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Boutique hotels in Ireland (3)

The Emerald Isle lives up to its moniker - lush and green, but also sparkling with heritage, culture and the good things in life. From Cork to Kerry, there’s more than enough to enchant all sorts. So very close, but different in so many ways, we think a trip to Ireland is one you’ll remember forever.

Where to go

Rent a car - Ireland is best seen driving through its very distinct landscapes, from the mountain ranges of Cork to the Curragh, or plain of County Kildare. Wander the ancient fortresses that dot the countryside - see if you can find the Blarney Stone!  Shop for the stunning knitwear produced from sheep unique to the island. Visit Dublin and walk in the steps of literary giants like James Joyce. Learn about the ireland’s vibrant mythology, crisscrossing the countryside visiting ‘fairy rings’ and stone circles. Collapse in a pub for a Guinness or three!

Food & Drink

Food in Ireland is hearty and simple, a legacy of subsistence farming at various periods during the country’s turbulent history. Yes, there will be a lot of potato, beef and cabbage, but only if you choose a traditional pub or restaurant. The emergence of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ at the turn of the millennium means that the country has a thriving foodie scene. Dublin is our Irish favourite destination for dining, so when there, we recommend Chapter One (18-19 Parnell Square North) for Irish favourites with a French influence - we advise booking ahead! Otherwise, head on over to Cavistons (58-59 Glasthule Road, Sandycove) for a delicious glimpse into how the Irish do seafood.

Nightlife

When you think of Irish nightlife, you think of fiddles, Guinness and a good craic. Yes, Ireland offers that in spades, but there’s something on offer for those of every speed when it comes to venturing out of an evening. If it’s traditional you want, head down to Temple Bar in Dublin, where glorious, old and beautifully bedecked pubs offer entertainment all night long. For something a little more sophisticated, seek out the Vintage Cocktail Club, funnily enough, also in Temple Bar. This is a chic and classy spot with talented bartenders and an intimate vibe. There’s no sign, so look for the black door as you’re walking past the pubs.

Where to stay

Dunbrody Country House, in County Wexford, is a gorgeous 1830s manor house that offers a delightful spa and cookery school, in addition to suites that feature fine designer furnishings. We think it’s a terrific allrounder for the discerning traveller. In County Mayo, the Ice House Hotel is 19th ice storage shed transformed into a beautiful boutique hotel. Couples will love the waterside hot tubs, the Chill Spa with its wide range of treatments and an award-winning restaurant with an intimate atmosphere.

How to get there

Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Cityjet and British Airways fly to Dublin daily. There are also car ferries available from Liverpool and Swansea.

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DUNBRODY COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL

arthurstown, ireland

"Kevin and Catherine Dundon run a superb establishment, a stylish, comfortable, friendly small boutique hotel with a restaurant that stands up to anything Dublin has to offer. " Food and Wine

WINEPORT LODGE

athlone, ireland

Wineport Lodge Hotel Athlone is a boutique hotel hidden on the picturesque shores of Lough Ree, in the corner of Co. Westmeath, Ireland and is known by many as the finest luxury hotel in Athlone. pproachable by boat or car this secluded log-cabin-style Chic Retreat enjoys an enviable lakeside setting and offers modern interiors and hospitality to match.

ICE HOUSE HOTEL

ballina,, ireland

As one of the very best hotels in Co. Mayo, Ireland, the Ice House Hotel in Mayo, boasts 32 luxurious bedrooms and suites, waterside hot tubs, the intimate Chill Spa, chic design and a standard of food celebrated by even the toughest food critics.

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