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Ballyfin Hotel

This ultra-luxe resort in a lavish 1820s manor on 614 acres with a lake is 9.5 km from Portlaoise and 12 km from Mountrath Golf Club.

The 20 rooms featuring opulent Georgian decor and antique furnishings include flat-screen TVs, DVD players, complimentary minibars and free WiFi. Suites add seating areas or living rooms. Most rooms have fine art and many have lake views.

There’s a formal dining room, a casual whiskey bar and an intimate wine bar, plus an indoor pool, 6 art-rich parlours, a library and billiards. The grounds offer tennis, biking, fishing and boating. Horse riding, falconry, archery, shooting and a chic spa have fees.