2 weeks ago

Fab Four Star Staycations


Value for money is a priority for many this summer, which is why we have sourced this edit of fantastic deals. From contemporary design to country house charm and character-filled hotels, there’s a place to suit all holiday tastes …

No.1 Pery Square, Limerick

Overlooking the tree-lined Peoples’ Park in Limerick’s historic Georgian Quarter, No.1 Pery Square is a luxurious boutique bolthole, a five minute walk from the city centre and train/bus station. The townhouse house comprises 20 bedrooms all individually named and styled, with a Voya spa tucked away in its basement vaults. As for the food – with its own kitchen garden and boutique wine shop – guests can dine at Sash or for lighter snacks and meals in the Park room lounge. Nearby, guests can enjoy the wonderful Hunt Museum, King John’s Castle and riverside walks. From €75 per person sharing; [email protected].

Ferrycarrig Hotel Wexford, Co Waterford

Ferrycarrig Hotel boasts one of the most inspiring locations of any hotel in Wexford. Overlooking the stunning Slaney River Estuary, the hotel is three miles from Wexford town and offers rooms with panoramic river views and a multi-award winning restaurant. A two-night “Summer Family Holiday” package for two adults and two children (under 12) is available from €360 and includes family accommodation in a luxury room with breakfast each morning, full use of the health and fitness club and pool and access to the outdoor playground. A three-night break for two adults and two children is available from €500 from Sunday to Thursday. There’s a new daytime dining experience on offer too, in addition to the daily evening menu, served inside or on the inspiring outdoor dining deck overlooking the river; www.ferrycarrighotel.ie.

Blairscove House & Restaurant, Durrus, Co Cork

Far from the madding crowd, this Georgian country house stands at the head of Dunmanus Bay, and everything revolves around the courtyard. Finely restored with cobbled paths, shrubs and flowers, its 250-year-old stone outbuildings contain four beautiful apartments as well as the restaurant, with its acclaimed dining room. The four stylish suites (formerly a piggery, coach house and servants’ quarters) can be rented on a bed and breakfast or self-catering basis and are decorated with a quirky mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. There is also another holiday cottage on Dunmanus Pier in West Cork, just 12km from Blairscove. From €150 per room; www.blairscove.ie.

Ballygally Castle, Co Antrim

Perched on the tip of the famous Causeway Coastal Route, this 17th-century castle overlooks Ballygally Bay with uninterrupted views towards Ballygally. It’s a great location to explore the sites – from Dunluce Castle to Downhill beach, Ballintoy harbour and Bushmills distillery. Of course Game of Thrones fans will be in their element and delighted to hear that one of the doors made from fallen trees of the iconic Dark Hedges resides at the hotel. As for the rest of the decor – open fires, sea views and subtle elegance define the communal spaces and rooms. If you’re brave enough, take a trip to the Ghost Room to see if you can spot Ballygally Castle’s friendly ghost, Lady Isabella Shaw. An overnight stay at Ballygally Castle on a room only basis for £50 per person or with full Irish breakfast from only £60 per person; www.hastingshotels.com.

Butler House, Kilkenny

Butler House has been the charming Dower House of Kilkenny Castle since 1786 and is nestled in the heart of the city. History, charm, romance and a warm welcome are guaranteed for all guests who visit this boutique property. There are 14 bedrooms and suites, each with their own individual character,  designed to provide maximum comfort. The ethos of the kitchen, meanwhile, is that the best meals start with the best ingredients and does not disappoint. From €139 per room; www.butler.ie.

The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway

When you check into The Galmont Hotel & Spa for a two-night escape to explore the “City of the Tribes” there’s a McCambridge’s Welcome Hamper of sweet and savoury treats waiting in your room from the famous Shop Street store. You’ll also find tickets for a boat tour of Galway Bay with local fisherman Ciaran Oliver, part of the two-night “Galway Bay Getaway”. With breakfast each morning, dinner on one evening of your choice in the hotel’s spacious Marina’s Restaurant, this is from €231 per person sharing. Other attractions at The Galmont include lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking Lough Atalia, pampering in the award-winning Spirit One Spa to bespoke cocktails in Coopers Bar and Lounge; www.thegalmont.com.

Viewmount House, Co Longford

A quick survey of reviews from former guests all attest that this is a gem of a boutique hotel in the heart of Ireland. Set in a 17th-century country house, it is surrounded by four acres of meticulously-maintained garden. Within the house are open ?res, beautiful period furniture, fresh ?owers and well stocked bookshelves. Though it retains its historic charm, modern comforts are also incorporated. Viewmount’s exquisite dining room – VM Restaurant – is a candlelit experience, with exposed stone walls, contemporary paintings, and linen tablecloths. Chef Marco Laan’s cuisine matches the impeccable service and relaxing atmosphere. From €90, for bed and breakfast per person sharing; www.viewmounthouse.com.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Connemara, Co Galway

The Victorian country house and estate is full of authentic character, history and style, surrounded by lush woods and meandering walks along its own stretch of river. This summer the hotel is offering a choice of three beautifully curated picnics with a two-night stay. Choose from a Ballynahinch rucksack filled with traditional sandwiches, goodies and refreshments, ideal for those going on a hike, a wander through some of the spectacular 700 acres of the hotel’s lush estate or a cycle of the nearby greenway; a cheese and wine hamper to enjoy on the grounds or further afield, or a lavish picnic laid out for you in the gorgeous walled garden at Ballynahinch, complete with blanket, basket, radio and a deck of playing cards. Guests have the option to join Alan McArdle, head chef and Cian Cunniffe, head gardener on complimentary guided walks each morning, the chef to forage and chat about the produce in the garden and the gardener to discuss the flowers and the vegetables. “Pick your Picnic” package at Ballynahinch is available from €440 per person for two nights bed and breakfast, and your choice of three luxurious picnics; www.ballynahinchcastle.com.

Wineport Lodge, Athlone, Co Westmeath

This summer the MV Shannon Princess has moored at the banks of Wineport Lodge, which offers the best of both. On board, the cabins are all above the waterline with riverside-opening picture windows, giving unparalleled views of the captivating Lough Ree. Cabins can be arranged with twin or king-sized beds and are spacious, crisp, and light. Each cabin has its own bathroom access to WiFi and air conditioning to make the stay as serene and relaxed as possible. Rates start at €300 per night for two people sharing. This includes breakfast each morning onshore in Wineport Lodge, a pre-dinner cruise with prosecco and canapes at 6:30pm each evening. The cruise lasts about one hour before dinner is served in Wineport Lodge and hosted by Ray Byrne and Jane English. Guests return to their cabins at the water’s edge and fall asleep to the sound of lake water lapping by the shore; www.wineport.ie.

The Eccles Four Star Hotel, Glengarriff, Co Cork

Situated on the waterfront in picturesque Glengarriff village, Eccles Hotel & Spa, commands panoramic views of Bantry Bay on West Cork’s Wild Atlantic Way. Thanks to Chef Eddie Attwell’s culinary prowess, the hotel has also established a reputation for its excellent food, with most of the produce on the menus picked daily from the hotel garden and polytunnels, foraged locally or supplied by the best of West Cork’s artisan food and drink suppliers. The Eccles’ “Linger for Longer” offer is a five-night escape (giving guests the opportunity to explore Glengarriff and West Cork’s Wild Atlantic Way) which includes dinner on two nights. Rates are from €935 per stay based on two people sharing (€467.50 per person); www.eccleshotel.com.

Faithlegg, Co Waterford

Golf, gardens and The Greenway are on offer at Faithlegg, just outside Waterford city. This midweek offer at Faithlegg includes two nights’ accommodation with breakfast each morning along with dinner on both evenings in the award-winning 2AA Rosette Roseville Rooms Restaurant. Brush up on your golf with a complimentary daily golf clinic hosted by resident Golf Pro, Derry Kiely. Also included are tickets to a choice of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens or Mount Congreve Gardens. There’s the chance to explore the Ancient East through the Waterford Greenway, a 46km off-road cycling trail along an old railway line between Waterford and Dungarvan. This midweek escape is available to over 50s and starts from €338; www.faithlegg.com.

Clontarf Castle, Co Dublin

Perfect for couples, “The Great Escape” is a relaxing, indulgent getaway. Arrive at this characterful 12th-century castle hotel and you can enjoy a complimentary box of chocolates while pondering your itinerary. Whether it’s a longer daytrip to Newgrange, exploring nearby Ardgillan House or the perfect Georgian gem that is the Casino at Marino, on the doorstep, Clontarf Castle Hotel is also a great base for a city break. Including a candlelit dinner for two on one evening in the award-winning Fahrenheit Restaurant, with a glass of bubbles each, there are upgrade options available too (including room upgrades and gourmet packed lunches), The Great Escape is from €150 per person sharing. Book this offer and receive a third night complimentary; www.clontarfcastle.ie.


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