Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt {Dublin, Ireland}

A long-overdue and much-needed post about my stay at the amazing Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt Hotel in Dublin, Ireland (well, right outside Dublin, anyway). I was fortunate to be included in the amazing FAM trip arranged by Doreen Tisone of Engaged Magazine to check out wedding venues in Ireland. I was only able to make it for the first half of the trip but I'm so glad the visit to the Ritz was at the beginning because this was one property not to be missed. There is so much to tell about this gorgeous hotel but I'm going to give the run-down for brides looking for a destination wedding (or honeymoon) spot.

First off, the hotel is located outside the city of Dublin on the Powerscourt Estate.  This gives the resort the advantage of having gorgeous grounds and rolling hills in the backdrop, the stunning Powerscourt gardens and estate right up the hill and a charming village right down the road.  But for those who need a city, Dublin (and the Irish Sea) is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

 A quick stop at The Irish Sea on our way to Dublin--stunning views!

It's easy to see why this would be an ideal venue for destination weddings.  A world class Ritz-Carlton resort (with an amazing spa and Gordon Ramsey restaurant) on the grounds of a historic estate so close to an international airport isn't something you run into every day.

 The grounds of Powerscourt

What appealed to me the most (aside from the fabulous massage I got in the spa) was the fact that brides have so much flexibility.  They can have their reception in the secret garden and beautiful ballrooms of the Ritz or they can choose the gardens and smaller ballroom of the Powerscourt Estate.

The Ritz "Secret Garden"--perfect for cocktail receptions

The Ritz ballroom (flowers from Mad Flowers)

The ballroom at Powerscourt historic estate

The old part of the Powerscourt ballroom (love the rustic details!)

Then, of course, there are plenty of activities to keep the bridal party and guests entertained before the wedding like the world-class spa and stunning pool, the famed Ireland golfing, bikes to take along a nature trail and all the fun of nearby Dublin.

The pool (with Swarkovski crystals that reflect off the ceiling)

The guest rooms are breathtaking and stocked with top-of-the-line amenities and wonderful touches like lavender pillow mist and bath salts for the soaking tubs.  Your guests will be well taken care of and thoroughly pampered at the Ritz Powerscourt!

I can personally attest to the quality of the amazing food, as well.  We were lucky enough to dine in all the hotel restaurants plus we did a full tasting with the banquet chef to sample what wedding menus. The food was out of this world (Doreen and I are still talking about how we're going to replicate the Irish soda bread!)

 The Gordon Ramsey restaurant (perfect for rehearsal dinners or brunches!)

I'm planning a trip back with my husband because there is so much that I didn't get to see during my short four days, and I would love more time at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt.  I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to bring a bride to this gorgeous property because I know that the amazing staff would make sure that everything was as perfect for her as they did for us.

 The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt catering and sales team (and general manager) with our DC group

Amazing property, amazing service, amazing details, amazing food. Amazing, amazing, amazing! I can't rave enough. You must see it for yourself!  Enjoy!