Where to Book a Stay in Waterford, Ireland

The Cliff House Hotel in Waterford offers spectacular views
The Cliff House Hotel in Waterford offers spectacular views | Courtesy of Cliff House Hotel / Booking.com
Sadie Whitelocks

If you haven’t been to Waterford, it’s time to add this gem to your list. Famed for its crystal and ‘blaas’ – large, fluffy bread rolls exclusive to Waterford city – this historical county in Ireland offers you the chance to experience Medieval castles, dramatic coastline and lush countryside. For accommodation, you’ll find intimate boutique properties and historic hotels. Here’s where to stay in Waterford.

1. Waterford Marina Hotel, for no-frills accommodation close to the Waterford Greenway


The black, cream and brick exterior of Waterford Marina Hotel, with shrubs and trees in front
Courtesy of Waterford Marina Hotel / Booking.com

Wake up to waterfront views with a stay at the Waterford Marina Hotel, ideally positioned on the banks of the River Suir. An affordable option, this hotel is no-nonsense in its approach; four simple room choices range from tastefully decorated economy doubles to spacious family rooms. Free wifi comes as standard; conference rooms are ideal for business travellers. Whatever your reason for staying, check out the nearby Waterford Greenway – a 46km (29mi) nature trail with views of the Comeragh Mountains.

2. Fitzwilton Hotel, for a smart stay


A double room at Fitzwilton Hotel with a grey, black and orange colour scheme and plush carpet
Courtesy of Fitzwilton Hotel / Booking.com

Waterford may be the oldest city in Ireland, but there’s nothing old-fashioned about the Fitzwilton Hotel, just a short walk from the Viking Quarter. Each of the 90 modern rooms is stylishly designed and smartly furnished. Choose a comfortable double room with a king-size bed and a smart TV, or splash out on the penthouse suite for city-wide views and a spacious entertaining area. Head downstairs to Restaurant Chez K’s for a gourmet-dining experience – order the house curry to sample a local favourite.

3. Dooley’s Hotel Waterford, for family-run brilliance


A traditionally styled two-bed guest room at Dooley’s Hotel Waterford, with wood furnishings and fresh flowers
Courtesy of Dooley’s Hotel Waterford / Booking.com

With more than 70 years of experience spread across three generations, the Darrer family, the owners of Dooley’s Hotel, certainly knows a thing or two about hospitality – added extras, such as a complimentary daily newspaper, are evidence of that. While double and triple rooms are available, more than half of the 112 guest rooms are designed with families in mind, with plenty of space for four occupants. Helpful hotel staff can show you where to take the little ones, with everything from Viking experiences to historical railway trips available nearby. A nightcap at the Dry Dock Bar, which hosts live music every weekend, will be a welcome sight for tired parents.

4. The Granville Hotel, for a slice of history


A classically styled family room with three beds, armchairs, a desk and striped wallpaper at the Granville Hotel
Courtesy of The Granville Hotel / Expedia

The glossy black exterior hints at the history of this four-star hotel in Waterford, which dates back to the 18th century – and the well-appointed interiors do the same. It’s one of the oldest hotels in Ireland and was the birthplace of Thomas Francis Meagher, who designed the Irish flag. Today, this central Waterford establishment is a family-run business, so expect a warm welcome and top-notch service. The bedrooms are classically furnished with antique appointments, a style that runs through to the AA Rosette-awarded Bianconi Restaurant and the inviting Thomas Francis Meagher Bar.

5. Dún Ard Bed and Breakfast, for spectacular harbour views

Bed and Breakfast

Two single beds, two leather chairs, a wardrobe and skylights in a cream-toned suite at Dún Ard Bed and Breakfast
Courtesy of Dún Ard Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

Sitting on a hill – Dún Ard means “high fortress” in Gaelic – this modern yet homely B&B outside Dungarvan has fantastic views of the harbour town and the Comeragh Mountains beyond. There are four spacious suites, two of which come with a jacuzzi bath. The B&B also has a communal dining room and a conservatory with a view, where you can unwind after a day of exploring. Along with the B&B’s lofty location, past guests rate the friendly and personal service.

6. Cliff House Hotel, for five-star facilities


Double bed and a blue chaise longue by staircase in loft room with a balcony terrace overlooking the sea at Cliff House Hotel
Courtesy of Cliff House Hotel / Expedia

Soak up dramatic views of the Irish Sea at this upscale five-star hotel close to Cork and Waterford. The low-slung property sits on a cliff on the south side of Ardmore Bay, home to a traditional fishing community. A slick, modern design runs throughout the lobby, the 39 stylishly appointed bedrooms and the spa. The award-winning wellness centre is not to be missed, with an infinity-edge indoor swimming pool overlooking the crashing waves below. More treats come in the form of the on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves up an eight-course tasting menu. The Guinness and treacle bread with beef-fat butter is a must-try.

7. Faithlegg Hotel, for lords and ladies of the mansion


A four-poster bed, two armchairs, a desk and cushioned desk chair in a purple-and-cream room at Faithlegg Hotel
Courtesy of Faithlegg Hotel / Expedia

Set amid 81ha (200 acres) of parkland, Faithlegg Hotel is the perfect place to stay in Waterford if you’re seeking a grand country getaway. The stately 18th-century property sits at the head of Waterford Harbour, where the Three Sister rivers – the Barrow, Nore and Suir – meet. For a real taste of country living, the original house has bedrooms with ornate four-poster beds and period damask wallpaper. The Roseville Rooms restaurant, which holds two AA Rosettes and is set within two high-ceilinged drawing rooms, serves specialities by head chef Jenny Flynn, including a fillet of hake with house-smoked mussels and an orange blossom tart.

8. Viking Hotel Waterford, for Scandi style


Blue-toned dining room with many tables and soft chairs on wooden flooring at Viking Hotel Waterford
Courtesy of Viking Hotel Waterford / Expedia

From the outside, this hotel might not look like a thing of beauty, but the inside features slick interiors that blend modern and art deco influences. The spacious rooms have something of a Scandinavian feel, with large windows allowing for plenty of natural light, along with blonde-wood furnishings. The hotel, 4km (2mi) from town, is next to the Waterford Greenway and offers free bike storage. After a day of exploring, the Wooden Pestle Bar & Restaurant has a great ambience, with homely dark-grey interiors and live music every weekend.

9. Greenway Manor Hotel, for smart interiors


Four leather armchairs and a leather sofa by a table in a light-filled communal room at Greenway Manor Hotel
Courtesy of Greenway Manor Hotel / Expedia

Escape to the country at this smart, riverside hotel. Greenway Manor – dating back to 1730 – sits on a 7ha (18-acre) plot beside the winding Waterford Greenway walking and off-road cycling path. The 23 rooms have magnificent views of the leafy surroundings, and the interiors blend old-world and modern influences. There’s an on-site restaurant and bar, while the afternoon teas and Sunday roasts are popular with locals and guests.

10. Waterford Castle, for a destination stay


Opulent communal space with three plush sofas, two chairs, antique artwork and a fireplace at Waterford Castle
Courtesy of Waterford Castle / Expedia

Play at being a willing castaway at this dreamy island resort. Waterford Castle is set on a private outcrop accessible via a private car ferry over the King’s Channel. Once you’ve made the short crossing, your cares will slowly slip away as you get into island mode. The 16th-century castle has 19 lavish rooms, complete with period furnishings and four-poster beds, and there are 45 self-catering lodges perfect for group or extended stays. It’s worth making a trip to this island for the dining offering alone, as the opulent wood-panelled Munster Room holds two AA Rosettes. The King’s Channel Clubhouse, overlooking the 18-hole championship golf course on the island, is another popular spot, with barbecue nights every Thursday in summer.

Sam Moakes contributed additional reporting.

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