The Cosiest Cabins and Cottages To Book For Christmas - The Gloss Magazine

The Cosiest Cabins and Cottages To Book For Christmas

This year, Christmas is set to be more special than ever, though for some, the lure of rural escapism has never been stronger. Many will want to be far from the madding crowd, though reassuringly close to five-star facilities, which is why this list of luxe hideaways will appeal. From coastal cottages to Scandi-style timber huts, these options are as spoiling as a hotel stay but with the independence and total privacy of self-catering.

Woodland Huts, Virginia Park Lodge, Co Cavan

USP: Comfort and compact living meet in aesthetic harmony here. There’s solid oak flooring throughout with a Shaker-style fitted galley kitchen with a Neff hob, kettle and fridge. The bonus: throwing open the double French doors in the morning as you sip a perfectly brewed espresso or dashing back to the log-burner after a long walk. 

Best For: Foodies and forest bathers. From €200 per hut per night, breakfast and barbecue hampers are available to order too; www.virginiaparklodge.com.

The Cosy Cabins, Dunbrody House, Co Wexford

USP: Set in the woods near the Dunbrody herb garden the only sounds you’ll hear are birdsong and cattle lowing. The cabin is decorated New England-style with one double room and two singles. Since it’s only a stone’s throw from the hotel, guests can still 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. 

Best For: Fans of The Waltons – this is perfect for old-fashioned family time. From €185 per night sleeping up to four people, with a minimum stay of two nights; www.irelandsbluebook.com.

Pond Suites, Marlfield House, Gorey, Co Wexford

USP: There are five Pond suites, comprising four one-bed and one two-bed, all have very large patio terraces facing onto the pond, which is surrounded by lush planting and foliage. Ornithologists, botanists and will enjoy the views and bon viveurs the cuisine and service a la russe at the main house.

Best For: A totally pampering romantic break. Packages can include dinner in The Duck or The Conservatory restaurants. The Pond Suites are open for weekends only in December and there are only a few dates left – so be quick! www.marlfield.ie

Cabu By The Lakes, Co Cavan

USP: Funky, fashionable and charmingly curated, these are one-bed log cabins and three-bedroom boathouses on the shores of Lough Oughter in Killykeen Forest Park. Guests can self-cater, or take advantage of the Cabin Club, which has all-day dining, with in and outdoor seating, roaring fires, cocktail bar and games. Cabu Corner is the essential shop which also offers gifts and homewares too. 

Best For: Quiet escapism with the option to book a fishing lesson, rent a paddle board, canoe, kayak or hire a bike. If you’re converted, try the sister property in the UK – Cabu? By The Sea in Kent. Prices start from €396 for a dog-friendly one-bedroom cabin and there is limited availability over the festive period; www.holidays.cabu.co.uk.

The Coach House, Cahernane House Hotel, Co Kerry

USP: Following a €1.3m renewal programme, the former 19th-century Coach House is now home to eight new luxurious bedrooms. The decor is inspired by the flora and fauna of Co Kerry (think wildflowers and peacocks) while freestanding claw foot baths, walk-in rain showers and handmade tiles, will satisfy even the most demanding guest. 

Best For: Families who want to celebrate splendidly in splendid isolation; dining options include The Herbert Restaurant, The Cellar Bar, the Library and Atrium. Book the “Festive Nights, Cahernane Delights at the Coach House” package between Twixmas (arriving either December 28 or 29) which includes a luxury two-night stay. Guests will enjoy prosecco and nibbles in The Library when they arrive. A three-course dinner on an evening of choice served in the Herbert Restaurant is also included, as is breakfast, a late checkout and complimentary used of the bicycles to explore the National Park. Rates are from €339 per person sharing; www.cahernane.com.

Lake Lodge, Lough Eske Castle, Co Donegal

USP: The sound of lapping waves and birds in the trees of the surrounding Bluestack Mountains is the backdrop to this two-bedroom lodge built circa 1861. It sleeps two to four guests. Original windows, fleur de lys tiles, a wood-burning fire and tweed upholstery are all part of the allure. Guests can self-cater in the oak kitchen or enjoy breakfast at the hotel – a twelve-minute walk, or an even shorter cycle. Complimentary use of the hotel gym, swimming pool and Cara Organic Beauty spa is an added advantage.

Best For: Artists, bibliophiles and those who like to work up an appetite walking. Dinner in Cedars restaurant is unmissable. The Lake Lodge is full from December 20 to early January, after which it is available for €400 a night for up to four people; www.lougheskecastlehotel.com.

Owenmore Cottage, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Connemara

USP: This luxurious self-catering six-bedroom cottage opened last year and can sleep up to twelve guests. Surrounded by forest on the 700-acre Ballynahinch estate, it has views of the winding Owenmore River. Expect a welcome hamper on arrival as well as a daily breakfast hamper delivered to the doorstep every morning. Grocery shopping can be done in advance –
including some of the harvest from the hotel’s impressive walled garden. The wide verandah overlooking the gardens and river is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks (though wrap up well!). For cosy evenings in, the wood-burning stove makes the perfect focal point. 

Best For: FitBit fans and Connemara crushers: extras include complimentary bicycles, mapped hikes, walks and trails (there’s also a mid-week linen change, free WiFi and a concierge service). Owenmore Cottage is available for seven nights, self-catering with a welcome hamper on arrival and breakfast hamper delivered each morning. From €8,500; www.ballynahinchcastle.com.

The Courtyard Cottage Suites, Tankardstown House, Co Meath

USP: The cosy cottages are beautifully appointed and overlook the courtyard complete with fountain and access to the walled garden where the hot tub and small summer house are located. A highlight of any stay is dinner at Brabazon restaurant. 

Best For: Pet owners of well-behaved four-legged family members are also welcome and Bruce, the resident pooch, is always excited to make new friends. They have availability on December 10 and 19 only. From €210 for a one-night bed and breakfast stay, and with dinner included rates are €360 per room per night, there is no charge for pedigree chums; www.tankardstown.ie.

The Shepherd’s Hut, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Co Antrim

USP: Close to the main hotel is a collection of 17 contemporary country cottages each set within its own pretty garden near the picturesque River Maine. These are in addition to the log cabins which line the riverside. Just launched in time for Christmas is its new Shepherd’s Hut, nestled in the Galgorm woods.

Best For: Golfers and spa enthusiasts – guests have full access to the Resort’s new, enhanced Thermal Village and Spa, which includes a vitality pool, a Palm House relaxation area and bar, and a Salt Cave for halotherapy experiences. The Shepherd’s Hut can be booked for a special Christmas break. Arriving on Christmas Eve guests will be welcomed with a festive afternoon tea picnic. Then the Thermal Spa beckons for a rejuvenating experience before relaxing in the Mulberry Garden, where a roaring fire, hot chocolate or mulled wine and marshmallows is a preamble to dinner. Christmas day starts with a champagne breakfast and then lunch is served in Fratelli. Of course, there is the option of visiting the spa, enjoying a festive film and light bites in Fratelli with live music in McKendry’s too. From £760 per person sharing; www.galgorm.com.

The Signal Suite, Station House Hotel, Co Meath

USP: For those who love a cabin (but not in the woods) The Signal Suite, cleverly converted from the former control room for the train tracks, is now a light-filled suite spread across two floors, with a loft-style apex ceiling upstairs and original 1800s staircase from the Midland Great Western Railway Co. Set apart from The Station House Hotel, guests can expect a classic country house style underpinned with antiques and exotic textiles.

Best For: Decoristas, foodies and honeymooners: Station House Hotel is regularly booked as a wedding venue. General winter stays are from €180 and there is a Boyne Valley Tasting Menu on November 20, which can be incorporated into any booking; www.stationhousehotel.ie.

Garden Cottage, Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Co Kerry

USP: Light-filled, luxurious with lovely views of Kenmare Bay, the stone cottage has two bedrooms, one king and one twin, each with an ensuite bathroom. Minutes from Sheen Falls Lodge, guests can enjoy a treatment at the spa, dinner in Falls restaurant or book any number of activities including falconry, fishing, archery, clay pigeon shooting and much more.

Best For: An activity break – if you want to bring the whole family book the Little Hay Cottage next door. Welcome hampers will delight on arrival too! www.sheenfallslodge.ie

Palmer Lodge, The K Club, Co Kildare

USP: Palmer Lodge, a former gate lodge, has recently been restored and refurbished in a contemporary, elegant style and provides enough space for families or a group of friends. It comprises four bedrooms, four bathrooms, spacious sitting and dining area and a complete kitchen, and is surrounded by manicured lawns and plenty of outdoor space.

Best For: Full access to The K Club’s selection of food and beverage outlets including the new all-day dining venue, The Palmer. The Lodge has availability for New Year’s Eve in The Palmer Lodge, checking in on  December 31 for a minimum of three night stay is from €800 per night; www.kclub.ie.

Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges, Co Fermanagh

USP: After a £1.5 million investment earlier this year, the four-star hotel has launched six luxury Woodland Lodges, complete with private hot tubs. The two-bedroomed en-suite lodges come with fully equipped kitchens, complimentary WiFi, and open plan sitting rooms leading onto a private outdoor decking area.

Best for: Enjoying the Fermanagh Lakelands, the Lodges enjoy stunning views over Lough Erne. Guests have access to the Elemis Spa and Health Club at the hotel. From November 21 – March 2022, a two night midweek stay is from £275 per night includes use of Killyhevlin Health Club. A two night weekend stay is from £297.50 per night; www.killyhevlin.com.

The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

USP:  Steeped in history, The Lodge dates to 1865 when it was originally built as the home of Ashford Castle’s Estate Manager during the Guinness family’s ownership of the Ashford Estate. Each room is beautifully furnished; super-king beds, goose down duvets and pillows, luxury toiletries and plush bathrobes are available in all rooms and suites, ensuring each guest can enjoy an indulgent and relaxing stay.

Best For: Its range of outdoor activities, which can be booked ahead of any stay, and includes horse riding, ziplining, fishing, falconry and a special festive woodland horse and carriage tour. You can also hire bikes and take a spin around the sprawling estate grounds or let your competitive side out with a game of tennis or nine-holes of golf. Prices start from €250 per person. Staff at The Lodge will welcome guests with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies on arrival. You will also be treated to a festive fine dining experience in Wilde’s Restaurant. Created by executive head chef, Jonathan Keane, the menu includes ingredients foraged on the Ashford Castle Estate. A full Irish breakfast will be included on each morning of your stay; www.thelodgeac.com.

Shackleton Cottage, Cliff at Lyons, Co Kildare

USP: Picture perfect in every way, you have arrived at Christmas central when you check into the festively-decorated Shackleton Cottage. It comes complete with Christmas tree under which guests will find a very special gift.

Best For: Indulgence and the ambiance: from a stroll through the winter gardens, to the sparkly lights, to The Well in the Garden Spa where guests can enjoy a treatment of choice. That’s part of the deal for the “Christmas to Remember” package which includes a two-night stay in Shackleton Cottage, a pre-dinner festive Cocktail, a three-course gourmet dinner in the Mill Restaurant and Terrace, and a 25-minute pampering treatment each. From €2,740 for four people sharing. Available from December 10 – 24; www.cliffatlyons.ie.

Dunowen House, Co Cork

USP: A luxury 18th century coastal property, located on the Wild Atlantic Way just ten minutes from Clonakilty. The house has six bedrooms, all ensuite, large reception rooms, a formal dining room and a home bar filled with rock memorabilia.

Best For: A family group wanting to get together but have space to relax and switch off. It will also appeal to rock fans – as this is the former home of Noel Redding, bass guitarist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience (one room is filled with memorablia). Dunowen is available for a private rental stay between the December 22-29 for groups of up to twelve guests with a minimum stay of four nights at €1,250 per night, or a week from €5,500. The house comes decorated for Christmas and includes lots of welcoming extras. Also on site is the pretty Orchard Cottage – a cosy three-bedroom cottage in the walled garden. It is available from January 16 and can accommodate up to five guests. Nightly self-catering rates start at €150 and a minimum of two nights apply; www.dunowenhouse.ie.

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