Ballyvolane House

  • Location: Countryside
    Fishing at Blackwater River - one of Ireland's finest Salmon Rivers: In walking distance
    Ballyquin Beach: 48km (50 mins by car)
    City of Cork: 37km (40 mins by car)
    The Rock of Cashel: 71km (55 mins by car)
  • Cork Airport (ORK): 41km (35 mins by car)
    Dublin Airport (DUB): 245km (2hs 30 mins by car)
    Airport transfer available on request
    Car recommended
    Free parking

Your kids can play with the owner’s children, there are eggs to collect, animals to pet and gardens to explore.
Take a tour of Bertha’s Revenge Small Bath Irish Milk Gin’s distillery and opt for a gin tasting.
Some of Ireland’s best fly-fishing for salmon and trout can be done right here on Blackwater River.
A delicious homemade Irish breakfast is available until noon, perfect for you to relax and sleep in.

Weather in Ireland is often difficult to predict but don’t let that keep you from roaming around!

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An introduction to Ballyvolane House

How would you describe Ballyvolane House in a nutshell?

Ballyvolane is a historic Irish country house, a family-owned bed & breakfast since the 1980s, with six guestrooms in the County Cork countryside in southern Ireland. This luxury boho chic venue comes with idyllic landscaped gardens, wooded grounds, a gin distillery that is open to visitors, glamping tents, tree houses and animals to pet, as well as a tennis court and football field. Ballyvolane is big on informal fashion, creating such a comfortable and cozy feeling, completed with a lavish honesty bar and delicious homemade meals.

Please tell us a bit about the history of Ballyvolane House.

Ballyvolane House was built in 1728 by Sir Richard Pyne who was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland at the time, which is basically the top law man in the country. His family lived here for nearly 250 years. My grandfather then bought the property from one of Sir Richard’s descendants in 1953 and we’ve been here ever since.

My father was farming the estate when I was a child, and then in 1985, my parents started taking in paying guests for the first time. The whole house was restored over that period and my wife and I took it over in 2004. We’ve been carrying on where my parents left off.

You and your wife have lived in different parts of the world. What made you come back to Ballyvolane House?

Part of my plan was always to come back and run the house. We have a very strong emotional attachment to it. If one is lucky enough to inherit a house like this, you should try and live here.

My wife and I both went to hotel school in Switzerland. We have worked in Hong Kong, Bali and Dubai running several five star hotels. After that, I made a conscious decision to work in smaller, boutique properties because you get a more rounded experience.

The interior is absolutely beautiful. How would you describe the style of Ballyvolane House?

It’s a traditional Irish country house, a little shabby but very stylish. We put in antique baths in all the bathrooms, took out the carpets, polished up the floors and things like that. We’ve tried to keep it as authentic as possible.

We restored the drawing room that used to be the kitchen. We moved it down to where it’s supposed to be, in the wing of the house, and then returned the drawing room to its former glory. We also just restored an old barn and turned it into a wedding venue in the farmyard, which is adjacent to the gardens.

We’ve got antique furniture and antique portraits and lots of deer heads on the walls. We’re offering tradition in abundance.

With many years of experience in the hospitality business, what in your opinion is the secret of being a good host?

I think you’ve got to be warm and friendly and flexible. You’ve just got to give people what they want. That’s basically it. It’s really simple. You give people a really warm Irish welcome when they arrive and be generous of spirit.

We spent a lot of time making sure we create a lovely space for people to relax in, as well as having supreme comfort and ambiance. Good food with good design is a winning combination.

Ballyvolane House is also a perfect venue for weddings and house parties. Please tell us a bit about the facilities and services you offer.

We built a vintage tent for weddings which is attached to an old stone barn in the farmyard that overlooks the gardens. We’ve knocked two doorways into the barn which is where the bar is and then there’s another room for dancing. We kept all the old walls exposed and have an antique wood burning stove.

Our wedding guests come from all over the world. One couple was from Hong Kong and one last weekend from New York. We’ve created a world class wedding venue. It’s very authentic.

To you personally, what has been most rewarding about running Ballyvolane House?

The enjoyment that the guests have staying here is a huge satisfaction for me. I love showing people a great time, and the feedback has been terrific. On occasion, you make mistakes and can’t please everyone, but we’re always quick to compensate for that. We get enormous satisfaction giving a really good stay to people and have made good friends with guests who come year after year. We’re certainly not doing it for the money.

As I mentioned, we have a very strong emotional attachment to the house and feel a big responsibility to keep it going and eventually hand it over. It’s a way of life, not a job. We’re lucky that we enjoy it a lot.

Ballyvolane House is also a great place for kids...

Yes, we’re very family friendly. People wouldn’t normally associate a house like this with being family friendly, but we have three children ourselves and have quite a lot of guests who bring theirs. We give them high tea with my kids so mom and dad can enjoy dinner by themselves in the dining room.

We have pigs and chickens here, so every morning after breakfast, we take the children out to collect the eggs and feed the pigs. We have a treehouse and vast gardens for them to play in. They enjoy coming here enormously. A lot of hotels are great for kids, but here we look after mom and dad as well as the kids. It’s sophisticated but relaxed. My kids are 10, 7 and 4, and they absolutely love it when there are other kids staying.

Ballyvolane House
Bathroom
Bathroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bathroom
Lounge
Fireplace
Ballyvolane House grounds
Fishing
Area

Ballyvolane House rooms & rates

Ballyvolane House has six rooms that all have high ceilings and overlook the gardens or the park land. They’re all beautifully appointed rooms in the main part of the house. They all have their own bathrooms, many with antique cast iron baths. One of the baths is one of the biggest in the country.

We use the highest quality bathroom products produced in London and we have the best mattresses money can buy with top quality linen sheets and pillows. It’s the best night’s sleep. We charge quite a lot to stay here, so everything has to be top quality.

There are antique radios in all of the bedrooms, which kind of suits the style of the house, but we also have TVs.

  • Rolands Room for 2-3 people / 20 m²
    260 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    The individually furnished bedrooms feature large comfortable beds with en-suite bathroom, some of which have beautiful big old antique baths. The rooms come with Marshall blue-tooth speakers, luxurious Voya bathroom products, a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary Nespresso coffee, teas, homemade blackcurrant or elderflower cordial and the all important jar of freshly baked cookies. All rooms offer views overlooking the formal terraced gardens to the south and to the north, ancient trees, parkland, lakes and the distant rolling hills of the Galtee mountains beckon.

    While each room is different, the main difference between the room categories is the bed (double or twin) and the size of the room.

  • Grans sitter for 2-3 people / 20 m²
    260 / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    The individually furnished bedrooms feature large comfortable beds with en-suite bathroom, some of which have beautiful big old antique baths. The rooms come with Marshall blue-tooth speakers, luxurious Voya bathroom products, a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary Nespresso coffee, teas, homemade blackcurrant or elderflower cordial and the all important jar of freshly baked cookies. All rooms offer views overlooking the formal terraced gardens to the south and to the north, ancient trees, parkland, lakes and the distant rolling hills of the Galtee mountains beckon.

    While each room is different, the main difference between the room categories is the bed (double or twin) and the size of the room.

  • Big room for 2-3 people / 20 m²
    260 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    The individually furnished bedrooms feature large comfortable beds with en-suite bathroom, some of which have beautiful big old antique baths. The rooms come with Marshall blue-tooth speakers, luxurious Voya bathroom products, a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary Nespresso coffee, teas, homemade blackcurrant or elderflower cordial and the all important jar of freshly baked cookies. All rooms offer views overlooking the formal terraced gardens to the south and to the north, ancient trees, parkland, lakes and the distant rolling hills of the Galtee mountains beckon.

    While each room is different, the main difference between the room categories is the bed (double or twin) and the size of the room.

  • Grans room for 2-3 people / 20 m²
    220 / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    The individually furnished bedrooms feature large comfortable beds with en-suite bathroom, some of which have beautiful big old antique baths. The rooms come with Marshall blue-tooth speakers, luxurious Voya bathroom products, a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary Nespresso coffee, teas, homemade blackcurrant or elderflower cordial and the all important jar of freshly baked cookies. All rooms offer views overlooking the formal terraced gardens to the south and to the north, ancient trees, parkland, lakes and the distant rolling hills of the Galtee mountains beckon.

    While each room is different, the main difference between the room categories is the bed (double or twin) and the size of the room.

  • Yellow Room for 2-3 people / 20 m²
    220 / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    The individually furnished bedrooms feature large comfortable beds with en-suite bathroom, some of which have beautiful big old antique baths. The rooms come with Marshall blue-tooth speakers, luxurious Voya bathroom products, a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary Nespresso coffee, teas, homemade blackcurrant or elderflower cordial and the all important jar of freshly baked cookies. All rooms offer views overlooking the formal terraced gardens to the south and to the north, ancient trees, parkland, lakes and the distant rolling hills of the Galtee mountains beckon.

    While each room is different, the main difference between the room categories is the bed (double or twin) and the size of the room.

  • Blue room for 2 people / 15 m²
    200 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    The individually furnished bedrooms feature large comfortable beds with en-suite bathroom, some of which have beautiful big old antique baths. The rooms come with Marshall blue-tooth speakers, luxurious Voya bathroom products, a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary Nespresso coffee, teas, homemade blackcurrant or elderflower cordial and the all important jar of freshly baked cookies. All rooms offer views overlooking the formal terraced gardens to the south and to the north, ancient trees, parkland, lakes and the distant rolling hills of the Galtee mountains beckon.

    While each room is different, the main difference between the room categories is the bed (double or twin) and the size of the room.

Included in the rates
Rates include maid service, breakfast, coffee & tea, Wi-Fi, as well as all linens, towels and toiletries.
Optional extras
Services on request: fishing courses, children's High Tea, picnics, weddings, retreats and any other events.
Children & Extra beds
Children are welcome. Baby cot: free of charge. Extra bed for children under 12 years: EUR 30 per day. Extra bed for children 13+ and adults: EUR 50.
Minimum stay
1 nights
Check in time
after 15:00
Check out time
before 10:00
Closed December 24 - January 04

Facilities & services

  • Children welcome
  • WiFi
  • Maid service
  • Concierge service
  • TV
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Restaurant
  • Central heating
  • Room service
  • Honesty bar/Minibar
  • Business facilities
  • Laundry service
  • Hair dryer

Breakfast includes all the usual stuff you’d get in a nice hotel and we serve breakfast until 12 noon. In the bedrooms there are little touches like homemade chocolate biscuits and elder flower cordials to give it a more homely touch.

My father looks after all the gardens. His input is much respected and we rely on him very heavily in that department. We grow all our own vegetables and the food we offer is either grown by ourselves on the farm in our huge vegetable garden or we source it locally. We have pigs and cattle and we even do our own smoking of fish. People really appreciate that, as they like to know that their food is not full of chemicals.

At dinner all the guests sit around one big table. It’s like a house party, like having a bunch of friends staying. People really seem to enjoy that because they’ve been traveling around Ireland and had dinner every night with their spouse, then they come here and get to meet other people and have a good time. Of course, if someone wants privacy, we give them their own table but most of the people participate in the communal dining.

Things to do in East County Cork & Castlelyons

  • Cooking classes
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding
  • Fishing

We have Canadian canoes and organise guides to take people out for three or four hours on the river. It’s not white water rafting, it’s quite pedestrian, but it’s a lovely way to explore the island and the wild. The river Blackwater is lined with the most beautiful country houses, you can bird watch and paddle down the river enjoying the scenery.

There are two mountain ranges close by. We have a professional guide who’s very knowledgeable about the local history and archaeology and he’ll take people out on various walks to all levels of fitness.

Lismore would be one village in the area not to miss. They have a heritage centre there and some beautiful walks, as well as a castle, which is stunning. They open the gardens to the public and there’s a good restaurant there as well.

A trip to Kinsale is also a must. It’s on the coast about 20 mins on the other side of Cork city, about an hour’s drive from here. There’s great shopping, nice scenery, good restaurants.

The location of Ballyvolane House

We’re in the East Cork, which is about two hours from Dublin and about half an hour from Cork city, which a lot of European cities fly into, so we’re very accessible. East Cork isn’t as celebrated as West Cork because it’s on the coast with rugged scenery but it’s an area that is on the up. Where we live, we have very lush farmland with beautiful woodlands.

The river Blackwater is one of the finest salmon rivers in Europe. We have quite a lot of private beaches available for our guests to fish on. We have guides, equipment, a tackle room and flies and lures for sale and during the season we run a fishing school as well. And in the winter, we offer pheasant shooting.

When is the best time to visit East County Cork?

My favourite time is April and May because the gardens look so fantastic. All the flowers are coming out and the bluebells and azaleas are in full bloom. The light is very special and clear and the copper beech trees are almost pink. I love that time of year. I think it’s the best time to visit.