Table of contents:
Introduction
Reservations
Arrival time
Prices
Euro
Special Rates
Credit Cards
Cancellations & Non-arrivals
Tipping
Bathrooms
Children
Dinner
Wine
Foreign Languages

Introduction - The Hidden Ireland is a unique collection of private houses offering the more adventurous visitor a chance to sample Irish country life at its very best, in a style not usually experienced by the ordinary tourist.

Our houses are not hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs, but buildings of architectural merit and great character, with unusual and interesting owners who all enjoy sharing their homes and their way of life with appreciative visitors.

Do not expect the reception desk, bar or residents lounge of some more impersonal establishments. Instead, you will find a warm welcome and a glass of sherry beside a log fire in a comfortable drawing room filled with family heirlooms.

Some are great houses, at the centre of large estates. They may have been designed by famous architects and lived in or visited by famous people. Others are smaller but no less beautiful or interesting. Most are surrounded by their own tree-studded parks or by gardens, often internationally renowned. They are all in beautiful or historic parts of the country. Some have belonged to the same family for centuries.

You will meet the present generation of owners who are always a fund of local information and knowledge. Their houses often reflect their particular interests and, if your interests are similar, you are liable to enjoy yourself all the more. Some owners are particularly keen on painting, gardening, music or literature. Others are devotees of country sports. In all cases, they will ensure your stay is enjoyable.

You may well find that just one night does not give you nearly enough time to see the house and its surroundings properly – or to get to know your hosts. We strongly urge you to consider staying for at least two or three nights in order to relax fully and absorb the atmosphere of bygone times. We have found that visitors on a madcap dash around Ireland, staying just one night at each location, may completely miss the point of The Hidden Ireland – which is to be a private guest in the wonderfully relaxed and intimate atmosphere of an Irish Country House.

The Hidden Ireland provides a real and interesting alternative to conventional tourist accommodation, with plenty of activities for all, or tranquil havens for those in need of a restful break. For the sportsman there is access to the very best hunting, shooting and fishing in the country.

We hope you will greatly enjoy the country houseparty atmosphere of another era, with splendid surroundings, good food and an air of exclusivity, privacy and total relaxation.

George Gossip, Chairman.

General Information

Reservations – As our houses are private family homes, not hotels, it is generally wise, and in some cases essential, to make your reservation in advance. Reservations may be made by contacting the houses directly.

Arrival Time – We suggest that you should arrive during the late afternoon. That will give you time to settle in and look around. Should you wish to arrive before 4.30pm, it is a good idea to telephone in advance to make sure your hosts will be there to greet you.

Prices – The prices shown are per person per night and are based on sharing a double room. Where shown, some houses charge a supplement for single person occupancy. Prices include a full, traditional Irish breakfast. Higher priced houses may have a certain level of grandeur and luxury. Less expensive houses may be simpler, though no less comfortable or interesting. All our houses are of a high standard, with friendly owners, and all give good value for money.

The Euro – During the two-year transition period, beginning 1st January 1999, The Hidden Ireland is happy to accept payment in either Irish pounds or Euros. However, as Euro notes and coins will not be in circulation, transactions in Euros can only take place by cheque or credit card. The conversion rate will be struck on 1st January 1999; it will be fixed throughout the transition period and will apply to all conversions from Irish pounds to Euros. If you wish to be quoted a Euro price for your holiday, or would like to know the Euro rates for all our houses, please contact our Central Reservations Office (Tel:+353 1 6627166, Fax:+353 1 6627144 &
Email: euro@hidden-ireland.com), or visit our website (http://www.hidden-ireland.com) where you will find a price list for all of our properties in Euros.

Special Rates – Many houses give special rates for longer stays or for groups or family parties, particularly mid-week or during the quiet season. Hidden Ireland houses are particularly attractive when entirely taken over by a party, whether of family, friends or business associates. Please check with the Hidden Ireland Office or at each house for further information.

Credit Cards – All of our houses welcome credit cards. The credit cards accepted are clearly identified under the individual entries.

Cancellations & Non-arrivals – The Hidden Ireland have both a reservations and cancellations policy. You are encouraged to enquire about this when making your reservation.

Tipping – We are private country houses and do not make a service charge. If you wish to leave a tip for the staff, it is at your discretion and will be much appreciated.

Bathrooms – The great majority of members have private bathrooms adjoining each room. In a few cases, some of the bathrooms may be across the corridor but still exclusive to the bedroom – to preserve the original architectural integrity of the house. In a small number of cases, bathrooms may be shared; if so, this is indicated under the entry for the house. If an integral or private bathroom is important to you, please check when booking.

Children – Many of our houses welcome children, but some have antique furnishings or natural hazards such as fast flowing rivers. For your own comfort, and in consideration of other guests, please check the suitability for children when booking. Some members offer special rates and meals for children.

Dinner – All our country houses, and a number of our town houses, serve dinner. When dinner is not available there is a choice of good restaurants within easy reach. Dinner is served using the finest produce of the region. You may find yourself dining by candlelight, frequently (though not always) sitting with your hosts and the other guests. It is generally necessary to book dinner in advance for the day of arrival. After that, you can discuss arrangements with your hosts. Please give advance warning of any dietary requirements or allergies.

Wine – Almost all our houses have a wine licence. Some have excellent cellars. Those that do not have a licence are clearly identified under the individual guidebook entries; in these houses guests are normally welcome to bring their own, without any corkage charge being applied.

Foreign Languages – Many of the house owners have a good or fluent knowledge of a European language. Please enquire when making your reservation.

 
The Hidden Ireland
37 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2 - Ireland
Tel: (+353) 1 6627166
FAX: (+353) 1 6627144
info@hidden-ireland.com   www.hidden-ireland.com