Going for Gold: The Best Autumn City Breaks in Ireland - The Gloss Magazine

Going for Gold: The Best Autumn City Breaks in Ireland

From stargazing in Cork to walking with hawks in Kilkenny, not forgetting some retail therapy and enjoying fine food … autumn is the perfect time to escape to these urban boltholes …

The Imperial Hotel, Cork

Astrotourism is on the rise, and a new two-night package at The Imperial Hotel channels this trend. With luxurious accommodation, a gourmet breakfast each morning and dinner at the hotel’s sustainable restaurant Thyme on one evening,  this includes entry to the renowned Blackrock Castle Observatory to experience the “Cosmos at the Castle” self-guided interactive exhibition. To complete the (stellar) experience, visitors have the chance to wish upon an Irish exoplanet and star, named Bran and Tuireann from the ancient Irish fairy tale. Submit your wish on a postcard and Blackrock Castle will beam it directly to the star system from their transmitter at the Observatory. Back at the hotel, enjoy a Cosmo cocktail while perusing the (Hollywood) stars on the hotel’s wall of history (Grace Kelly was a former guest). As a finishing touch, guests will be gifted their own Binary Star from the official star registry as a keepsake of the stay. This package is from €231 per person and is based on two adults sharing; www.imperialcorkhotel.ie.

Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford

Possibly one of the most inspiring settings of any hotel in Wexford, Ferrycarrig Hotel position on the edge of the river Slaney means every one of the hotel’s 102 rooms offers a view. Its “Autumn Escape” is a two-night break available from €340 for two people sharing. This includes accommodation in a deluxe room, full use of the health and fitness suite, tea and snacks on arrival, plus dinner in its Reeds restaurant on both evenings. The restaurant has two AA Rosettes and emphasises quality with local produce a priority (roast rump of Slaney Valley lamb, Kilmore black sole and Irish pork belly are some of the favourite dishes). Breakfast is also included. A three-night break is available from €480 based on two people sharing; www.ferrycarrighotel.ie.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin overlooking St Stephen’s Green Park has a tempting choice of autumn packages, from seasonally-inspired tasting menus to overnight stays and afternoon tea offerings. Its autumn overnight package is from €299, for two people sharing. This offer includes a stay in one of the hotel’s newly redesigned garden rooms, overlooking the hotel’s courtyard garden. A two-course dinner in the charming Inn on the Green restaurant is also included as is breakfast the following morning; www.thefitzwilliamhoteldublin.com.

The Hardiman, Galway

Located right in the heart of Galway City, The Hardiman is perfectly positioned within strolling distance of the buzzy Latin Quarter. Having first opened its doors in 1852, it catered for well-heeled Victorian travellers and its grand entrance and architectural features evoke memories of this elegant era. Book a midweek stay from €330 for two people sharing for two nights, or a weekend from €410 for two people sharing for two nights. There are plenty of dining options to choose from at the hotel including The Oyster Lounge, Oyster Bar and The Gaslight Brasserie. Having stayed recently I can attest to the hotel’s charm, comfort and excellent cuisine; www.thehardiman.ie.

Titanic Hotel, Belfast

Only 90 minutes by car from Dublin and situated in Belfast’s docklands area, a short stroll from the city centre, Titanic Hotel Belfast has a new “Anchor Down in Autumn” package. Check into one of the hotel’s slick, nautical themed bedrooms with views overlooking Harland and Wolff’s cranes. Guests will also enjoy a two-course dinner in Wolff Grill Restaurant (for two) with a glass of prosecco. (The hotel scooped three accolades in the recent Irish Hotel Awards including Best Hotel Restaurant under Head Chef Nigel Mannion). The following morning enjoy a Titanic-sized breakfast in the historical dining room. From €196 per room for two adults sharing, the offer is valid from Sunday – Thursday until November, complimentary parking is also included; www.titanicbelfast.com.

The Westin, Dublin

With a privileged location in the heart of Dublin city, overlooking Trinity College Dublin, the “Discovering Autumn Escape Break” at The Westin allows guests to indulge in many of the cultural and retail attractions on its doorstep. From €315 per room, based on two guests sharing, this includes deluxe accommodation, and breakfast. For those who want to hibernate in the hotel, do try Moreland’s Grill, overlooking Westmoreland Street, while the elegant Atrium Lounge is a great setting for dessert and cocktails, where the resident pianist plays; www.thewestinhoteldublin.com.

Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny

The grounds of Lyrath Estate are spread across 170 acres complete with picturesque lakes, historic gardens and woodlands – an ideal backdrop to some seasonal selfies. There are several autumnal offers – from an overnight escape with dinner, bed and breakfast from €127.50 to an interesting one- or two-night “Hawk Walk” at the Hawkeye School of Falconry. From €212.50 per person per night, this includes breakfast and a table d’hote dinner on one evening. Then there’s a private “Hawk Walk” experience which includes a picnic to enjoy on the grounds. The midweek or weekend “Girls Allowed” break is from €172.50 per person sharing. It sounds tempting and includes afternoon tea on arrival, a three-course dinner and then a private cinema screening with popcorn and bubbly; www.lyrath.com.

Bishops Gate Hotel, Derry-Londonderry

Bishop’s Gate Hotel is an elegant Edwardian property, perfect for those looking to explore the walled city of Derry-Londonderry. It was a former gentlemen’s club which once hosted Winston Churchill and WB Yeats and is now epitomised by the friendliness of its welcome and ideal situation. It’s in the Cathedral Quarter, within walking distance of many of the main visitors attractions – next door to the 1813 neoclassical courthouse and across the street from the Bishop of Derry’s former residence. It’s two minutes’ walk from the ancient city walls, and only five minutes down to the riverfront and the excellent Tower Museum. Alternatively, Bishop’s Gate has bikes to rent for a cycle around the 400-year-old city. Currently on offer is its “Fabulous Foodie Break” which includes overnight accommodation in a deluxe room with a signature cocktail on arrival, a three-course gourmet dinner and cooked to order breakfast. From £159 per room per night; www.bishopsgatehotelderry.com.

Bullitt, Belfast

Belfast’s four-star boutique hotel, Bullitt, is named after the iconic Steve McQueen film and it’s a hip bolthole with a new autumn #STAYCATION package. With 74 rooms, ranging from “Dinky” to “Comfy” to “Roomy” Bullitt is home to some of Belfast’s trendiest venues including Babel. This is a rooftop bar and garden with panoramic sights over the city, offering al fresco cocktails and sourdough pizza. For a speakeasy vibe, there’s also Rattlebag which combines cool tunes, slick interiors and (more) cocktails. Its #STAYCATION package offers a Comfy room from €127 per night, which includes a £25 venue credit to spend anywhere in the hotel. www.bullitthotel.com

Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny

If a grand Georgian manor house sounds like the ideal getaway, then look no further than Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny. Choose the “Autumn of Dreams” overnight break at Hunter’s Yard or the Manor House from €310 per night and enjoy warm fires, deep beds, crisp walks and the beauty of the astonishing estate. Dinner is also included in The Hound or St Helens restaurant with a memorable breakfast the next morning. For those who prefer a self-catering option, why not book the Chauffeurs Lodge, from €350 per night? This two-bedroom Lodge overlooks the golf course and is located just beside the Manor House Hotel; www.mountjuliet.ie.

Conrad Dublin

Conrad Dublin’s “Shopping Retreat Escape” is an overnight experience that includes a personal shopping collection service from Brown Thomas or your favourite shop on Grafton Street. Other bonuses include 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 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. From €269 per night (two adults sharing). www.conraddublin.com

Galmont Hotel & Spirit One Spa, Galway

Enjoying prime position at Galway’s city centre, just a few minutes’ walk to the main shopping streets, the Galmont Hotel & Spirit One Spa is offering a “Best Friends Getaway” from €210 per night. Take a stroll down the medieval streets to the Latin Quarter, and afterwards enjoy a three-course meal from the table d’hôte menu in Marinas Restaurant followed by complimentary cocktails in Coopers Bar & Lounge. Complimentary access to the leisure centre with swimming pool, gym, sauna, jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub is also included; www.thegalmont.com.

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