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Give the gift of experience this Christmas with Ireland’s Blue Book

Blue Book gift vouchers are an ideal corporate gift, perfect for staff, incentive programmes or client recognition

Ballymaloe House, Co Cork

Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny

 

What could be nicer or more well-deserved than an escape from the daily rush to a relaxed country house hotel, a tranquil spa, or an unforgettable meal with a loved one at an award-winning restaurant?

An Ireland’s Blue Book gift voucher is a fantastic way to show your friends, family, clients and employees that you are grateful and appreciate all that they do by giving them an experience they can hold on to and treasure, as well as a chance to relax and escape the bustle of everyday life.

Blue Book vouchers can be used in more than 50 historic country houses, castles, manor hotels and restaurants. Some have tranquil spas, some 18-hole golf courses, and some pare it all back with cosy sitting rooms, crackling log fires and warm Irish hospitality. There are so many ways to enjoy an Ireland’s Blue Book gift voucher, but here are five of our favourites.

Michelin dining 

Chapter One, Dublin
Chapter One, Dublin

For the gourmand of the group, a Blue Book  voucher will be the perfect gift to whet their appetite. In the collection are four Michelin Star restaurants.

In Dublin, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, situated adjoining the Merrion Hotel, serves modern classic cuisine using the best Irish produce in season. Chapter One  combines Mickael Viljanen’s culinary flair with Ross Lewis’s long tradition of peerless hospitality. 

In Co Kilkenny, Campagne Restaurant in the heart of the medieval town serves food based on high-quality seasonal produce with French influences. And The Lady Helen Restaurant at Mount Juliet Estate is a culinary experience that could only be created through the visionary lens of executive head chef John Kelly.

Trails to trot

Mount Juliet Estate, Co Kilkenny
Mount Juliet Estate, Co Kilkenny

For horse-riding enthusiasts, a Blue Book gift voucher is perfect, with some houses offering the finest trails to trot! As one of Europe’s top equestrian playgrounds, Castle Leslie Estate in Monaghan, nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, offers memorable  experiences for riding enthusiasts of all levels. Castle Leslie offers expert tuition, gentle hacks and exhilarating cross-country rides.

Horses have always played an important part in Mount Juliet Estate’s rich history. Following extensive investment MJ Equestrian now offers horse lovers a truly memorable experience with a state-of-the art equestrian centre and world-class facilities.

Book in for a trail ride through the 500-acre estate and experience the rolling countryside. Welcoming beginners and professionals, children and adults, guests will find more than 20 horses ready to impress and two all-weather arenas, designed for exercising and show-jumping.

Tee off at a Blue Book course

The golf course at Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, Co Galway
The golf course at Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, Co Galway

To the golfer of the group, a Blue Book gift voucher gives the opportunity to try a hand at courses all around Ireland’s countryside while staying at the Blue Book properties located within “chipping distance” of premium courses.

Bushmills Inn in Antrim is located just four scenic miles from the Royal Portrush Golf Club, consistently ranked in the world’s top 10 golf courses. Other spectacular links courses within 15 miles are Portstewart, Castlerock and Ballycastle.

Mount Juliet Estate is home to the Jack Nicklaus Signature Designed Parkland golf course, which is ranked among the world’s finest parkland courses. In true country estate fashion, the ambitious course has a remarkable natural beauty, with magnificent trees, miles of rushing river and lush pastures.

Set on the banks of Lough Corrib, the scenic Glenlo Abbey Golf Course is situated only 4km from the vibrant city of Galway. It was designed by Ryder Cup legend Christy O’Connor Jr and has been recognised as one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the Republic.

Peaceful spa breaks

Outdoor vitality pool at Park Hotel Kenmare
Outdoor vitality pool at Park Hotel Kenmare

For those looking for the ultimate way to unwind, many of the country houses and hotels in Ireland’s Blue Book have world-class spa and treatment facilities, in beautiful and peaceful surroundings.

Don your fluffy robe and visit the award-winning Sámas Spa at Park Hotel in Kenmare. Take a long, soothing soak in the outdoor heated infinity pool overlooking the bay, stimulate your senses in the aroma steam room and sauna, or spoil yourself with the full Sámas Experience with three hours of pure bliss dedicated to you.

The award-winning Chill Spa at the Ice House Hotel in Mayo offers an extensive treatment menu with wonderful therapies guaranteed to relax and rejuvenate, including a thermal suite and outdoor bathing therapies overlooking the river Moy.

The No 1 Heritage Spa at No 1 Pery Square in Limerick city is located in the original 1830s basement vaults, which have been sensitively restored into a polished holistic spa destination for your wellness experience. They offer an extensive range of organic and  holistic treatments for men and women. 

Something a little bit different

The Pond Suites at Marlfield House, Co Wexford
The Pond Suites at Marlfield House, Co Wexford

For something out of the ordinary, the Blue Book collection has a selection of unique accommodation.

Deerpark Shepherd’s Huts at Virginia Park Lodge in Cavan is a private and luxurious space with tranquil surrounds on the edge of Deerpark Forest. It features all modern amenities, from a double bed to a built-in wardrobe. You’ll want for nothing in your thoughtfully furnished sylvan bolthole, complete with solid oak flooring, log burner and shaker style kitchen. 

Slumber in the garden at the new Pond Suites at Marlfield House in Gorey, Co Wexford. Located overlooking the pond in a lush, wooded setting of mature oak trees and ferns, encompassing large open plan interiors with patio doors onto a private terrace, the suites  are the epitome of a modern, luxurious country house experience – in the most private of settings.

For the milder months, the exclusive Hideaway at Dromquinna Manor is a luxury glamping experience. Perched on a cliff overlooking Kenmare Bay, your luxury tented home features king-size wilderness beds made up with crisp, white bed linen, a private bathroom, private veranda with breakfast table, and is stocked with items to enhance your stay including towels, bathrobes and Voya toiletries.

Clare Island Lighthouse is a retreat like no other. The 200-year-old beacon standing guard at the entrance to Clew Bay has spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean. Each guest room is individually designed and decorated, with period fixtures and fittings, original artwork and comfortable, old-style cast-iron beds. Wood-burning stoves, open fires and under floor heating add cosiness and comfort.

Ireland’s Blue Book is a unique collection of country house hotels, historic houses, castles and restaurants around the island of Ireland. Gift vouchers can be used in any Blue Book property for relaxing overnight stays, delicious meals, luxury spa breaks and more. 

For more information and inspiration, visit irelands-blue-book.ie.