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Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, County Waterford 

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Ardmore , County Waterford
Tel: 353 24 87 800
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
The finest attribute of this verdant, untamed bit of Ireland is indubitably the coast, and the reinvented Cliff House Hotel, a plinth of angular slate and glass hanging off a dramatic lip of Ardmore Bay, wisely sits back and lets it be the focal point. Each of the 39 rooms balances the colossal view with a deftly crafted coziness manifested in stand-alone bathtubs, linen and glass headboards by local artists, Paul Theroux and Dr. Seuss hardcovers on a shelf, swank tartan easy chairs, and a silver tea tray a phone call away. If the service in the bar can be a bit awkward, the Restaurant, with rising star Dutch chef Martijn Kajuiter at the helm, turns out dreamy interpretations of Irish dishes, like a ballotine of Clare Island salmon. In the morning, borrow a pair of Wellies from the hallway and go for an hour-long wander along the nearly deserted cliffs. —2009 Hot List

When to go: Summer, for the best chance of seeing the sun.

Which room to book: Balcony suites have the widest sea views and the overstuffed furniture from which to contemplate them.

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