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‘Tis the season to be cosy – eight winter breaks from Ireland’s Blue Book

Escape to a magical winter retreat in one of these eight exquisite breaks from Ireland’s Blue Book


Ballymaloe House, the family-run country house hotel famous for its outstanding hospitality and superb food.


Picture yourself, relaxing by a glowing open fire, enjoying a pot of tea or a warming hot whiskey, perhaps engrossed in a book, or just letting your mind go wherever it pleases. Complete and utter rest and relaxation - that’s what’s on offer from Ireland’s Blue Book this winter.

We’ve selected some perfect winter escapes to help you rest and recharge, including sumptuous dining, luxurious spa breaks, and the perfect firesides to curl up by when the cold is biting outside.

1. Ice House, Co Mayo

The Ice House Hotel in Ballina and the award-winning Chill Spa is a true surrender to serenity and perfect for a relaxing winter escape. You can leave the winter chill outside and relax in the outdoor sauna, soak in the hot tub overlooking the River Moy, or unwind in the oasis of calm that is the thermal suite. There are also dozens of indulgent spa treatments to choose from, including purifying body scrubs, relaxing massages and detoxifying mud wraps.

After an afternoon spent relaxing in the spa, linger over a delicious meal in the Riverview Restaurant, before a wonderfully comfortable night’s sleep in one of the beautiful Riverside or Heritage rooms.

Stay and Chill at the Ice House this winter with two nights B&B. Relax and rejuvenate with a 50 minute spa treatment and dine in the Riverview restaurant on the evening of your choice. From €450 for two people sharing.

More information about the Ice House 

2. Newforge House, Co Armagh

The stresses of daily life just float away at Newforge House. Spend a night or two in this warm and welcoming country house hotel, and enjoy a slower pace of life . If you do manage to prise yourself away from your sumptuous canopy bed or the drawing room fireside, Newforge has beautiful grounds and orchards to be explored. 

An oasis of calm and an ideal place for a romantic break, with just six individually decorated bedrooms that incorporate family antiques and plush furnishings for your complete comfort. Bedrooms and bathrooms also have beautiful views over the peaceful grounds and woodlands that surround the property. 

Book the Gourmet Getaway offer and for just £220 for two people sharing, you can experience a wonderful one night break, with a delicious 3 course dinner and breakfast the next morning, as well as a couple of additional treats for you to enjoy.

More information about Newforge House

3. No.1 Pery Square, Co Limerick

In a beautifully preserved area of Georgian Limerick, you can find No.1 Pery Square, an elegant period hotel, restaurant and spa. Immediately on arrival at the hotel, one is enveloped by the hotel’s warmth. Even the lobby has its own fireplace – so welcome after arriving inside from a crisp wintery day.

Elegant yet contemporary, No.1 Pery Square is perfect for a romantic winter break or a girls’ night away. In the afternoon, tea is served in the drawing room. Comfortable and quiet, just settle by the fireside and enjoy freshly baked scones with jam and cream, along with piping hot tea. In the evening, relax in the candlelit bar after a sumptuous dinner in the beautiful Sash restaurant, so called for its chic sash windows overlooking the Georgian streets.

Relaxed and elegant. No.1 Pery Square is a real hidden gem in Limerick’s historic Georgian Quarter. The Overnight Dine with Candlelight offer is available from €230 for two people sharing, midweek.

More information about No.1 Pery Square

4. Wineport Lodge, Co Westmeath

The Wineport Lodge is a beautifully unique hotel situated on the shore of Lough Ree in County Westmeath. Comfort, luxury and warm hospitality await everyone who crosses the threshold here.

At the Wineport Lodge, each of the rooms is named after a particular wine, so it is only fitting that the most lavish is named the Champagne Suite. Luxuriate in this stunning, double-level suite with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake, where champagne awaits you on arrival. 

A night in the stunning Champagne Suite is €420 for two people sharing.

Alternatively the Wineport’s Bubbles and Truffles offer includes a night in one of the beautiful Lakeview Suites and can be enjoyed for €206 for two people sharing, with treats on arrival, and a delicious breakfast the following morning.    

More information about the Wineport Lodge

5. Viewmount House, Co Longford

Viewmount House is an elegant 17th century country house nestled in the heart of the countryside in County Longford - a real hidden gem and the perfect place for a cosy winter break. Sip on a special Bourbon Eggnog or a Cinnamon Cocoa Espresso Martini, while relaxing in the warm and comfortable sitting room next to the fire.

Luxurious, yet quaint and comfortable and surrounded by beautiful gardens and peaceful countryside, Viewmount House might just be your perfect countryside escape. The award-winning restaurant has gained much acclaim, due to the care and attention that goes into creating the delicious seasonal menus.

Viewmount offers a night in one of their beautiful; suites with an evening meal and breakfast the following mornings from €300 for two people sharing.

More information about Viewmount House

6. Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry

This stunning Park Hotel Kenmare, overlooking Kenmare Bay, exudes charm and elegance. The hotel is renowned for superb service and warm and friendly hospitality, where nothing is too much trouble. If you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing break, the Park Hotel is the place, offering all of the luxury of a 5 Star Hotel without a hint of stuffiness.

If you are feeling energetic, there are acres of grounds to be explored, or simply unwind in the peaceful haven of the Sámas Spa’s thermal suite and outdoor vitality pool.  

Take a real time out with the Three Night Enchanted Break, which will give you ample time to enjoy all of what the Park has to offer. Enjoy a cooked breakfast each morning, with beautiful views over the grounds and Kenmare Bay. On two evenings sit down for a delicious meal in the award-winning dining room. After dinner, relax in the intimate bar, next to the glow of the fire, with tinkling piano music in the background. The Three Night Enchanted Break is available from €939 for two people sharing.

More information about the Park Hotel Kenmare

7. Rathmullan House

Rathmullan House is a stunning country house hotel in Donegal that epitomises luxury and warmth from the moment you walk through the door, with friendly service, a fire in almost every room and a wonderfully relaxing ambience. 

Head out for a brisk, bracing walk on the beach, just a stone’s throw from the hotel, before heading back for your evening meal. The award-winning restaurant – The Cook and Gardener is perfect for an evening of elegant fine dining, but for those looking for a more relaxed experience, the Tap Room serves up delicious wood-fired pizzas and Irish craft beers. 

Perfect for a family break or a romantic getaway. Book a weekend winter stay, with two nights B&B from €320 for two people sharing.

More information about Rathmullan House

8. Ballymaloe House

World renowned for its farm-to-table philosophy, with seasonal menus lovingly created from fresh home grown ingredients and local produce, Ballymaloe House is a true haven for food lovers.

Rise at the crack of dawn to bake bread with the pastry chefs, then don your wellies and explore the grounds in the afternoon, before returning for hot tea and scones in front of a blazing fire in the sitting room. There is a charming café on the estate, where you can enjoy more home-baked goods, but make sure to spare your appetite for your delicious 5 course dinner in Ballymaloe’s award-winning dining room.

Ballymaloe House is a traditional farm house turned  country house hotel, and bursting with character and old Irish charm. Book two night B&B this winter from €430 for two people sharing.

More information about Ballymaloe House

Ireland’s Blue Book is a luxurious collection of country houses, historic hotels, castles and restaurants around the island of Ireland. Ireland’s Blue Book Gift Vouchers can be used in over 50 unique properties, for weekend breaks, midweek escapes, spa treatments, dining and more. 
For more information, visit