Maranatha Country House
, St Ann's Hill, Tower, Blarney, Co Cork.
On arrival at Maranatha Country House you find a small guest house B&B in a Victorian country house, surrounded by lawns and mature wooded gardens. It's lovely, but not unique. It's when you enter the interior that this hotel becomes exceptional. The rooms, especially the bedrooms, are exuberantly decorated with swags and tassels, drapes and bedspreads, velvet and lace. It is a feast for the eyes.
The Top Hat room is themed on a 1935 film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It features a huge round bed, peach and cream decor and a backdrop of sheer curtains and chandeliers. And a top hat! Exceeding even the Top Hat room, the Regal Suite has a kingsize fourposter bed generously draped with rich fabric and a sunken bathroom with a double jet whirlpool bath. The other rooms are hardly less extravagant, the Rose Room is a Barbara Cartland extravaganza with the bonus of a rooftop mini-conservatory, the Champagne Room has a half-tester bed in subtle colours, and the Ardcaien Room has two kingsize beds and lavish swathes of rich red velvet pelmets, drapes and bedspreads. It seems somewhat superfluous to mention wifi, televisions, tea and coffee making and en-suite bathrooms.
All the period features of this typical Victorian house have been brought to the fore with bold colours and elaborately decorated furniture. Breakfast is served in the bright flower-filled conservatory with unbroken views of the surrounding gardens. The full Irish breakfast will leave you truly "full", or there is an ample buffet with cereals, cheeses, yogurts, croissants and lots of et cetera.
Of course the primary purpose of any visit to Blarney is to see the castle and to bless yourself with the gift of the blarney by kissing the Blarney Stone. Guests shouldn't miss out on a stroll through the Maranatha gardens though, nor a visit to the Blarney Woolen Mills before heading off for all the other treats of this beautiful corner of Ireland.