Apparently the hashtag #EasterIreland is trending – as one of the most popular countries in the world to celebrate the holiday. Clearly that’s acknowledgement of the warm welcome, inclusive hospitality for all ages and fabulous amenities on our doorstep. Here are some suggestions of where to book to suit all budgets …
Dunowen House, Co Cork
This luxury 18th-century coastal property, located on the Wild Atlantic Way, is just ten minutes from Clonakilty. The house has six bedrooms, all en suite, large reception rooms, a formal dining room and a home bar filled with rock memorabilia. It’s especially good for family groups wanting to get together and will also appeal to rock fans. This is the former home of Noel Redding, bass guitarist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Also on site is Orchard Cottage, a cosy three-bedroom cottage, in the walled garden at Dunowen. Currently, there is a four nights for the price of three offer on mid-week stays with availability from April 17-20 and 24-27. The cost to rent the main house (which can accommodate up to 15 guests) is €3,000 and €500 for Orchard Cottage (which can sleep up to five). These costs are inclusive of towels, linens, toiletries, utilities, logs for the wood burning stoves and a welcome pack of essentials and home baked treats on arrival. Private catering is also available for groups of six guests or more; www.dunowenhouse.ie.
Wicklow Head Lighthouse, Co Wicklow
Dating back to 1781, this venue comes with incredible views and a secret seal beach nearby. If you’ve always wanted to stay in a lighthouse (it’s on my bucket list), then this is a good place to start and is perfect for stargazing, visiting Glendalough, Avoca and the Wicklow Mountains. Facilities include two bedrooms, a bathroom and sitting room. The kitchen is on the top floor – up a flight of 109 steps – and is stocked with cooking utensils and linens. The property is dog friendly too, so it’s the perfect location for an alternative family holiday. From €690 for two nights; www.irishlandmark.com.
The K Club, Co Kildare
Chocolate decorating, games in the walled garden, an egg hunt on the front lawns and an egg-stra special afternoon tea with the Easter Bunny himself are on the agenda for children this Easter at The K Club. It’s not all children-centric fun though, adults can indulge in morning yoga, guided garden walks, and tours of the Wine Cellar (perhaps with a tasting or two). This is all part of a two- or three-night “Epic Easter Escape” available from April 1-16. This includes the Easter programme, breakfast each morning, dinner in one of the resort’s restaurants (including South Bar & Restaurant and The Palmer Restaurant) and an interconnecting family room. Rates start from €520 per night for three nights for two adults and two children; www.kclub.ie.
The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway
As a base to explore Connemara National Park, one of the nearby beaches, or discover Galway’s outdoor activity centre Wildlands (where you can Zip ‘n’ Trek, climb fun walls, practice archery and disc golf and much more), The Galmont Hotel & Spa is an ideal budget-friendly base. The hotel facilities include a leisure centre with children and adults’ swimming pools, as well as Marinas Restaurant and Coopers Bar & Lounge. An overnight stay in one of the spacious family rooms, is from €171 per room per night; www.thegalmont.com.
The Harrison Chambers of Distinction, Belfast
Belfast is buzzing at the moment with lots to do and see, which makes the current tempting offer at this bohemian bolthole even more appealing. The Harrison is a mere 15 minute’s walk away from the cultural attractions, a short stroll from The Botanic Gardens and the Ulster Museum and beside Michelin-starred Blank restaurant. Easter at The Harrison includes an overnight stay in an Aristocrat Suite, welcome cocktails and continental breakfast in bed. Prices start at £155 mid week and £275 at weekends, based on two people sharing; www.chambersofdistinction.com.
Ice House Hotel & Spa, Co Mayo
Home to the Chill Spa, first class service, delicious food and with an enviable location on Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way, the Ice House is a great place to celebrate Easter. Available from April 1-16 is a new two-night offer. Guests will stay in a deluxe Riverview room, with a delicious cooked to order breakfast. Enjoy dinner on one evening, with a delicious Easter treat in your room on arrival! From €270 per person; www.secure.irelands-blue-book.ie.
This luxurious hotel in leafy Ballsbridge embraces Easter with gusto. Guests will find spring floral displays, chocolate sculptures created by head pastry chef Orna Larkin and a buzzy atmosphere. Currently on offer are one-night stays from April 2-12, from €480 per room per night. This includes accommodation for up to two adults and two children, breakfast the next morning, champagne in your room on arrival, handmade Easter eggs for the children, a €50 food credit to spend during your stay, access to the hotel’s 14-metre indoor heated pool, spa and gym with ten per cent off spa treatments and complimentary parking. The hotel will also host a fun Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday (April 9) in the Garden Terrace; www.intercontinentaldublin.ie.
Castle Leslie Estate, Co Monaghan
Nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate is one of the last great Irish castle estates still in the hands of its founding family. A stay in one of the 20 unique bedrooms at The Castle offers complete respite – you won’t find televisions, radios or minibars in the bedrooms. Whether your idea of heaven is a romantic boudoir designed with relaxation and privacy in mind, or a flamboyant room decorated with rich deep colours, there’s a bedroom to suit your tastes. Included in the current two-night offer is a hearty breakfast each morning, a two-course dinner in Conor’s Bar on your first evening, dinner in their award-winning Snaffles Restaurant on your second evening and an Easter treat at turn down. Available from April 7-9, this costs €400 per person sharing; www.secure.irelands-blue-book.ie.
The Killarney Park Hotel, Co Kerry
This five star, family-owned and operated hotel in the heart of Killarney’s town centre on its own private grounds is a stone’s throw from the stunning 26,000 acre Killarney National Park and the inspiring Muckross House. For an indulgent mid-week break, “The Ultimate Overnighter” at The Killarney Park is from €207 per person sharing, and includes a glass of champagne, dinner in The Garden Bar, breakfast and late-checkout (1pm). There’s also a “Tea and Tranquility” package which includes the hotel’s new Afternoon Tea experience in The Peregrine Restaurant, overnight accommodation and full Irish Breakfast from €230 per person sharing. This is available on selected Sundays (operating the first Sunday of each month and then from May, the first two Sundays of the month); www.killarneyparkhotel.ie.
Springfort Hall Country House Hotel, Co Cork
Tucked away on 17 acres of beautiful grounds, gardens and woodlands, with a profusion of spring flowers and its own lovely little stream adding to its rural charms, Springfort Hall Country House Hotel in Mallow has had a major revamp. Owner Paul Walsh has refurbished existing bedrooms, adding new ones and sympathetically restoring an old stone cottage to house two spacious and beautifully furnished bedrooms with their own private courtyard. Five luxury log cabins have also been added to the idyllic country retreat, each with its own private balcony, lending privacy, space and unbroken views over the gardens and adjacent countryside. Book in for Easter at the hotel where an overnight stay and two-course supper is €210 for two. Any additional nights are €140 for two. The hotel also welcomes canine companions who are given treats! www.springfort-hall.com