The summer is almost over and if you haven’t got away from home (or the desk) here are some luxe retreats and staycation offers guaranteed to raise endorphin levels …
The Shelbourne, Dublin 2
The Shelbourne’s “Dream Getaway” is the definition of a glam getaway, one in which you’ll be able to savour the recent refurbishment of No 27 The Shelbourne Bar, people watch from your table on The Terrace, and (over) indulge in chef Garry Hughes’ cuisine in The Saddle Room. From €490 per person sharing, this dream is actually a steal! It includes two nights’ bed and breakfast, a bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne on arrival, oysters and champagne in No 27 bar, a cocktail each in 1824, a three course dinner in The Saddle Room, a Swedish massage (each) in The Spa at The Shelbourne and a picnic on The Terrace for two. I say go hither and don’t leave without one of the hotel’s gorgeous candles as a souvenir of your stay; www.TheShelbourne.com.
Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry
With its mature gardens, chic interiors and open log fires, this 18th-century country house hotel is a haute hideaway. Currently on offer is an overnight stay with breakfast and three course dinner in either the Cellar Bar or Herbert Restaurant from €139.50 per person sharing. Following a great night’s sleep (in one of the hotel’s luxe Seventh Heaven beds), guests can explore Killarney National Park which surrounds the house and is within walking distance; www.cahernane.com.
Conrad Dublin’s “Shopping Retreat Escape” is an overnight experience which includes a personal shopping collection service from Brown Thomas or your favourite shop on Grafton Street. Other bonuses include an early check-in, late check-out plus complimentary overnight onsite car parking and leisurely breakfast before departure. Of course the location is second to none – a short stroll from MoLI and National Gallery, this is the opportunity to combine shopping with some culture. Guests will find champagne, strawberries and Image face masks in their rooms – ideal for a pre-dinner pamper. Do book the The Terrace Kitchen & Social House, which must be one of Dublin’s hidden secrets. If you haven’t been, the heated terrace is an amazing spot to enjoy views of the landscaped and renovated piazza on Earlsfort Terrace. I recommend the fish (sole) and chips; www.conraddublin.com.
Straffan House, The K Club, Co Kildare
If you want to plan a blow the budget staycation with friends or family, consider Straffan House – a private retreat within the K Club estate. It’s palatial (modelled on a château near Versailles) and comprises ten bedrooms spread over three storeys and a guest cottage. Other facilities include a spectacular private swimming pool with hand-painted murals and its own swim-up bar; a gym and private spa; games room and a wine cellar and a lush red velvet-upholstered private cinema. A stay at Straffan is fully inclusive and is €20,000 per night with a minimum three-night stay, including all meals, snacks and treats, with 24-hour butler service, private chef and unlimited golf on the Palmer North and Palmer South courses; www.kclub.ie/straffan-house/.
The Mustard Seed, Ballingarry, Co Kilkenny
Located in the heart of the Golden Vale, overlooking the village of Ballingarry, on the doorstep of Adare is The Mustard Seed. Sitting on twelve acres of manicured lawns, the estate comprises an orchard and a working kitchen garden. This eclectic retreat is the perfect venue for a romantic escape or gourmet getaway – the restaurant is legendary. Its current “Pastoral Paradise” package is a three-night stay with breakfast and two (four course) dinners included, from €365 per person sharing. An overnight stay with breakfast and dinner is from €129 per person sharing; www.mustardseed.ie.
The Wilder, Dublin 2
Just minutes from St Stephen’s Green and the Iveagh Gardens, The Wilder is a discreet base from which to enjoy the capital. (I absolutely love the interior design and art collection displayed throughout the hotel). Currently on offer is the “Bee Wilder in The City” package celebrating the launch of the Wilder’s very own Wilder Bee honey and its partnership with the Dublin Honey Bee Project. Check in to the Victorian townhouse for an overnight stay and you will be welcomed with a Honey Orange Blossom cocktail on arrival. There’s also a picnic basket of charcuterie and cheeseboard to enjoy with Wilder Bee Honey and some wine. The stay is from €279 based on two people sharing; www.thewilder.ie.
Dunbrody House, Co Wexford
Stay in one of the Cosy Cabins set in the woods near the Dunbrody herb garden and the only sounds you’ll hear are birdsong and cattle lowing. The cabins, decorated New England-style, are only a stone’s throw from the hotel, where guests can enjoy all the facilities and choose to dine in the restaurant, sip cocktails on the terrace of the seafood bar or head to the pub for a more casual vibe. From €150 per night sleeping up to four people. Alternatively, why not enjoy one of “Dunbrody’s Summer Quickies” an overnight stay in the main house with breakfast and dinner from €175 per person sharing; www.dunbrodyhouse.com.
Number 31, Dublin 2
Tucked away behind a creeper clad wall on Leeson Close, Dublin 2 is Number 31 – a Georgian townhouse and Modernist mews once the home of architect Sam Stephenson – renowned for its service and laid-back atmosphere. The guest house has been decorated with the Jazz age in mind and has teamed up with two of the best restaurants in the city to create a tempting “Dine and Stay” package. Guests can either dine at the nearby Suesey Street restaurant, or for a French experience at Dax. An overnight stay including dinner for two at Suesey Street with breakfast starts at €320, while an overnight stay including dinner for two at Dax with breakfast starts at €350; www.number31.ie.
Clontarf Castle Hotel
There’s still time to book the overnight “Discover Clontarf” break, perfect for anyone looking for a night away close to home, if living in Dublin. The break includes an overnight stay for two in one of Clontarf Castle Hotel’s stylish bedrooms, a three-course evening meal and breakfast the following morning, available from €100 per person sharing. Guests can choose to stay in the hotel (I recommend the self-guided tour of the hotel’s eclectic art collection) or venture out for a long walk on the pier to Bull Island or Dollymount strand; www.clontarfcastle.ie.
Cliff House Hotel, Waterford
“Cliff Table” is an indulgent four-night experience comprising two nights in Cliff House Hotel and two nights at Cliff at Lyons. When at Cliff House Hotel, you will stay in a deluxe Seaview room and have a chance to experience the elegant cooking of executive chef Ian Doyle, who has brought a fresh approach to House Restaurant when he joined in 2020 which impressed the Michelin judges so much that he retained the Michelin star in his first year there. Directly overlooking the sea, the menu at House Restaurant has a focus on seafood and sustainability. Moving to Cliff at Lyons, guests will stay in a pretty Lily pond room and enjoy the Michelin-starred Aimsir, which explores the Irish larder, celebrating what can be sown and harvested, fished and foraged. Complementing Aimsir is the classical cookery of chef Sean Smith at The Mill, a new restaurant at Cliff at Lyons. As well as stellar dining experiences, there’s plenty more to do at both properties from spa visits, beautiful walks, cycles and water activities. The experience costs from €2,193 for two sharing; www.cliffhousehotel.ie.
Adare Manor, Co Limerick
Treat yourself to an indulgent a two night stay in one of Adare Manor’s Deluxe guest rooms and take your time over breakfast each morning in the opulent surrounding of The Gallery. Relax over dinner on one evening in The Carriage House (pictured) with garden views and on the second evening in the Michelin star restaurant, The Oak Room. Also included is a private wine tasting in the wine cellar which houses over 7,000 bottles. Allow a dedicated “Picnic Butler” to arrange a luxe picnic experience on the estate and top off your stay with a horse and carriage tour of Adare Manor with champagne and chocolates. Prices are from €3,340, based on two people sharing; www.adaremanor.com.
Dromoland Castle, Co Clare & Ashford Castle, Co Mayo
Two top Irish hotels are offering “The Legendary Castle Experience”. Ashford has teamed up with Dromoland Castle to offer guests the opportunity to enjoy Ireland’s only five-star castles over four consecutive nights. From €2,380, guests will enjoy beautiful scenery, exquisite interiors and meticulous hospitality with two nights at Ashford Castle, in Co Mayo, and a further two nights at Dromoland Castle, Co Clare. A full Irish breakfast is included on each morning of your stay at both hotels. The Legendary Castle offer is available until October 31 and prices are based on two people sharing. www.dromoland.ie, www.ashfordcastle.ie.
Carton House, Co Kildare
After a two-year multimillion-euro total renovation, savour the renewed splendour of Carton House and stay in one of the opulent suites of The House (the spectacular 18th-century Palladian-style mansion) at the heart of the estate. Curate your stay by choosing from a menu of activity options. These include tutored wine tastings, or order a picnic to be enjoyed on the parklands and ground, or select a Whiskey Lover’s Experience in the book lined Whiskey Library, or enjoy afternoon tea in the Gold Salon. Other options include a rejuvenating treatment in Carton House Spa & Wellness, or an hour-long custom golf club fitting session at Carton House Golf. This “Curate your Stay at Carton House” package with one night bed and breakfast in a State Room is available from €495 based on two people sharing; www.cartonhouse.com.
Killashee House, Co Kildare
For an indulgent spa break, book Killashee’s “Relaxation Spa Break” – this is a two night stay with bed and breakfast, an evening meal and spa treatments for two from €380. The hotel setting is magical – and is surrounded by 80 acres of gardens, parkland and woodland trails perfect for forest bathing. Do make use of the spa’s impressive hydrotherapy suite afterwards; www.killasheehotel.com.
InterContinental Dublin, Dublin 4
For a foodcation the “Luxury Dining package” at InterContinental Dublin includes a choice of spacious deluxe king guest room or luxurious one bedroom suite, a bottle of champagne in your room on arrival, a three course meal in Seasons Restaurant or The Lobby Lounge. Depending on the weather, you can also dine al fresco on the lovely Garden Terrace (pictured). After walking Sandymount Strand or a shopping trip, relax in the wellness area or take a swim in the 14m heated pool. Guests can avail of discounts in the Spa and on its ESPA treatments and products. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departure, from €420 per room with two sharing; www.intercontinentaldublin.ie.
Bellinter House, Co Meath
Who said pooches can’t be pampered too? Bellinter House recently reopened its doors to guests including the four legged kind. Dogs are welcome to stay, along with their humans, in the beautifully appointed Stable Rooms. The rooms, with vaulted beamed ceilings, are bright, airy spaces and open on to a peaceful courtyard. Dogs and their owners can enjoy long walks around the secluded estate. The spacious rooms are s perfect for puppies to take a nap while guests enjoy a meal in the Eden Restaurant or the more casual Drawing Room. Overnight rates start from €139 per night; www.bellinterhouse.com.
The Merrion, Dublin 2
For those who can’t decide whether to head to the country or enjoy a city break, Ashford Castle and The Merrion have joined forces for a “Luxury Town & Country Staycation”. Guests can enjoy the best of both worlds with a two-night stay in The Merrion before heading west for a further two nights – pricing starts from €3,470 for two people sharing. A chilled bottle of champagne will await guests on arrival at both hotels with breakfast on each morning of the trip. The offer is available until October 31; www.merrionhotel.ie, www.ashfordcastle.com.
Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare
The “Three Night Saver” package at Sheen Falls Lodge includes three nights’ accommodation in a newly refurbished room, full Irish breakfast each morning and dinner for two on two nights – one in The Falls Restaurant and one in the Sheen Lounge. The third night includes a 50 per cent reduction on the rate. Complimentary use of the pool and gym is included; www.sheenfallslodge.ie.
Longueville House, Co Cork
The two night “InCider Midweek Break” at Longueville House is a pampering experience curated by chef/owner and host William O’Callaghan. Make sure to time your arrival for a welcome cup of tea (with cakes and home baking). Afterwards a short stroll to explore the grounds and orchards is recommended before dinner. Each evening there is a set four-course dinner menu. Between 6.45pm-7pm guests are invited to join William who will debrief the evening’s menu or enjoy a pre-dinner Longueville House cocktail. The InCider Midweek Break is from €670 and includes two nights bed and breakfast, dinner both evenings, complimentary Afternoon Tea on both days and a Longueville Tasting Board upon arrival; www.longuevillehouse.ie.
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