Room.

Location

Photos
Address
Bellinter House
Navan
County Meath
Ireland

Worth getting out of bed for

As well as ghillie-guided fishing on its private three-mile stretch of the Boyne river, Bellinter House can organise all manner of outdoor activities, from clay-pigeon shooting and horse riding to golf and hot-air ballooning. The  Megalithic Passage Tomb at Newgrange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; drop in at the Brú na Bóinne visitors centre near the village of Donore for information about Newgrange and its tomb complex. There are several interesting historical sites along the Boyne Valley, including Mellifont Abbey, the Hill of Slane, the Hill of Tara and Trim Castle – the largest extant Norman castle in Europe. 

Local restaurants

Informal Hudson’s Bistro on Railway Street has an eclectic Irish menu with Thai, Cajun and Italian flourishes (+353 (0)46 902 9231). The Loft on Trimgate Street is a popular dinner spot, beloved for its crab claws and Boyne salmon (+353 (0)46 907 1755); it also has a sleek, buzzy tapas bar.

Local cafés

In Navan, get a caffeine fix or wholesome lunch at Chekhov’s Coffee House on Bakery Lane – the home-made desserts are lovely (+353 (0)46 907 4422).

Local bars

A mere moment from Bellinter, atop the historic Hill of Skryne, O’Connell’s (affectionately known to locals as Mrs O’s) is an authentic Irish country pub with buckets of charm (+353 (0)46 902 5122).

Reviews

Photos Bellinter House hotel - County Meath - Ireland

Anonymous review

‘It’s a grand place you’re headed,’ says Danny Fitzpatrick in as fine an Oirish accent as can be heard. Danny, our driver from Dublin airport to Bellinter House, County Meath, hasn’t so much kissed the Blarney Stone as settled in for an all-night love-in, judging by the rich, anecdote-filled commentary he provides as the lush countryside rolls by. It has been a hard week. So, we can’t think of a better way to start the weekend than to sit back and let Danny’s lilting soundtrack waft over us, while we gaze out at the luminescent green fields, and the watery sun sets through the mist. I was too whacked even to ask the origins of an anomalous herd of buffalo.

As we swish up the long drive towards the Palladian splendour of our boutique stay, Bellinter House, the 18th-century mansion looms ahead, all twinkly and inviting. It feels as though we’re in a Jane Austen novel, arriving at a much-anticipated ball hosted by the local catch. All that’s missing is the horse-drawn carriage and an empire-line frock.

The period-drama spectacle continues inside – as finding our room involves an expedition up a cantilevered staircase and along an opulently plastered landing, beneath an elaborate, oval-domed ceiling that’s propped up by slightly bonkers Doric columns. Those Georgians certainly never stinted on their proportions. Our room has the requisite high ceilings, floor-length sash windows and impressively heavy shutters that come as standard issue in country piles. Apparently Bellinter takes its name from the Irish words Baile and Saoir, which means ‘home of the carpenter’ and, judging by the wood panelling that’s everywhere, the place has evidently kept many a craftsman busy over the years.

Despite the grand lines, there’s still something refreshingly up to date about Bellinter House. With modern art on the walls, contemporary furniture dotted about and some very non-18th-century fabrics fulfilling the soft-furnishing function, it’s more like hanging out in the country pad of a design-savvy, modern-day squire than being trapped in a stuffy museum. There’s even technology that’s so complicated I can’t manage to switch the lights on. Luckily, Mr Smith has more perseverance with that sort of thing and, before long, he’s cracked it – and is happily reassessing the mood and readjusting accordingly (on what seems like an hourly basis).

A quick glance at the clock stirs us into action and we rush down for a pre-dinner livener, keen not to miss last orders. I needn’t have bothered, as the barman tells me that they only really close when the last guest drifts off to bed. Now that’s my kind of watering hole.

Our table awaits and, after a quick aperitif, we head for Bellinter House's Eden Restaurant – which is the sister establishment to the award-winning Dublin eatery famous for its seasonal Irish menu. Danny had mentioned something about Smokies, which we notice on the starter menu. The smoked haddock, spring onion, crème fraîche and melted cheese combination makes me wish I’d paid more attention to his recommendations, because it’s absolutely delicious. As is the hearty beef and Guinness stew (when in Ireland and all that), which comes with earthy wild mushrooms and a creamy mash. We haul ourselves back upstairs and tumble onto a springy marshmallow cloud of goose down and crisp white bedlinen. And, with those sturdy shutters blocking out the big bad world, our sleep is long and tranquil.

The next morning, I pull back the shutters dramatically, inviting in the kind of rural Irish view that stars every colour under the sun (as long as it’s green). In the far distance, the river Boyne winds languidly through our framed picture, adding focus to the composition. Happily, Bellinter House is not the kind of hotel where the breakfast service is always ending just as you’re heading down for it. We’re able to indulge in a deliciously lazy full Irish breakfast in bed. It could be early afternoon for all we know. Not that anybody would care if it was.

With so much scenic action happening out the window, we’re drawn from our cocoon to go and explore. There’s a selection of wellies in all sizes, which is handy – who’d ever think to bring their own? We grab a pair each and meander through lush meadows along the banks of the Boyne, wading through long grass, over fields dotted with nonchalant cattle, before resting up by the river’s edge, allowing the countryside’s natural powers to work their restorative magic.

Funny how time flies when you’re busy not doing much at all. Not that there isn’t plenty to occupy restless spirits. For anyone who wants to curl up with a good book, the library’s packed: with everything from a Joan Collins biography to Irish artists from the 1600s. Then there’s a games room and fishing, golf, horse riding and clay-pigeon shooting for the energetic. But after our extensive walk, I’m more in the mood for a lie-down. And there are worse ways to fill a few hours than to visit the Bathhouse spa, where a seaweed bath and body wrap leaves my skin feeling velvety, dewy and soft – a description equally germane to the Meath landscape.

We retire to the forest-toned drawing room where, gazing at the pretty plasterwork, I’m reminded of an ornately frosted wedding cake. As if on cue, afternoon tea arrives and we hunker down on an elegant sofa. Other guests congregate and soon we’re chatting about life and love, and wondering why we don’t do this sort of thing more often. Maybe it’s the fine food and favourite tipples. Or the promise of a comfy bed and a sound sleep. Perhaps it’s the soothing emerald tones. Whatever. Danny Fitzpatrick was right: ‘It’s just grand.’

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Bellinter House’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Huge room with fabulous bathroom. Dinner in the cellar and lunch in the lounge. Lots to see and do all around - plenty of history and culture.

Don’t expect

High speed wifi- it was a bit flaky

Rating

Stayed on 30 Mar 2016

We loved

The peace and quiet. The bath house smelt beautiful and our room was above it. Bedrooms and bathroom was massive. Staff excellent, very pleasant and happy to oblige.

Don’t expect

Trendy bar. It feels like you are having a drink in the house, and the bar is tiny but beautiful views. You can have a drink in the drawing rooms, but it's very relaxed.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Feb 2016

We loved

The fire

Don’t expect

To be independent of your car.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Nov 2015

We loved

The beautiful building and local, knowledgabele staff

Don’t expect

A recently-built 'bed warehouse' - this is a beautiful 250 year-old mansion!

Rating

Stayed on 22 Jul 2015

We loved

The grounds.

Don’t expect

The wi-fi to be any good. There was a la carte breakfast for one day and not another.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jul 2015