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Lodge at Doonbeg Golf Club, Doonbeg, County Clare 

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Doonbeg , County Clare
Tel: 353 65 9055624
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

What appears to be an aristocrat's stately nineteenth-century seaside manor was in fact built in 2006 by the developers of South Carolina's Kiawah Island and designed entirely by Americans. But what is very real about Doonbeg (and all that really matters) is its stunning setting on a remote whitecapped bay in west County Clare, the perfection of its every detail, and staff who are easily among the most welcoming in Ireland. Accommodations are in one- to four-bedroom suites with high ceilings, gas fireplaces, kitchens, and sumptuous beds. The centerpiece of the resort is the Greg Norman–designed course mowed through the rolling marram grass dunes, but there are many diversions for nongolfers, too, including dolphin watching, hiking the nearby cliffs, treatments in the superb spa, and the simple pleasure of sipping tea or a Guinness and staring out at the windswept sea.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: Year-round. Mild winters allow golf throughout most of the year.

Which room to book: Any oceanview suite.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Spa

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