33 minutes | Sunday, 2 April 2023
Dunowen House was purchased in 2013 by couple Kela & Stephen Hodgins, after deciding on somewhat of a whim to pack up their lives in Dublin for a rural adventure. With a background in Marketing & Finance respectively, they were novices in the hospitality world but knew they wanted to create an escape they themselves would love to visit. After an extensive renovation project, which saw the rebuilding of the historic coach house and other outbuildings on the grounds, Dunowen was open for business.
The couple have learned on the job, with the business evolving to meet the needs of its clientele. After a short stint operating as a guesthouse, Dunowen now focuses on whole house private rentals for group holidays, retreats and events. They also specialise in intimate weddings for up to 30 guests. Private catering and growing their own produce is now integral to the business. Becoming a member of the prestigious Ireland’s Blue Book in 2019 was such an honour and vote of confidence, confirming to Kela & Stephen that they were on the right track.
While the house dates back to 1771, its more recent rock and roll history is a really unique attraction for guests. Dunowen was the home for 30 years of Noel Redding, the former bass guitarist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Noel hosted many of his rock legend friends at the house and was one of the key players in developing the vibrant music scene in Clonakilty. The house has lots of memorabilia on display to keep his spirit alive and remind guests of the legacy.