In Ireland, known for its gracious hospitality and as the "Land of 1000 Welcomes", the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, County Wicklow, is yet another reason for travelers to discover the charms of the Emerald Isle in a region considered "The Garden of Ireland." An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, cut the ribbon officially opening the hotel on October 4, 2007.
Located on ten country acres (four hectares) within a site first settled in the 12th century, the 200-room Palladian-inspired estate hotel blends history with traditional hospitality in County Wicklow. Situated amidst the magnificent Powerscourt Gardens, one of the country's premiere visitor attractions, the hotel's verdant natural setting is enhanced by many luxurious attractions including a restaurant by renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, a 30,000 square foot (2,788 square meter) ESPA, and McGill's, an authentic Irish pub. Within a short drive from the city center of Dublin, The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt embraces the rich Anglo-Norman heritage of Ireland with all of the contemporary conveniences and features today's sophisticated traveler expects, including access to two on site championship golf courses.
The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, County Wicklow in Ireland is the first in the nation and the ninth European location as the award-winning company expands its global presence in Europe. The resort has been developed with ownership group, Treasury Holdings, a leading international property development company based in Dublin.
"Ireland is one of the world's favorite destinations, whether to explore ancient castles, search for family heritage roots, or to enjoy the varied cultural attractions. As the economy of Ireland has flourished in recent years, many corporate travelers are coming to the country on frequent business trips or for conferences, "said Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
"We believe Powerscourt offers visitors the convenience of nearby Dublin city with the added benefit of the chance to discover the scenic beauty of the Wicklow countryside," he said. "The Ritz-Carlton reputation for exceptional guest service, coupled with the Irish tradition of a warm welcome is the perfect blend for a hotel which will cater to leisure, corporate and group guests," Cooper added.
The seven-story hotel exhibits many Georgian influences in its design features from the impressive lobby located on the 4th floor of the hotel with panoramic views of the Powerscourt Gardens and the Sugarloaf Mountain to the layout of the spacious guestrooms and suites. Approximately 60 per cent of the rooms are suites of 700 square feet (68 square meters), the largest in Ireland. All of the furniture in the rooms was custom made for the hotel, which features relaxing color schemes blending pale blues and creams, greens and creams, as well as floor to ceiling windows. Every room in the hotel features wireless access for ease of communication.
For guests seeking the finest accommodations and for special occasions, room choices may include the two Ritz-Carlton Suites with large terrace and outdoor hot tub overlooking the surrounding woodlands. And for the ultimate in luxury, The Presidential Suite-at 2,500 square feet (232 square meters) includes a fireplace, two bedrooms, study, dining room and oversized bathroom with its own steam bath and sauna and a hot tub on the roof of the building, accessible by stairs directly from the suite's bedrooms. Unobstructed views of Sugarloaf Mountain add to the sense of indulgence and privacy.
GORDON RAMSAY RESTAURANT
Long known as one of the world's most successful and talented chefs, Gordon Ramsay opened his first restaurant in Ireland at The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt. His signature dishes including roast sea scallop with crisp pork belly and a tagliolini carbonara in addition to loin of Wicklow venison with pickled red cabbage, chocolate gnocchi and red wine sauce can be savored by guests in a setting as impressive as the menu selections.
Floor to ceiling windows overlook the Sugarloaf Mountain and al fresco terrace dining will be available during the summer months. Inside the restaurant, plush dark green and yellow floral carpets, wooden floors, celadon green painted walls, and dark wood chairs with floral rose fabrics will offer a stylish atmosphere. Two private dining rooms are available for small dinner parties. For wine aficionados, Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt will offer over 900 vintage bottles to accompany the exciting culinary offerings. A Chef's 'Table will be created in the kitchen where aspiring gourmets can watch their meal being prepared from a unique vantage point.
The restaurant kitchen is presided over by Chef de Cuisine Paul Carroll, whose experience includes training under Gordon Ramsay at Petrus in London, a restaurant which earned its first Michelin star rating in the first year of operation. He also spent several years in Ramsay's Three Star Michelin restaurant on Royal Hospital Road. After a period spent traveling and exploring his love of food, Carroll was contacted by Gordon Ramsay to oversee his first venture in Ireland at Powerscourt.
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to an authentic pub which is why McGill's has been created within the hotel for guests who can enjoy a pint of Guinness, some spirited local entertainment, and a menu of typical Irish pub fare.
ESPA AND MEETING ROOMS
When all that food has been enjoyed, it may be time for a visit to the 30,000 square foot (2,788 square meter) ESPA at Powerscourt. With 20 treatment rooms, a relaxing atmosphere, and two spa suites with views of the gardens, the spa and fitness center includes many special choices of sheer pampering for guests. Featuring a lap pool, state-of-the-art thermal suite, tepidariums and poolside waterfall, no luxury touch has been overlooked in the planning of the ESPA. A menu of special treatments has been devised including "The Garden of Inspiration" body ritual and botanical facial ritual, the ultimate in holistic treatments.
Meeting space at The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt is extensive and includes a nearly 6,000 square foot (557 square meter) Ballroom capable of seating 400 guests. A private secret garden adjacent to the ballroom and smaller function rooms offer the perfect setting for pre-event receptions, especially weddings.
Guests of the resort who wish to truly indulge themselves can reserve "The Ultimate Irish Experience with Guinness and The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt." Created to offer a memorable "sense of place" vacation adventure, the two night package starts at 1,500 (approx. $2,137) in a deluxe room and includes these uniquely Irish elements:
Introductory rates for deluxe rooms at The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt start at 255 (approx. $360), Suites range from 295 to 465 (approx. $417 to $585). These rates are valid through March 31st of 2008.
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