- Ireland's Only Gordon Ramsay Restaurant
- Stunning Location & Total Luxury
- Best breakfast ever!
We have just visited the Ritz Carlton Powerscourt again to check out the new dining options at Gordon Ramsay Restaurant, and we had a fabulous mini-break with exceptional food and comfort.
When initially asked to review the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Powerscourt nearly five years ago, I was only too happy to oblige. Having visited several of this prestigious brand’s properties in the past, including Berlin, Santiago in Chile; Cancun in Mexico and Battery Park in New York, I was pretty sure that it was not going to disappoint. Driving up from the pretty village of Enniskerry just off the N11, I soon came across the familiar lion’s head logo, and saw that they had chosen the heart of the Garden of Ireland to place the country’s only Ritz-Carlton hotel. And what a location – right at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountain and surrounded by the magnificent gardens of historic Powerscourt Estate sits the splendid hotel building– this was a breathtaking first impression. Subsequent visits have continued to impress, with the quality of hospitality never wavering.
ACCOMMODATION AT RITZ-CARLTON POWERSCOURT
The spacious Georgian inspired reception area of the hotel is actually situated on the forth floor of this seven storey building which is cleverly designed to both blend in with and avail of the views of surrounding gardens and countryside. Our room was one floor down, on the same floor as the renowned Gordon Ramsey Restaurant and also facing the Sugar Loaf Mountain. We had floor to ceiling windows and a large balcony with sun loungers where we actually sat out in the early-summer sunshine. We had two double beds with heavenly linen and pillows, a large sitting and working area and a spacious marble bathroom with separate bath and power shower. As you would imagine at a Ritz-Carlton, we had beautiful toiletries, towels, slippers and robes and plenty of extra touches of luxury. It was a beautiful room, we had three televisions – including one in the bathroom mirror – and access to our balcony from both the bedroom and the sitting-room through large French windows.
DINING AT THE RITZ-CARLTON
One of the highlights of a visit to Ritz Carlton Powerscourt is a meal at GORDON RAMSAY RESTAURANT.
The menu has been recently revamped and now reflects the current tastes and trends perfectly. We decided that the new menu is more to our tastes too, with simpler local foods, freshly sourced and expertly executed. The bar has also had a make over, and is now very cool with black and white furnishings and of course it takes in that magic view over the Sugarloaf Mountain that is shared by many of the bedrooms and the reataurant itself.
But back to the new menu - it is divided into 8 starters, 4 choices from the grill and 7 further main options. Fish lovers are well catered for with Steamed Halibut, Roasted Monkfish and wild Sea Trout all included. Steak lovers can choose from Angus rib eye or sirloin, and there are chicken, duck and vegetarian options also. We couldn't resist the West Cork Scallops and the Castletownbere Crab - how great that we have some of the best seafood in the world just off our shores.
The simplified menu while it is more approachable, does not scrimp on flavour or style. The dishes were perfectly executed - the Wicklow Lamb was perfection on a plate, and the Monkfish beautifully balanced with Fennel and Cured Ham. We also chose sides of buttered carrots and sprouting broccoli and the famous Triple cooked chips. I loved the portions sizes, they suited my appetite and we were able to enjoy a long leisurely meal sampling all courses.
Previously we have sampled the food at the light-filled Sugar Loaf Lounge where hot and cold food is served throughout the day and evening, and cocktails and afternoon tea can also be enjoyed. We had an excellent burger with home-cooked chips, some tempura of prawns and calamari and a couple of glasses of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
We have also checked out McGills Irish Bar, which offers a substantial menu in very traditional surroundings, and my friend sampled the room service menu the following day and had a pizza delivered to the room while I was down at the spa. So, plenty of choices to eat, but the breakfasts are outstanding. While there is an ample buffet with everything from fresh berries, muesli and fruit cocktails, breads and bagels, cheeses, fish and charcuterie together with hot cooked food, you can also order specialities from the kitchen. We would certainly give a breakfast award here, and the service and surrounding scenery made the experience memorable. We have also sampled the room service on one of our visits, so all dining options at this hotel have impressed us.
ESPA AT RITZ-CARLTON, POWERSCOURT
While we have many excellent spas in hotels throughout Ireland, the spa at Powerscourt has the benefit of being able to bring the spectacular outdoor environment into the numerous spa treatment rooms and suites, relaxation areas, pools and saunas. Natural materials including stone, wood and slate mirror the surrounding scenery and the glass walls offer great mountain views. With 20 treatment rooms and taking in 30,000 square foot, this is a substantial facility. Treatments include Chinese, Ayurvedic and Balinese influenced therapies and a full range of face and body therapies for both men and women. I opted for signature Garden of Inspiration Body Ritual which took all of two hours of total pampering. It began with a calming foot and leg bath, included a salt and oil scrub and an excellent massage. It left my skin feeling silky smooth. There is a full range of pampering spa treatments for both men and women with the massage being particularly excellent, and there is also a very popular day spa package which includes lunch.
Each visit to the Ritz-Carlton in Powerscourt is just what the doctor ordered – total relaxation together with ultimate pampering and foodie indulgence. When the weather is bright and warm, we enjoy walking around the wonderful grounds. When winter is blowing outside, there are few places to match the warm cocoon of luxury that is the Ritz Carlton, Powerscourt in the heart of the Garden of Ireland.
What's To Do In the Area?
On our last visit the sun shone brightly and so we availed of the complimentary bicycles to go for a fabulous cycle around the estate and long the river walk. Previously we did not do too much except enjoy all the facilities at the hotel, but we did opt for a round of golf at the Powerscourt Golf Club. This 36-hole championship-standard golf complex is set in some of the most beautiful scenery. The East Course was designed by Walker Cup Captain Peter McEvoy and opened in 1996 and the West Course, open since 2003 was designed by David McLay Kidd.
The beautiful Powerscourt gardens are right on the doorstep, and so exploring them is a seasonal delight. Avoca Handweavers is also very close to the hotel, and well worth a visit for buying special gifts and enjoying a coffee.
Despite the surrounding countryside, Dublin city centre is just half an hour away on the N11 which is not much more than five minutes from the hotel. Details of all the best shopping and cultural areas can be had from the concierge at the hotel. Dublin Airport can be reached in less than an hour.