Contemporary, charming or coastal, here’s our edit of the best self-catering properties to book this summer …
Zanzibar Locke, Dublin
Equipped with kitchen, dining and living space, as well as access to laundry facilities, these new studios offer flexibility and a home-meets-hotel ethos and are perfect for city rendez-vous. There are 160 apartments in the complex, which also has a gym, coffee shop and restaurant. Enjoy dinner for two at Baraza restaurant, an overnight stay and late check-out for €219 until August 28; www.lockeliving.com.
Palmer Lodge, The K Club, Co Kildare
Palmer Lodge, a former gate lodge, has recently been restored and refurbished in a contemporary, elegant style and is the perfect space for families or a group of friends. It comprises four bedrooms, four bathrooms, spacious sitting and dining area and a complete kitchen, and is surrounded by manicured lawns and plenty of outdoor space. Guests also have full access to The K Club’s selection of food and beverage outlets including the new all-day dining venue, The Palmer. The Lodge is available with a three night minimum stay for €600 per night, during June and September, and €800 per night during July and August; www.kclub.ie.
Cottages at Adare Manor, Co Limerick
The self-catering Rose and Lavender Cottages are next to The Carriage House, the resort’s all day dining destination, very close to the Manor House. Accommodating up to six guests the cottages have fully equipped kitchens and en-suite bedrooms (with luxe Aqua di Parma toiletries). Guests can book the many activities available at the resort including, fishing, falconry, archery, horse and carriage tours. A must visit is the new 111Skin spa and the fairy garden in the woods; www.adaremanor.com.
Huntington Estate, Co Carlow
Two charming 17th-century gate lodges guard the entrance to historic Huntington Castle. Each cottage sleeps four and prices start from €180 per night. Guests have access to the castle gardens as well as being on the doorstep of an award-winning bistro and traditional pub; www.huntingtoncastle.com.
The Georgian Rooms, Howth, Co Dublin
This twelve-room property is owned by Georgian enthusiast developers who specialise in restoring old properties offering a sense of Georgian Dublin. Some of the rooms are studio-style with kitchen facilities, all are en-suite, with self check-in and -out facility. Located just off the harbour in Howth (with lots of free parking in the vicinity), the emphasis is on comfort and style. Spend your days hiking, watching seals play in Dublin Bay, or enjoying the neighbouring restaurants where seafood is a speciality. Prices range from €120 to €140 per night in season; www.georgianrooms.com.
The Lodges at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, Co Waterford
Set on a 310-acre private island, accessible via a short crossing on the resort’s private car ferry over the King’s Channel, this resort comprises the historic 16th-century castle hotel with just 19 bedrooms, which can be rented exclusively for a special celebration. In addition to the hotel, the Resort offers 45 three-bedroom self catering lodges, ideal for golfing parties, groups and families; www.adamsandbutler.com.
Batty Langley Lodge, Leixlip, Co Kildare
The Irish Landmark Trust is my go-to site for interesting rentals – from lighthouses to gate lodges, such as this elegant two storey Lodge which was originally designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape of the Palladian Castletown House. The Lodge sleeps two and and is €340 for two nights – the bonus? Dogs can come too! www.irishlandmark.com
Courtyard Apartment, Loughcrew, Co Meath
Just an hour from Dublin, Loughcrew is a country house (dating to the 17th century) set in 200 acres of rolling parklands and gardens. Accommodation includes the main house, as well as a bohemian-style courtyard house. The elegant self-catered Courtyard apartment sleeps up to seven guests across three sleeping areas. All accommodation can be rented for long weekends and week-long breaks, with a minimum booking of two nights. Yurts can also be provided for extra guests, and both self-catering and catered stays are possible. The house chef is on hand for special occasion dinners and bar service, while hampers and welcome meal packs can be organised too. The rental of the courtyard apartment for seven guests is €455 per night; www.loughcrew.com.
Deerpark Shepherd Hut, Virginia Park Lodge, Co Cavan
Guests can stay in one of the Lodge’s luxury suites and apartments or a quirky Deerpark Shepherd Hut, €180 per night. Just launched is The Piggery – a covered outdoor barbecue area for self-catering guests. Helpfully, “Barbecue Boxes” for two are available to pre-order (€79). Contents include steaks, prawn, skewers, sugar pit pork, garden slaw, baked sweet potatoes, tasty salads and relishes. A member of the kitchen team can also prepare the barbecue for guests – which reduces the stress (and competitiveness) of any group party; www.virginiaparklodge.com.
Orchard Cottage, Dunowen House, Co Cork
Close to Clonakilty, this 18th-century property is surrounded by private coves and beaches, where guests can surf, kayak, hike or fish. As the former home of Noel Redding, bass guitarist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, it will appeal to music lovers; one room is dedicated to memorabilia, vintage posters and music magazines. There are only six bedrooms, all individual in style showcasing the owners’ love of interior design. Also located on the property is the luxurious self-catering Orchard Cottage which sleeps five; www.dunowenhouse.ie.
Glamping Park, Ballyvolane House, Co Cork
Arguably Ballyvolane House set the standard for luxury glamping in Ireland, when they introduced their luxurious self-catering bell tents and glamping ark which sleeps two people in a double bed. Fluffy towels, wifi, homemade cookies, proper duvets, good lighting and enough room to stand upright are just some thoughtful details. Guests have full use of a large communal kitchen and beautiful dining terrace, though there are plenty of neighbouring restaurants to enjoy too. Onsite there is a tennis court, badminton area, a 7-aside soccer pitch, croquet lawn, and lakes for canoeing and swimming. The glamping ark costs €265 for two nights, a large bell tent for four people costs €360 for two nights, www.ballyvolanehouse.ie.
Eco House, Inishcoo Island, Co Donegal
One of Ireland’s best kept secrets, Inishcoo overlooks the Rutland Sound, a busy ferry channel, just one mile offshore from Burtonport. Inishcoo House, formerly an 18th-century coast guard station, has been restored by its owner Celia Ferguson as an eco-house, which sleeps up to twelve adults and eight children. There are four natural beaches perfect for rock climbing, gathering seashells and investigating the small shipwreck on Shipwreck beach. From €800 – €1,000 per night, the self catering rental includes a boat and a skipper for transfers or water activities each day. Additional services such as a chef and housekeeper can be booked upon request; www.adamsandbutler.com.
Pebble Pods, Strangford, Co Down
Nestled on private, tranquil shores of Strangford Lough, Pebble Pods is a luxury pod camping experience. There are three cosy eco-friendly glamping pods – Trasnagh, Braddock and Drummond – which accommodate two people with amenities such as kitchenette, private hot-tub, thermal sauna, firepit and barbecue area as well as free Wifi. Not to mention complimentary bicycles and kayaking to explore Strangford Lough. The pods are ideally situated to visit pretty neighbouring villages, including Killinchy and Greyabbey, not to mention the superb National Trust properties of Castle Ward and Mount Stewart. As an adults-only resort, pods are £130 per night; www.pebblepods.com.
Salterbridge Gatelodge, Co Waterford
Pretty, petite and pet-friendly, this bijou rental sleeps two and dates from the mid-19th century. Among its interesting features is an octagonal garden room from which the two main rooms, (the bedroom and sitting room) lead; the kitchen and bathroom are to the rear. There’s plenty to see in the vicinity – it’s three miles from the the gardens at Lismore Castle, and 20 miles from the sea at Youghal and Dungarvan, €340 for two nights; www.irishlandmark.com.
Clare Island Lighthouse, Co Mayo
Perched on craggy cliffs, 200-year-old Clare Island Lighthouse, in Clew Bay, overlooks Achill island. The setting offers endless scope for walking, swimming, hiking to the top of Knockmore Mountain, cycling, birdwatching or exploring the medieval wall paintings at the Cistercian abbey, where the pirate queen Grace O’Malley is buried. Alternatively curl up and catch up on some reading, or writing. Inside the completely restored listed building, the decor is understated yet comfortable with five bedrooms, a drawing room, library and kitchen. The Lighthouse can be self catering, or there’s the option of a two-night stay on a half board basis from €500 per person sharing. www.clareislandlighthouse.com.
Ashbrooke House, Co Fermanagh
Ashbrooke house, a self-catering Dower house on the 1,000 acre Colebrooke Estate, affords guests total privacy. Wildlife abounds (otters, badgers, sika deer) while facilities include a croquet/cricket/boules lawn, an American Tipi and firepit, plus paddle boards and a kayak for use on the bird lake. Chefs can be provided as can activities such as clay pigeon shooting lessons, tuition in the on-site ceramic studio and course fishing. Prices start at £2,200 for a two-night stay; www.ashbrookehouse.com.
Courtyard Cottages, Fota Island Resort, Co Cork,
Set in magnificent grounds, Fota Island Resort’s contemporary self-catering Courtyard cottages and lodges are ideal for a family of four. Consistently voted a family favourite, there is plenty to do in the vicinity, from enjoying Blue Flag beaches to exploring the on-site playgrounds, forests and walks. A two night stay in a two bedroom lodge is from €465; www.fotaisland.ie.
Larchfield Estate, Co Down
Set in 600 acres Larchfield Estate is minutes from the N1/A1. There are 16 rooms split across a series of self-catering cottages. There is one five-bedroomed house, a quaint Rose Cottage, and a series of ensuite archway rooms which look out onto the stunning walled garden and grounds. Special touches include a welcome hamper of local products for breakfast, a barbecue in the garden or the use of an Old Piggery for a private dining experience; www.larchfieldestate.co.uk.
Longueville House, Co Cork
Set in 500 acres of wooded estate in the heart of the Blackwater Valley, Longueville House is a Georgian mansion (dating from 1720) owned by the O’Callaghan family. This house accommodates groups of up to 18 guests and is available to rent exclusively. A smaller five-bedroom property, The Courtyard Mews, can accommodate small groups of up to ten guests; www.longuevillehouse.ie.
Dunmore House, Co Cork
A little slice of heaven on the west coast is how Dunmore House is described. The family business is helmed by Carol Barrett who ensures her guests are well looked after – whether in the 30-bedroom main property – or in the self-catering cottages. Barrett can have a range of homemade dishes stocked in the fridge on arrival, which includes a breakfast box with free range eggs, homemade bread and jam, and yogurts. As for what to do – there are ten beaches to explore, or you could curl up with a book and listen to the sound of the sea. The best bit? The cottages are dog-friendly too so nobody needs to be left behind. As a guide to price, the six bed house is €400 per night, a three-bed is €300 and a one bed apartment is €160 per night. There is very limited availability for the summer at this stage but the cottages are ideal for an autumn getaway; www.dunmorehousehotel.ie.
Cabu By The Lakes, Co Cavan
Funky, fashionable and charmingly curated, these are one-bedroom log cabins and three-bedroom boathouses on the shores of Lough Oughter in Killykeen Forest Park. Guests can self-cater, or take advantage of the Cabin Club, which has all-day dining, with in and outdoor seating, roaring fires, cocktail bar and games. Cabu Corner is the essential shop which also offers gifts and homewares too. Quiet escapism with the option to book a fishing lesson, rent a paddle board, canoe, kayak or hire a bike. Prices start from €175 for a one-night stay in a log cabin; www.holidays.cabu.co.uk.
Cliff Beach House, Co Waterford
An architectural marvel, adjacent to the five-star boutique Cliff House Hotel, this is reminiscent of Julia Robert’s perch in Sleeping With The Enemy. There are six ensuite bedrooms on the ground floor. Upstairs, high-pitched ceilings in the dining room and two living rooms open up through floor-to-ceiling glass to a long stone patio, creating a sense of being immersed in the waterside location. Perfect for a family celebration, guests should try The Well by the Sea spa and Michelin-starred House Restaurant where chef Ian Doyle leads the team. From €2,500 per night; www.CliffBeachHouse.ie.
Owenmore Cottage, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Connemara
This luxurious self-catering six-bedroom cottage opened last year and can sleep up to twelve guests. Surrounded by forest on the 700-acre Ballynahinch estate, it has views of the winding Owenmore River. Expect a welcome hamper on arrival as well as a daily breakfast hamper delivered to the doorstep every morning. Grocery shopping can be done in advance – including some of the harvest from the hotel’s impressive walled garden. The wide verandah overlooking the gardens and river is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks or to barbecue. For cosy evenings in, the wood-burning stove makes the perfect focal point. Picnics can be arranged too. Extras include complimentary bicycles, mapped hikes, walks and trails (there’s also a mid-week linen change, free WiFi and a concierge service). Available for three nights from €2,500 in low season only, with a minimum week stay in summer; www.ballynahinchcastle.com.
Garden Cottage, Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Co Kerry
Light-filled, luxurious with lovely views of Kenmare Bay, the stone cottage has two bedrooms, one king and one twin, each with an ensuite bathroom. Minutes from Sheen Falls Lodge, guests can enjoy a treatment at the spa, dinner in Falls restaurant or book any number of activities including falconry, fishing, archery, clay pigeon shooting and much more. The Garden Cottage is great for an activity break – if you want to bring the whole family book the Little Hay Cottage next door. Welcome hampers will delight on arrival too! From €550 with a minimum two-night stay; www.sheenfallslodge.ie.
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