Guests remark that they feel as if they are stepping back in time as they drove up to the Zetland House. It’s an imposing, 19thC sporting lodge, which broods over a landscape of bogs, mountains, beaches, lakes and little else.
Inside, it’s all soft, golden lighting, polished wood, open fires and plaid armchairs. The bedrooms are furnished chintzily but luxuriously, with carved wooden furniture and floral fabrics. Most have mesmerising views. Standard rooms are uniformly comfortable, but the deluxe rooms are truly charming: one has a king-size, four-poster bed, and all have sea views.
Downstairs, the restaurant’s main feature is its stunning views over Cashel Bay and the surrounding area. Guests shouldn’t just expect to feast their eyes, though – the Zetland has recently won several awards for catering and hospitality. The chef uses only locally produced, fresh products and seasonal herbs and vegetables and the wine list is interesting. The bar is cosy and wood-panelled, and offers a selection of Irish whiskeys, as well as the black stuff. ‘Life moves at a different pace, here’ says one guest. ‘People have time to stop and chat to you.’