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  • Writer's pictureGregory Besterman

7 Unique Features to Look for in a Luxury Holiday Home

outside view of a luxury holiday home

What does luxury mean to you? A hot bath and a glass of bubbly as the rain throws itself at the windows and the light draws back from the wild landscape beyond the windows? A free afternoon on the patio with nothing but the sounds of the shoreline, the wildlife, and the warm summer breeze rustling through the wildflower meadow? A private beach and mooring with panoramic views of the unspoiled, ancient world surrounding you?

Whatever expectations you are setting for your luxury self-catering holiday in West Cork, make sure you hang your hat in a holiday home that surpasses every single one.

1. Space to be yourself

Space is always a luxury, particularly when you’re on holiday. There’s nothing that can beat waking up to nothing but the sound of birds, a gentle breeze rolling over the land – maybe even the distant sound of water lapping the shoreline. A view of the sky, rather than other rooftops and balconies; the smell of flowers and dew-damp greenery rather than traffic.

For us, privacy is paramount. Immersing yourself in nature is one of the best things you can do for body and soul, particularly when it means you’ve got the space to be however you want to be – laughing at the top of your lungs, hosting family barbecues into the early hours, dancing on a sun-soaked patio, or spending an entire day doing nothing at all.

Gortadrohid is enwrapped by 15 acres of untouched land. Wildflower meadows, private shoreline, and unspoiled views of that emerald land and endless sky – that’s what made the dream come true for us.

2. Excellent cooking facilities

A self-catering holiday is only ever as good as the equipment you have to work with. The right kitchen brings luxury along with it. It brings whole-family feasts – a traditional roast beef dinner, maybe, or a long, indulgent breakfast of pastries and fresh fruit. Even if, some nights, the Irish air has left you wanting nothing more than a hot bowl of soup and some generously buttered bread, the right kitchen makes the world of difference.

A big refrigerator, plenty of counter space, no shortage of utensils, pots, and pans – and, most importantly, a dining table big enough for the entire group to gather around and recount their memories of the day over good food and drink? That’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

3. Ties to the Land

People come to Ireland to experience something more than a holiday. They come to Ireland to connect with a past that stretches back hundreds of years – and countless generations. This country has a way of awakening a part of ourselves that we may not have ever experienced before, whether it’s the ancient landscapes or the way the culture here represents a seamless blend of the very old and the very new.

To get the most out of your time in Ireland, staying in a luxury holiday home that has long since established its roots in this beautiful land is a must.

This is one of the things that makes Gortadrohid so special. Comfortably settled in this unique landscape, grassy paths are interwoven with an ancient wilderness of flowers, heather and gorse. During your time here, you will share the land and water with birds, hares, and seals, drink fresh, cold water from the property’s private well, and find yourself harmonising with this little world and its history more and more each day.

4. A Thriving Local Scene

While privacy and isolation are must-haves for any family holiday in Ireland, it never hurts to know that experiencing Irish culture for yourself doesn’t mean you need to bundle everyone back into the minivan for a 2-hour drive back to civilisation.

Gortadrohid may feel like its own little world, but it’s still within easy reach of West Cork’s busier spots: restaurants, pubs, popular angling, swimming, and local waterports, festivals and historic sites – whatever you could need to fill your days or nights.

Skibbereen and Baltimore are two highlights, but the area also boasts plenty of smaller communities that give you a real, immersive sense of the local culture. From fresh food markets to live music venues – two things Ireland does better than almost anywhere else – you’ll have everything you need.

5. A Blend of Traditional and Contemporary

People come to Ireland to get in touch with its history, whether they’re tracing their roots all the way back to West Cork or simply looking to experience another side of life. Holiday homes that capture that historic feeling within their walls are the best places to stay – they immerse you in that history.

Gortadrohid was rebuilt in 2015 to a high standard, but it has retained that connection to the surrounding world – traditional features, like its log-burning stove, its unspoiled views, flagstone flooring, and the traditional stone art studio in view of the main house.

6. Electric Vehicle Charging

One of the best ways to see as much of Ireland as possible is by car. Our winding roads have a way of bringing you to some unforgettable spots, even if you get a little lost along the way.

These days, the best way to travel by car is with electricity, and more and more car hire companies in Ireland are offering EVs.

7. Underfloor Heating

Ireland’s climate is infamously…well…unpredictable. The only real constant on the Emerald Isle is change, particularly when it comes to the skies, the temperature, and the colour of the world beyond your window.

Any luxury holiday home in Ireland needs to be designed around its inhabitants’ comfort – intuitive, easy, and effective. Whether you’re here for a crisp, frosty New Year’s celebration or to see in the first flushes of green in early spring, a home that responds to those often-sudden shifts in temperature take hold.

Whether you’re in for a relaxing evening with popcorn, a film, and some hot toddies, or you’re waking up to take a leisurely bath and breakfast, underfloor heating is unparalleled in its ability to warm the home and keep you comfortable – whatever the weather.

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