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TheTaste Tries: The Montenotte, Cork’s Urban Resort with Playful Luxury As Standard

The Vibe

Styling itself as Cork’s first urban resort, The Montenotte’s modern, well curated decor with funky pops of colour delivers a sense of playful, rebellious luxury. Indulge in panoramic Cork City views from the cocktail terrace or settle into The Glasshouse, a favourite spot for decadent afternoon teas by day and expertly crafted cocktails by night. With the addition of both an on-site spa and cinema, The Montenotte is a one-stop shop for relaxed indulgence, ideal for couples or groups of friends looking for a fun-packed escape.

The Location

Location is key, and The Montenotte has it covered, sitting proudly overlooking all of Cork City with views for days. A scenic 15-minute walk (downhill) takes you into the heart of Cork’s city centre, or you can reach the eclectic mix of bars and restaurants on super cool MacCurtain Street in just 10 minutes. Explore vibey hotspots like Cask, Paladar, and the Glass Curtain (to name a few) for a taste of the city’s vibrant food and drink scene and ponder extending your stay to fit them once you’ve sampled The Montenotte’s own high-end offerings. A short stroll from Cork Kent Station and a 10 minute taxi from Patrick Street, The Montenotte is easily accessible wherever you are coming from, while still feeling like a break from the hustle and bustle.

The Tastes

The Panorama Restaurant is an oh so stylish spot with sweeping views of the city, rivalled by eclectically sophisticated decor, carried on to the flower-walled Terrace. Led by South African multi-award winning chef Rudi Liebenberg, Panorama’s menu is packed with punchy brasserie dishes with plenty of variety to suit all palates. My experience started with a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne looking out at the view, perfectly paired with a totally moreish treat: glass-like shards of Pork Crackling dusted with nori and dipped in a spiced, almost hummus-like peanut sauce.

This was followed by a delicate Hereford Beef Carpaccio, with perfectly pickled shimeji mushrooms adding a pop of brightness balanced by generous shavings of salty parmesan. My Skeaghanore Duck with Orange and Grand Marnier was cooked to blushing pink perfection, served with a velvety parsnip puree and a rich, pleasantly boozy jus – simple and well executed. Choosing my dishes was a lofty challenge – options like Mushroom Girella with Hegarty’s Fondue and decadent Beef Wellington with added short rib made it a tempting menu indeed, alongside a thoughtful and varied wine list and extensive cocktail offering.

The Glasshouse is a stunning standalone bar of the bougiest order, just a short stroll from The Terrace over a footbridge. With plenty of libations to draw you in, not least their signature “Merchant Price”, crafted with The Montenotte’s very own gin, The Glasshouse boasts insta-worthy interiors and a consistently vibrant atmosphere. A night here would definitely be well spent, sipping killer cocktails with an unrivalled view of the city.

The Standouts

The Montenotte excels at the finer, fun details. Spacious rooms boast roomy bathtubs perfect for soaking (perhaps with a Montenotte G&T in hand), rainfall showers with gorgeous Rituals toiletries, and your own personal Smeg coffee machine for a touch of in-room luxury. But the highlight is undoubtedly the in-house cinema Cameo, reminiscent of Dublin’s iconic Stella Theatre. Plush couches, lamp-lit side tables, and the option of Champagne, cocktails, and gourmet popcorn delivered right to your seat – what more could you ask for?

Chicago was the movie du jour when I visited, and with two screenings each night, it’s a fantastic perk for guests, making it all the more difficult to stay for only one night. The Montenotte plans to become a playground for grown ups, and the indulgent Easter Wine Hunt taking place the day I left would hint that they know exactly what they are doing to nail this angle.

The Takeaway

In addition to all the funky features and perks, the warmth and authentic Corkonian hospitality of The Montenotte’s staff may be what truly sets it apart. From the wonderful Ken on the door (with the most melodious Cork accent to welcome you) to the lovely Danielle in Guest Relations, each member goes above and beyond to make guests actually feel at home. GM Frits Potgieter, another warm and welcoming face, explained that name tags are a no-go here, and this informality and genuine friendliness makes each guest feel like an old pal they are delighted to see.

Montenotte Cork Woodland Suite Experience

Bottom line: One night here won’t be enough to take in all The Montenotte has to offer, and we only scratched the surface on our short and sweet visit. With their ultra luxe Woodland Suites Experience opening in August, The Montenotte looks set to take things up a notch further and cement its place as a must-visit for an extended stay in the rebel city. I’m delighted to have another reason to plan a return visit to this fantastically fun escape in the real capital. Just beware, the cloud-like beds might see you sleep right through breakfast as I did, but I’m very happy to plot a trip back for brunch in Panorama as soon as possible to fix this injustice!

TheTaste was a guest of The Montenotte Hotel on this visit, with DBB packages starting from 323 per couple at the time of writing.

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