Episode 61 Hotel Legends: Ireland’s Ballyfin with Liam Krehbiel
This week on Passport to Everywhere, the focus is on the charming, mystical country of Ireland. Melissa is joined by Indagare Destinations Director John Cantrell as they swap tips for making the most of a trip to the Emerald Isle. John – with his decades of trip planning experience –– speaks about some of his favorite castle properties, top activities (don’t miss the Trinity College Library or the Ballymaloe Cookery School), and other itinerary musts. From Northern Ireland to Dublin and across to Galway, John and Melissa dive into everything you need to know before planning your visit.
Melissa also speaks with Liam Krehbiel, the co-owner of Ballyfin, one of Ireland’s most historic and spectacular hotels. Located in County Laois (approx. 90 minutes by car from Dublin), the grand country estate was built in the 1820s. After a love at first sight experience, the property was purchased by Liam’s father in 2002, and he spent nearly a decade restoring it and shaping it into the refined 5-star luxury hotel it is today. Liam and his brother have continued their father’s legacy at Ballyfin, and the hotel remains in a class of its own with its one-of-a-kind rooms, stunning gardens, impressive art collection and romantic library. As they walk through the history of the grand yet intimate property, Liam and Melissa explore the culture and approachability of Ireland. He also reveals his favorite golf courses, speaks to the Irish art scene, shares what’s exciting him most in Dublin and more. Tune in to discover not only how this “fancy house in a Jane Austen novel” still feels warm and approachable, but also to determine what to do on your next trip to Ireland.
Lightning Round with Liam:
- 3 of your favorite pubs? “The West End in Fenit, Sean Og’s in Tralee, and the Stag’s Head in Dublin.”
- Favorite restaurant in Dublin? “The Old Spot for a Sunday roast. Strong.”
- What activity do you recommend to first-time visitors and why? “Enjoying a pint of Guinness at a proper pub. There is no point in discussing anything else until this has been accomplished.”
- Favorite Irish tradition? “A good wedding or wake. The Irish do them well.”
- Favorite spot at Ballyfin? “Inside, it’s the library. Outside, it’s a walk around the lake.”
- Do you have a favorite film set in the country? “Brooklyn. It reminds me of what my mom’s experience was like when she moved from Ireland to the States.”
Tune in live: November 16, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET