10 staycations to book as hotels and B&Bs reopen


The Burren has developed a national, if not global rep, as a green destination and now one of its most budget-friendly hotels has upped the ante — by going carbon neutral.

The popular Falls Hotel in Ennistymon undertook a host of measures to attain the accreditation from harnessing hydropower from its adjacent waterfalls to planting 350 native Irish saplings on its grounds.

Beyond the green credentials, the hotel offers a central base for discovering the Burren. B&B from €97.50 or avail of room only rates from €90 and start your day with a legendary toastie from The Cheese Press in Ennistymon.

See more at www.fallshotel.ie. 

Cliff Beach House, Waterford

The main living room at Cliff Beach House.
The main living room at Cliff Beach House.

If an extended family reunion is on the cards this summer, why not splurge on a magnificent escape to the seaside at the Cliff Beach House?

The Cliff Group don’t do things by halves, and the Beach House is no exception with six bedrooms overlooking the Atlantic, two living rooms, and impeccable design throughout.

A stay here is all about the luxury, whether you opt for having one of the multi-award-winning chefs cook your dinner, a seafood cooking masterclass, or an evening of live traditional music. It’s the holiday we all need! Prices start at €2,500 per night; sleeps 12. See www.cliffbeachhouse.ie. 

Breac.House, Donegal 

Contemporary retreats can be hard to come by — particularly in the West of Ireland — but jutting over the Donegal landscape like a Hollywood Hills eco-dream is one such hideaway, Breac.House. 

That very location would be Horn Head, a protected peninsula of outstanding natural beauty on Donegal’s Atlantic Wilds, that gifts guests an immediate sense of escape with its bracing views and raw nature. 

Inside the property, furnishings are pared back, but stylish and are created from local, sustainable woods and materials where possible.

Another plus point is the hug-on-a-plate food. Breac.House are proud members of the Donegal Food Coast network and deliver a breakfast to your door each morning featuring homemade bread, pastries, yoghurt and local goodies.

For the entire 2021 Breac House’s set rate is €295 per room based on a two night minimum. That rate is inclusive of everything, namely that delicious local breakfast, a picnic lunch, bike usage, sauna, a seaweed bath for two and pre-dinner drinks. Visit www.breac.house.com/book for more.

The Dean, Cork 

A bedroom in The Dean at Horgan's Quay in Cork city.
A bedroom in The Dean at Horgan’s Quay in Cork city.

Looking for a happening urban escape? Cork’s new Hogan’s Quay district is the most exciting thing to happen to the city in years and centre stage to all the buzz is the fabulously swish Dean Hotel. 

Just like its Dublin twin, the hotel offers a breath of fresh air to the hotel landscape, bills itself as a slice of boutique bliss in the heart of the city. Rooms, as a result, are a haven of retro, boujee feels, loaded with slick design (and highly Instagrammable) moments.

Guests can make themselves at home with big, bouncy beds, original Irish art, subway tiled bathrooms and Marshall amps to thump your playlist. There’s also a Samsung Smart TV for your Netflix and chill vibe and a fully stocked mini SMEG for treats.

Beyond the rooms, the hotel also features a Manhattan-style gym, a fancy thermal suite, as well as its iconic Sophie’s Restaurant with incredible city views (and yes, it features a swing).

Summer B&B rates start from €205 per night per couple. See www.thedean.ie.

Lakeside Hotel, Clare

If you’ve not been to Lough Derg already, this summer could be (or should be!) the year to visit. I stayed in Killaloe-Ballina’s excellent Lakeside Hotel last winter, overnighting in one of their great value family rooms. But for an upgrade, book into their luxury new Waterfront suites, which all overlook the lakeshore.

Killaloe-Ballina itself makes a great base with great food options (note Tuscany Bistro and the Wooden Spoon Café) and endless natural attractions surrounding the lake’s 180km shoreline.

B&B from €130 per night while their Summer Sizzler deal offers three nights’ B&B, with two evening meals and a Lough Derg cruise, from €469. See www.lakesidehotel.ie 

Limerick Strand

 The Strand Hotel is the city's top-rated, four-star hotel. Picture: Brendan Gleeson
The Strand Hotel is the city’s top-rated, four-star hotel. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

For my own staycation, I‘ve booked the Limerick Strand, the city’s top-rated four-star hotel which occupies an impressive perch overlooking the Shannon. €139 was my rate and while hotels always say to book directly, I got my own deal via hotels.com.

If travelling as a family, kids up to the age of 12 stay for free and the hotel has partnered with a number of attractions such as King John’s Castle to offer discounted admissions. Book ar www.strandhotellimerick.ie 

You also can’t write about Limerick without offering a hat-tip to No.1 Pery Square. The gorgeous boutique hotel, overlooking the People Park, sits in the heart of Limerick’s pint-sized but postcard Georgian district.

Spacious, period rooms are plush with yesteryear swag, while elsewhere the hotel features its own organic spa and an acclaimed restaurant offering a pure gourmet homage to local produce. From €225 per night per couple, including artisan breakfast. See more at www.oneperysquare.com.

Cabu, Cavan 

Cabu is located in Ireland's lake county, Cavan.
Cabu is located in Ireland’s lake county, Cavan.

Outdoor cabin getaways can typically mean you need a little compromising when it comes to luxury but you can park that preconception at the influencer favourite and all-round wilderness wonderland of Cabu by the Lakes.

Located in Ireland’s trending lake county of Cavan, this smattering of luxury cabins is nestled in Killykeen Forest Park on the shores of stunning Lough Oughter (famed for its island castle).

Inside, interiors are seriously slick offering that overall Scandi look that will make you feel like you’ve woken up in a pop-up Pinterest board — in Sweden.

To get active, you can avail of Cabu’s bikes or rent boats or kayaks. Venture beyond, and you’ll be able to explore the country’s highly underrated natural sites from the Cavan Burren to the Stairway to Heaven mountain boardwalk.

Cabu offer three night minimum stays with cabin sizes hosting two people and upwards. one bedroom up. Four-night summer rates start from €973 but if you’re looking for a dreamy group getaway, their six-person Boathouse is available from €1696 (so from €70pps per night). Dog-friendly cabins are also available.

See www.holidays.cabu.co.uk/cabu-by-the-lakes.

Delphi Lodge, Galway 

Delphi Lodge is one of the latest properties to join Ireland's exclusive Blue Book.
Delphi Lodge is one of the latest properties to join Ireland’s exclusive Blue Book.

Looking for a more traditional self-catering escape? Then consider a visit to Delphi Lodge, one of the latest properties to join the exclusive fold of Ireland’s Blue Book, a collection of luxury Irish country house hotels and manors.

Named after the valley’s apparent similarity to the home of the Oracle in Greece, the region offers a getaway of epic proportions in Connemara (particularly if you can’t quite make it this summer to Mykonos).

Beyond its main hunting lodge manor, the property offers six self-catering options; three Boathouse cottages as well as their Wren’s cottage and Waterfall cottage. Interiors here are traditional and rustic, with cosy couches, large open fireplaces, traditional blue Bangor slates and a general vibe of Hibernian hygge that screams out for board games and gin nights.

But don’t linger too long indoors. The location is the major draw here. The stunning valley is teeming in flora and fauna and surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the west of Ireland.

While Delphi offer three-night rentals off season, the lodges can only be booked by the week over the summer. Their smaller Boathouse which sleeps up to four guests is available from €960 to €1120 per week with their off-season three nights rate from €550. See www.delphilodge.ie/

The Old Convent, Tipperary 

Located in a former Sisters of Mercy convent on the foothills of the Knockmealdowns, the Old Convent in Clogheen offers its guests gourmet getaways of, well, biblical proportions.

Right off the grounds of the historic property are fantastic trails leading right into the wilds of the mountains, while come evening, you can indulge in The Old Convent’s eight-course taster menu, served in the property’s wonderfully ambient church.

Beyond Clogheen, enjoy natural wonders from the Mitchelstown Caves to heritage sites like Lismore Castle, Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage. From €355 per couple including dinner. See www.theoldconvent.ie For another dreamy base in county Tipperary, you can also check into the Raheen House, a gorgeous period manor in Clonmel with a history dating back to the 17th century.

From your heritage base, enjoy a trip to the iconic Rock of Cashel followed by a meal at Mikey Ryan’s happening gastropub or rent a rothar from Blueway Bike Hire and spin from Carrick-on-Suir to Cahir. From €70pps, see www.raheenhouse.ie 

Wineport Lodge, Athlone 

Could Wineport Lodge be Ireland’s most popular lakeside property? The hotel gained a national platform from the TV show The Restaurant but today it seems to have evolved into one of the hottest hotel spots on Irish social media, thanks to footage of its iconic sunsets and swish surrounds.

It’s easy to be wowed. The boutique bolthole features gorgeous lakeside rooms, a great spa featuring outdoor hot tubs, and that sensitive lodge architecture, which wouldn’t be out of place in the Canadian wilds, really delivers that much sought-after sense of escape.

Summer B&B rates from €300 reflect that popularity. See www.wineport.ie.

For another option around Lough Ree, check out Glasson Lakehouse which has B&B rates from €209 per night. See www,glassonlakehouse.ie



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