Located in the Medeval city of Killkenny. Mount Juliet is a 5-star country manor that packs a serious punch
Grade 4.3 out of 5 Stars
Mount Juliet is one of Ireland’s premium country estates. This 5-star offering is steeped in history and has been a staple for luxury breaks in Ireland for as long as I can remember. The estate has hosted multiple international golf tournaments and welcomed some A-list stars throughout its years.
We visited Mount Juliet in late October and we stayed in Hunters Yard in a King room. Our review is based on our experiences.
Located around a 20-minute drive from Kilkenny town and a 1 and 30-minute drive from Dublin, Mount Juliet is the perfect spot for a weekend break or a stop on a whirlwind tour of Ireland. The estate also boasts some truly beautiful grounds and brings you back in time to a more gentry time. If you’re doing a road trip to Ireland it’s the perfect stop off on the way to Cork and the Ring of Kerry.
- Whatever part of the estate you are staying in you can make the most of any facilities throughout the whole estate. That means if you are staying in Hunters Yard you can use the facilities in the Manor House which has some lovely sitting rooms and dining options. One of the days we just took our books and went up to the Manor House to chill by the fire for the day. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday and we got Afternoon tea and all
- Mount Juliet is an Autograph collection hotel which is part of the Marriot Bonvoy rewards scheme. So, be sure to claim points or spend points on your Bonvoy account. It’s a great rewards scheme and you can easily build up points if you’re staying in Marriott affiliated hotels every so often
- Estates like Mount Juliet are typically located in the countryside. These types of resorts always have a wide range of activities of offer. From horse riding, clay pigeon shooting to fantastic golf. They have something for guests of all age groups. To make sure that you can do the experience that you fancy we highly recommend booking in advance. We had our eyes on the archery lessons, but sadly when we tried to book on the day it was booked out, take a look before you travel and book ahead of time
- We highly recommend a trip to Kilkenny which is a short 20 minute drive away from the estate. Kilkenny is a wonderful medieval city that sits on the river Nore. It’s a stunning little city that has some great pubs and restaurants to choose from. It’s a must see when you are this side of the country
The check-in process was very smooth, there was reception staff waiting once we arrived. Check-in time is from 4 pm, which is actually quite late and is something we didn’t like about our experience. We did, however, arrive early around 2 pm and our room was available so the staff checked us in. We do recommend arriving early if possible. Make sure you make use of the grounds throughout your stay. There are some lovely walks and things to do while you’re waiting for your room to be ready.
Is the Mount Juliet Estate family-friendly Hotel?
Yes, Mount Juliet is a great hotel to bring the kids to. This is a luxury hotel and the price point is definitely on the more expensive side, but if that isn’t an issue then definitely bring the kids. There are lots to do for kids of all ages in the resort. We highly recommend giving the archery lessons ago, it’s great craic and pretty decent value for money.
During the mid-term breaks and summer holidays, there is a kids club that is put on. This is open to all guests staying at the resort. There is an additional cost for the kids club if you want to do the full day at the kids club; it’s €35 for the day per child.
Hunter Yard vs The Manor House
There are two different parts of the resort. There is the manor house which is the old country estate house and the Hunter Yards which is a newish hotel complex that you guessed was built on the old hunters’ yards of the resort. The two areas of the resort vary quite a lot in price with rooms in the manor house being substantially more expensive than rooms in the hunter’s yard.
As the rooms in the Hunters yard are more modern they are a good bit bigger than the comparable rooms on offer in the Manor house. Take the standard offerings in both the Manor house and Hunter’s yard. The Hunters yard standard room is nearly 35% bigger than the standard room in the Manor house.
If you are looking for a more traditional estate experience then we definitely recommend going with the Manor house, but if you’re traveling with kids Hunters Yard probably makes more sense.
How much is a round of golf at Mount Juliet?
The course at Mount Juliet is one of the best in Ireland with 2022 Irish open being held there. It’s a championship golf course and well worth a round of golf is your game. Rounds of golf come in as low as €55 in low season and up to €95 in high season.
Things to do at Mount Juliet
There is a huge array of things to do at this estate. From lovely walks around the grounds, horse riding, archery, fishing, falconry, yoga, tennis courts, and a spa. Most of these come at an additional cost.
The gym here was a little underwhelming. We expected more at a 5-star resort. The space itself is very small. Don’t get us wrong you can definitely get a workout in, but there is just a limited amount of machinery and space. The equipment on offer is all modern and there are a few treadmills, cardio machines, free weights, and machine weights, but we expected more. There were complimentary bottles of water and fresh towels, which was a nice touch.
The pool here was pretty disappointing. The overall facility looked a bit dated and lacked that luxury feel. One element that left a little sour taste in our mouth was that if you were using the pool you had to wear a swimming cap. As we didn’t know this before and the hotel didn’t provide them we had to purchase them on site. Given that the resort is pricey in the first place we would have expected these to be provided.
There is a full spa menu on offer here. The prices are definitely on the more expensive side for treatments, but nothing ridiculous. We went for a full body massage and they were pretty good. The Spa Is located in the Hunters Yard Hotel so if you’re staying in the Manor house you will need to trek over to it. The facilities here were very nice, we’re not sure if this was built at a later stage than the pool facilities, but the spa felt much more luxurious.
We found the service to be good throughout, but it wasn’t at the level that we would expect at a 5-star resort. The dining, housekeeping, and check-in process were really good.
We were particularly disappointed with the service we got at the Pool/ Fitness facilities. When we were trying to use the pool. The staff was very unhelpful about checking us in and didn’t let us know that we needed swimming caps to swim.
We can’t fault how clean the whole estate was. There seemed to be a high number of staff around and they were always on notice to pick up empties and clean as they went. The rooms were absolutely immaculate when we arrived and throughout the stay. The housekeeping team did a great job at thoroughly cleaning the rooms.
Booking during Covid
The Mount Juliet Estate is part of the autograph collection of hotels which is linked to the Marriott chain of hotels. So if you are part of their Marriot Bonvoy rewards program be sure to get points if you’re planning on staying in Mount Juliet. Due to the fact that it has links to this Global hotel chain the Mount Juliet estate has been able to leverage the processes from Marriott to create a safe environment for their guests and staff.
There are a number of procedures and precautions that have been put in place to ensure a safe environment. From enhanced sanitation, transmission barriers, and social distancing the estate takes its protocols very seriously.
The one element they didn’t really have was a competitive cancellation policy specifically for Covid times. It seemed to be the usual 3-day cancellation policy that they had in place prior to Covid. I imagine the staff here are probably pretty flexible if you did need to cancel or reschedule due to Covid, but from a policy standpoint, it’s not called out in writing.
Hunters Yard King
These are the standard rooms on the estate, but they are more than luxurious enough and what you would expect from a 5-star resort. The details and finishes make this room a really solid option if you plan on visiting Mount Juliet. These rooms are a good bit bigger than the standard rooms in the Manor house coming in at 27sqm. You can see that the rooms have been recently done.
The bed is super comfortable, there is a nice seating area. We had doors that open out onto a courtyard, which was a lovely way to start a morning and the bathroom was super luxurious in its finishings, bathrobes, and towels. These rooms are a good bit cheaper than the standard rooms in the manor house. Nightly rates average around €300 a night while the Manor house guest room averages around €320
Hunters Yard Executive
These rooms are really well sized at 35sqm. The max capacity is two for these suites and they are located on the upper floors of the suite buildings. What really makes these rooms stand out is the little touches they have. Such as the underfloor heating, beautiful design aesthetic, and the soft robes and towels that add that little bit of luxury. We’d recommend the Executive suites if you plan on spending more time in your room and need that extra bit of room.
Hunters Yard Suite
With wonderful views over the estate, this is the biggest offering in Hunter yards. The suites come with a separate bedroom and living room area as well as a really spacious bathroom. These suites are nearly double the size of the Executive room.
Manor House Guest Room
Rooms in the Manor house are very traditional in their aesthetic which makes sense considering their surroundings. These rooms have a very comfortable king-size bed, a small desk, and seating area, and a luxury bathroom. The rooms are the biggest coming in at 18sqm, but with the high ceilings and old-world vibe, they are much grander than our description. The max occupancy for these guest rooms is 2 people.
Manor House Junior Suite
There are only six of these suites available and each of the junior suites is uniquely decorated and proportioned. These suites are generous in size with large king-sized beds, a lovely seating area that is perfect for afternoon tea delivered to your room, and some stunning views of the estate.
Manor House Presidential Suite
Definitely the most luxurious suite at Mount Juliet. There are actually two presidential suites here: the Walton Grove Suite and the Mount Juliet Suite. Both are super luxurious and have been host to dignitaries and celebrities through the years. Not only will one of these suites set you back a pretty penny, but they are actually very difficult to book. Availability is limited and you can only book by calling the resort opposed to through their website.
How much does it cost to stay at Mount Juliet?
Overall, this is a pricey hotel, but considering it’s a 5-star hotel and it’s on an estate. You would expect to pay a premium. Both Hunters yard and the Manor house are 5-star accommodations, but the Manor house is definitely the more premium option.
When we booked we booked it relatively last minute and booked a deal that included an evening meal and breakfast. The total for our two-night stay with bed and breakfast and one evening meal at the hound restaurant was €620. Although the food and the experience were very nice, we did feel like it was a little bit overpriced for the experience. We did book last minute, so you can definitely get better value if you book around promotional periods or well ahead of time.
On average one night in the standard room in Hunter Yard will set you back around €250. While the Manor house costs around €350 a night if you book well ahead of time.
Food + Restaurant Options
There are a number of options across the estate. Overall the food quality was really good. There were lots of locally sourced foods and all of the dishes we had we executed really well.
Located in the Hunters Yard hotel the Hound serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The is the most casual restaurant in the estate, but the food here is still of really decent quality. We ate here for breakfast and one evening meal and really enjoyed both our experiences. For dinner, if you have a package deal that includes an evening meal. It will be a set meal that includes three courses. It’s a very similar menu to the full menu with a few of the more premium dishes missing. The premium cuts of steak aren’t on offer as well as the Cote de Boeuf. There is a Sirloin on offer in the set menu and it was very good. We very much enjoyed our evening here and highly recommend trying the Asparagus dish to start and the roast cauliflower risotto for mains. The full menu can be found here.
The breakfast at the Hound was also very good. It’s the type of dish you would expect to see at your favorite brunch spot. Avocado toast, full Irish, fresh orange juice, and a lovely selection of pastries. The coffee here was also very good.
The only dining option apart from the afternoon tea offering is the Lady Helen restaurant. They do serve breakfast here if you are staying in the Manor house. A lunch and dinner menu. This is a fancy restaurant and has some serious chops about it. It’s a Michelin starred restaurant and the food here is meant to be top-notch. We didn’t have a chance to eat here, but having spoken to other guests that had they reported back with full marks.
Eating here won’t come cheap with the option of a 3-course menu or a 7 or 9-course tasting menu. The price for these experiences is between €90 and €130.
One culinary experience we highly recommend is the afternoon tea in the Manor house. This delicious tower of treats is served throughout the main area of the Manor house and the gardens when the weather is nice. It costs €45 per person for the experience and it really does bring you back to yesteryear.
Bars and Drinks Offering
This was another area in which we were a little confused about the offering. In the Hunters Yard hotel, there is really only one bar and it’s kind of tucked away in the back of the complex. We walked around for a bit and couldn’t find it and eventually found a member of staff and pointed us in the right direction. The bar is actually behind the Hound restaurant. There is a bar in the golf club too which is right beside Hunters Yard, but we never ventured into it.
In the Manor house, there are a couple of bars on offer. The main bar (Majors Bar) which is where most of the afternoon tea happens is a really nice spot. The house is made up of a number of adjoining rooms and it’s lovely to grab a seat by the fire and order a creamy pint of Guinness.
In Hunter Yard, the Saddle Bar is the main watering hole. Just off the Hound restaurant it’s a little bit secluded and took us a little while to find it, but it was a nice spot. They have some really nice cocktails. We highly recommend their pineapple cocktail. The vibe in this bar was pretty casual.
The grounds of the estate, the luxury of the rooms, the food offering, and the amenities that you can use are all top-notch. What you would expect of a luxury 5-star estate. What lets Mount Juliet down a little was some of the little things. Things like the service at the fitness/pool facilities. The pool facilities were quite dated and when we first checked in we were not really taken through what we could access at the resort and things to do.
Overall though the resort is a strong offering. If you’re going to a relaxing weekend away or looking for a manor estate-style getaway that whisks you back to days gone by then Mount Juliet is a strong option.
Q. How far is the Mount Juliet Estate from Dublin airport
The estate is a 1 hour and 30-minute drive from Dublin airport. Ireland is a small island, so nowhere is too far from each other.
Q. Is parking available at the resort
A. Yes there is parking available at the resort. There is no additional cost for the parking.
Q. Is Wi-Fi included
A. Yes, Wi-Fi is provided at no additional cost in the main buildings of the estate. As the estate is quite large it’s important to note that you will lose coverage when you leave the main buildings.
Q. What local attractions are there?
A. There is obviously a huge amount to do at the estate itself, but there is also a lot to be seen in the local area too.