From retail therapy to rocking out, resting and rural retreats, there’s plenty of time to book a pre-Christmas stay at one of these top hotels …
Mount Juliet Estate, Co Kilkenny
For a little five-star magic, escape to Mount Juliet Estate for an overnight winter break. The “Be Drawn In” winter offer, from €255 per night, includes a stay at Hunter’s Yard with dinner in The Hound and breakfast the next morning. Additional extras include crisp walks around the estate to blow away the cobwebs and warm hospitality; www.mountjuliet.ie.
Brooks Hotel, Dublin
Brooks Hotel could not be more central for browsing the shops and taking in the Christmas windows on Grafton Street. Currently on offer is a tempting “Festive Shopping Break” from €255 total stay for a one-night stay based on two sharing in a Classic Room. Additional treats include homemade mulled wine and mince pies, exclusive shopping discounts for neighbouring stores and a two-course evening meal in Francesca’s restaurant. Guests can also use Brooks Hotel’s “shop and drop” service where its concierge will leave shopping in your room as you continue onwards. In the evening, relax in the private resident’s lounge of this discreet boutique hotel – something of a hidden secret; www.brookshotel.ie.
Killashee Hotel, Co Kildare
With its magnificent grounds and grand Victorian house, Killashee is the perfect base from which to do some Christmas shopping at nearby Kildare Village and Newbridge Silverware. The hotel has introduced its “Festive Shop and Dine Experience” – a mid-week overnight stay from €220 for two people. This experience is available throughout November until December 21 with ten per cent discount cards available for both Kildare Village and Newbridge Silverware. After a busy day, relax with a complimentary Killashee “Kosmo” cocktail and three-course dinner served in the Bistro Grill. Guests also have full access to the hotel’s leisure centre which includes a jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and 25m swimming pool. Discounts are offered on all spa treatments. In addition, there is a chance to upgrade the Festive Experience with a Christmas themed afternoon tea for €30 per person available in the month of December; www.killasheehotel.com.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin
“The Pre-Christmas Pampering Experience” at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel starts from €230 per person based on two sharing. This includes an overnight stay with breakfast and a special “Fire and Ice” treatment each at Velvære. The latter is the hotel’s swish medi-spa (spread over three floors) while the results-driven facial using cosmeceutical serums and creams, created in Beverly Hills, is known as “The Red Carpet Facial”. The treatment is designed to (safely) resurface the skin, reduce fine lines, address problematic skin issues and encourage cellular renewal. Post treatment enjoy a cocktail in The Dyflin Bar or dinner in The Chancery Grill; www.radisson.ie, www.velvaerespa.ie.
The Heritage, Co Laois
The Heritage has a really luxurious package for festive shoppers. “All the Frills” includes one night accommodation, with full Irish breakfast, a Sparkling Afternoon Tea served in Blake’s Restaurant, and access to the Thermal Suite in its award winning spa. That’s not all – guests will be chauffeur driven to and from Kildare Village Shopping Outlet. There are discount cards at Kildare Village and also nearby Newbridge Silverware. The “All the Frills” package costs from €179 for two people sharing. On-site, enjoy activities like golf, tennis, a walking trail, cycling (to Emo Court or the Rock of Dunamase perhaps) or visit the hotel’s leisure centre, cinema or spa; www.theheritage.com.
Ballyvolane House, Co Cork
A tempting new addition to Ballyvolane Houses’s staycation line-up is its “Sloe-cation Special” which offers a Christmas feel with sloe gin. The two-night stay in the main house includes full Irish breakfast each morning, a four-course seasonal set menu on one evening of choice, and a bottle of Bertha’s Revenge Sloe Gin to take home. Prices start from €344 for a small double room, €364 for the large double, €384 for the extra-large double per night; www.ballyvolanehouse.ie.
Killarney Royal, Co Kerry
For a taste of Christmas there’s a one night “Festive Package” from €198 at Killarney Royal. Upon arrival guests will enjoy mince pies or scones with clotted cream and tea for two by the open fire. Also included is accommodation with breakfast, a complimentary pre-dinner mulled wine by the open fire prior followed by a four-course dinner in The Candle Room Restaurant. Guests also have full access to the Health Club at the sister property, Great Southern Killarney. From €198; www.killarneyroyal.ie.
Faithlegg, Co Waterford
For those with a pre-Christmas birthday celebration the “Special Moments” package at the charming countryhouse-hotel Faithlegg helps guests celebrate in style. With accommodation in elegant “olde world” rooms and suites in the original 18th-century manor house and in the comfortable contemporary wing, there’s plenty on offer from relaxation in the Faithlegg Treatment Suites to a round of golf on their much-loved golf course overlooking the Suir estuary. Available from €230, an overnight stay includes breakfast and dinner in the Roseville Rooms Restaurant with carefully created menus by head chef Jenny Flynn. For those celebrating, they’ll find an anniversary or birthday card, gift and sweet treats in their room on arrival; www.faithlegg.com.
Hard Rock Hotel Dublin
A one-night pre-Christmas shopping stay in Hard Rock Hotel Dublin includes breakfast and lunch in the hotel’s sleek Zampas Bar & Restaurant and is available from €99 per person sharing midweek. A must-do is peruse the hotel’s priceless music memorabilia featuring items belonging to David Bowie, U2 and The Rolling Stones among others. Every stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Dublin also includes its signature programmes “Rock Om” which combines the serenity of yoga with the energy of music and the “Sound of your Stay” with a personalised play list and the choice of a Crosley record player and selection of vinyl from the impressive in-house collection. For those wanting to channel their inner rock star, guests can book a fender guitar and amp to rock out to in the comfort of their room; www.hardrockhotels.com.
Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Co 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 a one-night “Festive Shopping Break” from €188 per night which also includes a three-course dinner and some sweet surprises upon checking in. Do check out The Wig Bar which is lined with bookshelves and portraits of club members, with an open fire, marble-topped bar. The wine list, adorned with witty quotations from Joan Collins, Hemingway and Madame Lily Bollinger, has very good tasting notes too; www.bishopgatehotelderry.com.
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. Get away from it all and indulge with one night’s fabulous accommodation at The Lodge, a full hearty Irish breakfast and a table d’hôte dinner, €310; www.castleleslie.com.