West Cork People – July 2018 Edition
“Mark and Felicity Grace have lived all over the world. Yet out of all their travels, from Geneva to Dubai, Norway to Scotland – West Cork has been the highlight. So much so that three years ago the couple decided to move their family here, purchasing a house, stables and barn in Ardfield and converting part of the property into accommodation in order to share this gem on the Wild Atlantic Way with visitors to the area.
Felicity spent many of her childhood summers visiting family in Clonakilty and says she finally feels back at home in beautiful West Cork.
Situated just 10 minutes from Clonakilty and a stone’s throw from Sands Cove (voted as one of Ireland’s Top 10 secret beaches), Ballynoe House offers luxury self-catering accommodation in a peaceful and idyllic location. It’s a haven for people and wildlife, with fox cubs, badgers and pheasants regularly strolling through the grounds.
Seeing a niche in the local market for exclusive holiday rentals and keen to provide accommodation to suit families, Mark and Felicity have worked closely with an interior designer to achieve a luxurious yet practical space.
Nestled within two acres of private grounds, which include wildflower meadows, children’s play area and a 400m woodland nature trail with fairy doors – the unique holiday lets at Ballynoe House comprise three self-catering units. The larger property ‘The Barn House’ has four bedrooms, accommodating up to eight people. The smaller mews houses have two bedrooms, accommodating up to four people each. All are available for separate holiday rental or together for larger groups, corporate away activities, family events or residential courses.
All of the bedrooms have generously sized en-suites and separate ground floor bathrooms, suitable for wheelchair access.
These open plan warm and inviting properties all boast fully-equipped bespoke kitchens, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a south facing patio. From the tableware to the bedroom linen, no expense has been spared in outfitting these holiday homes to the highest standard.
Felicity is an artist so you’ll find some of her original work on the walls, as well as many prints of seascapes from local artist Geraldine O’Sullivan.
Other little touches, such as the bedrooms being named after local scenic spots, give a sense of place and personality to the properties.
“We wanted to create accommodation suitable for families, which was comfortable and contemporary,” explains Felicity.
Although conscious of allowing guests their privacy, Mark and Felicity are on hand from a distance to provide assistance when needed. With a passion for genealogy, Mark is also available to offer free advice to guests on tracing their ancestry.
Catering can be provided through local companies such as Beano and Ginger, and just a short walk away, the Mountain House Steak and Seafood Bar in Ardfield village offers a delicious dining experience. Mark and Felicity will even stock the kitchen cupboards on request. “Guests can order online from Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty, who also deliver, so they don’t have to worry about shopping for food on their arrival,” explains Mark.
Ballynoe House is also a very affordable retreat. Weekly bookings are Saturday to Saturday online, but other periods of stay can be arranged on request. Based on full-occupancy, a week’s stay costs from just €35 per person per night. Prices include a high chair and travel cot in each let and a fold-up bed can be supplied for an additional child in both mews houses.”