Ireland Dream Trip
Arthur’s Lodge Wood is the epitome of a serene, classy place to stay in my favorite small Irish village. Located on Kenmare’s doorstep, a five-minute stroll will put you right in the center of town. Cordially presided over by Liz and Joe Arthur, you are assured of a warm welcome and personal care during your stay.
Enter through double glass doors flanked by wide windows into the tastefully appointed foyer. Limestone tile floors flow through a big archway into plush cream carpeting subtly patterned in a vine and floral motif. To your left is a mahogany chaise lounge upholstered in ruby velvet with a huge gold-framed mirror above it. Opposite is a console table with fresh flowers and a bowl of candy. Near the stairs are some occasional chairs and a desk displaying area brochures. Classic artwork studs the butter crème walls and a crystal chandelier sparkles overhead.
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On arrival Liz serves tea or coffee in the fashionable sitting room before a glowing fire. She is happy to acquaint you with the town, dining options and area sightseeing. The room continues the theme of understated elegance with its oyster-colored loveseat and leather and upholstered chairs. A mahogany secretary, tea table and side tables furnish the area. Over the white marble fireplace is an elaborate gold mirror and there is a wide-screen TV. A big picture window overlooks the front garden, while crystal, fresh flowers and family pictures accent the refined space.
Sophisticated bedrooms are upstairs and each is named after a different Irish tree – ash, oak, holly, beech and cherry. The spotless rooms vary in size and all are smartly furnished with subtle colors schemes, excellent beds, flat-screen TVs, a hair dryer, luggage rack and air-conditioning. I was in Ash, which has a queen four-poster carved mahogany bed lushly made up with a pristine white comforter, pale gold satin bed hangings and a matching decorative blanket of striped gold, white and taupe. Heavy designer drapes in burgundy and gold add drama to pale buttery-colored walls and cream carpeting. Bedside chests hold traditional reading lamps, a phone and bottled water. The other furnishings are graceful mahogany including a vanity desk with mirror and chair, wardrobe, armchair and TV stand. Classic artwork studs the walls, adding to the tranquil, stylish ambiance.
Sparkling bathrooms are fully tiled in classic taupe limestone. Each has a pedestal sink with a shaving mirror and glass shelves. Amenities include washcloths, shampoo, soap and shower gel. The showers have excellent water pressure and generous hot water.
Breakfast is a luxurious indulgence, served in the attractive dining room with its light wood floors and relaxing color scheme. Individual tables are draped in damask and there are mahogany shield-back chairs. Landscape paintings and photos of the area line the creamy walls. Fresh flowers and crystal candles are displayed on the white marble fireplace mantel. A crystal chandelier and a big picture window looking out to the garden bring light into the attractive room. A buffet of fresh fruit, yogurt, brown bread, juice and other selections is laid out on the lace-draped mahogany sideboard. Many different cooked breakfasts are on offer. I enjoyed delectably buttery scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with tomatoes. Freshly brewed coffee and tea accompanied the meal.
Arthur’s Lodge Wood is a perfectly orchestrated masterpiece flawlessly blending elegance, discretion and graciousness into an impeccable boutique retreat.
Above: Sketch of Arthur's Lodge Wood from Michele's Book
Images in Ireland Dream Trip are Black and White