Extracts from Jim Dobson's Articles first published on Forbes.com in April 2017. Here are the highlights from his Stay with us at Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate and his Galway visit. 

"We continue our voyage down the coast to Galway and to another beautiful and remarkable location, Glenlo Abbey. Nestled peacefully on a stunning 138 acre estate on the edge of Southern Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Corrib, the five star newly refurbished Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate offers travelers the perfect retreat away from it all. More like staying in a private mansion, Glenlo is located near the bohemian medieval walled city of Galway..

We checked into our beautiful suite overlooking Lough Corrib, as the river runs by the hotel eventually ending up in the Atlantic Ocean. Days are spent at leisure at Glenlo Abbey, and you are never rushed into making any specific plans. Whether you want a private archery lesson in the walled estate gardens, or a falcon experience with the amazing Jurgen Hick, a man with such a deep connection to his birds that they actually talk to him, Glenlo Abbey offers anything for the perfect Irish experience.

Jurgen Hick and the Snow Owl at Glenlo Abbey Jim Dobson

Image: Jurgen Hick and the Snow Owl at Glenlo Abbey

Our first evening in Galway was exploring the vibrant city and taking in the very popular Michelin starred Loam Restaurant, owned and operated by Head Chef Enda McEvoy and his wife Sinead, this award winning restaurant and wine bar features delicate inspirational creations of modern food in their seven course tasting menu. Each course is like a painting where you can also visually savor each bite.

Falcon Show at the Chapel and walled gardens at Glenlo Abbey Jim Dobson
Image: Falcon Show at the Chapel and Walled Gardens at Glenlo Abbey

Our second day started early at Glenlo Abbey with golf on their beautiful 9-hole Championship Golf Course, designed by Christy O’Connor Jr. The golf club includes a 21 bay driving range as part of their first class facilities. I enjoyed a long conversation with Glenlo Abbey’s charming General Manager Rory O’Sullivan, who tells me there are planned changes in the future for the property including a new spa and new additions to the walled gardens for immersive activities.

Jim Riddle the expert Ghillie and his fishing expedition at Glenlo Abbey Jim Dobson
Jim Riddle the expert Ghillie and his fishing expedition at Glenlo Abbey

I enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the hotels packed Oak Cellar Bar for traditional Irish cuisine before heading out to my favorite excursion, fly fishing on the Lough Corrib with the gregarious and charming Jim Riddle. Longtime Ghillie in these parts, Jim has so many stories to tell that he keeps you entertained for hours while you motor through the gentle waterways. This man has hosted quite a few celebrities and it is obvious why they keep coming back for more. He makes the fishing trip custom and special just for you, taking you through secret areas where the massive clouds of duck flies create magical shapes above the trees, and through thick reeds where he has carved out a special pathway for the boat. He is a proud Irishman and his love for the sport is infectious.  Fishing is usually prolific in the Lough from Salmon to Trout, and they will cook up your fresh catch for you back at Glenlo.

Our final day included a road trip to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, no visitor to this area should miss out on one of the world’s wonders. An easy drive from Galway, arrive early to avoid the masses of tourists who descend on this rugged coastline rising 702 feet above sea level, and offering white knuckled pathways perched precariously along steep drop offs. The limestone cliffs provide a view of the nearby Aran Islands. These are the same cliffs that have appeared in “Harry Potter” and “The Princess Bride” and they are both majestic and impressive. The cliffs are in fact, the second most popular attraction in Ireland.

At the amazing Cliffs of Moher Jim Dobson
At the amazing Cliffs of Moher

For our final dinner, we enjoyed Glenlo Abbey’s famous redone Pullman Restaurant, one of the most unusual dining experiences in Ireland. Set within two original railway carriages from the Orient Express, you are immersed in decadent vintage surroundings with inlaid wood paneling, antique lace curtains and fine china. Our private dining suite overlooked the sunset on the golf course, as we dined on fresh Castletownbere Cod, Sea Trout and Beef Cheek filet while sipping martini’s. The carriages were featured in the 1974 movie, Murder on the Orient Express and I felt the richness of history throughout the evening."

The Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey
The Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey


Jim Dobson ,   CONTRIBUTOR with Forbes.com
I write about Ultimate Luxury Experiences: People, Places and Things 

Full Article: www.forbes.com

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May 05, 2017