Fabulous Festive Escape Plans Around Ireland - The Gloss Magazine

Fabulous Festive Escape Plans Around Ireland

Whether you’re looking for a seasonal escape or a relaxing breakaway – here is some inspiration…

If Christmas is freighted with expectation, the solution for many is to avoid the hassle and go away (en famille optional). It needn’t be very far as there are plenty of tempting festive stays which can be combined with discovering some new additions to the Irish hotel scene.

For instance, the new one, two, or three-bedroom Lodges at Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate, Galway offer self-sufficiency and reassuring proximity to luxurious amenities. The hotel has a three-day Christmas offer, from €1,650 per person, which includes mulled wine, Christmas Eve supper served in The Pullman or The River Room Restaurant, as well as Christmas Day canapés, lunch and champagne in The Ffrench Room. On St Stephen’s Day, guests can opt to take part in organised activities and enjoy the scenic grounds and private screenings in the hotel’s pretty cinema. www.glenloabbeyhotel.ie

Social butterflies may be familiar with the gorgeous Ruby Room at The Dylan, Dublin 4 – a favourite spot for pre- and post-dinner drinks. An overnight stay is a chance to enjoy the newly refurbished bedrooms and suites by Caroline Campbell, (of Tonic Design), which marry historical elements of the building (a former nurses home) with a contemporary, colourful style. I noted the ceramics by Emma O’Hara, prints from So Fine Art Editions, and the hotel’s signature scent Black Raspberry & Peppercorn by Lovato, a West Cork-based candlemaker, €33.50. www.lovatocandles.ie

If you can’t bear to be parted from your dog, Dromoland Castle‘s recently refurbished Queen Anne Courtyard rooms are pet friendly, and come with dog beds and other pet paraphernalia, so there’s no need to overpack. (The cost is €40 per dog per night). Wandering the extensive grounds is one of the benefits of this magnificent estate, others are its excellent Charlotte & Co boutique and new Castle Spa. I recommend the Oskia Discovery Sets, €70, and floral bathrobes inspired by the gardens designed by Deborah Veale, €280. www.dromoland.ie.

Any foodie friend will appreciate a stay in one of the 14 beautifully decorated rooms of The Tannery Townhouse, Dungarvan, with dinner in The Tannery restaurant, run by husband and wife team Paul and Máire Flynn. January getaways, which include breakfast and dinner, are a steal from €160 per person sharing, or €225 single occupancy; www.thetannery.ie.

I can’t pinpoint when hotels became integral to our contemporary Christmas traditions, but they frequently serve as the (neutral) setting for family get-togethers, where present swapping over a festive afternoon tea is increasingly the norm. I always enjoy a fireside afternoon tea in the Reading Room at the buzzy Intercontinental Dublin, €70, or in the impressive atrium of the recently renamed College Green Hotel, €65, formerly The Westin. www.mhlcollection.com.

More low key, but no less enjoyable is a cuppa in the elegant drawing room of The Ariel, a recent discovery. This family-run guesthouse on Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4 is part of the iNUA collection hotel group, so on each stay guests accrue points to spend on future visits and spa credits at hotels within the group. From €145, for an overnight stay. www.arielhouse.ie.

If heading north on a Christmas shopping spree in Belfast’s Victoria Square, or on the Lisburn Road (try Maven, LNV Home and Herbert Gould), the new “hometel”, Room2 may be of interest. This is the third Room2 location following openings in Southampton, Hammersmith and Chiswick – the world’s first fully net zero hotel. Guests will find a restaurant, coffee roastery, gym, bar and lounge. Room rates start at £130 per night. Do visit the Linen Hall Library, a short walk away, known for its Irish book selection. www.room2.com.

Check out the opening offers at The Leinster, due to open mid-month on Merrion Square, Dublin. The latest opening from the Press Up Hospitality Group, the 50-room hotel has been designed as a luxurious hideaway dedicated to the “art of lingering”. Guests can sip martinis on the rooftop and mingle at The Collins Club. www.pressup.ie.

Instead of swapping presents with friends, many women are investing in weekend spa trips. Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Co Cork has a tempting Unplug, Unwind and Reconnect offer, from €380 per person sharing, for two nights’ accommodation. This includes rejuvenating thalassotherapy treatments, yoga, dinner in its Gulfstream restaurant and bracing beach walks. www.inchydoneyisland.com.

According to the experts at The Lonely Planet, Donegal is set to be one of the best regions to visit in 2024. Get ahead of the trend by booking a spring yoga retreat with Tara O’Rourke at Redcastle Hotel from January 19-21 or March 1-3, from €325 per person sharing. Vinyasa and restorative yoga practices, guided meditations, nature walks, cookery demos and use of the leisure facilities are included, as is breakfast and dinner each day. www.redcastlehoteldonegal.com.

Fans of The Merrion take note – its new travel blanket, designed by Irish artist Ellie Dunne, is inspired by the Mainie Jellett painting Mother and Child, which hangs in the hotel reception. Priced at €395, a percentage of the profits will be donated to the Together Academy, supporting young adults with Down’s Syndrome. www.elliedunneart.com.

Ireland’s Blue Book celebrates its 50th edition this year with a trio of new additions to its portfolio of 65 manor houses, castles and restaurants – Cliff at Lyons, Co Kildare, Glover’s Alley Restaurant, Dublin and the idyllic Dromquinna Manor Estate, Co Kerry. I know several people who are “working” their way through stays in each property, a travel goal to aspire to. A voucher to use at any of these properties would certainly make Christmas. www.irelandsbluebook.com. Happy holidays! @pennymccormicked


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