The Waters Country House is hidden down a long drive deep in the heart of Ireland's wild and wonderful Burren in County Clare. Only a tiny sign nailed to the tree on a side road points the way to one of the most welcoming retreats to be had in this popular tourist destination.
The stone country hotel is reminiscent of a regal manor house much older than its age so it came as a surprise that its Italian and Spanish owners, a lovely married couple with two gracious children, built it by hand just a few decades ago.
They had the fire blazing when we arrived late in the night and invited us to make ourselves at home in the communal room that's hard to leave once you've settled into the deep couches, artifacts from their extensive travels making it feel more like a personal and much loved home rather than a hotel. If not for the cozy room that beckoned, I'm not sure I would have ever left the main room.
Hand carved wooden bed posts, stairwells and cabinets all tell of the love that has been poured in to this realized dream for the couple who set out an incredible breakfast each morning. They are so delightful that you want them to linger at your breakfast table after they've poured your tea and delivered your eggs and black sausage, telling stories of their travels, life in the Irish countryside, and how they decided to settle in this remote 40 acres of farmland so far from their original homes.