Bag a bargain this spring

Irish hotels are teeming with direct offers this spring. We’ve rounded up a magnificent seven to get you started, writes Sandra O’Connell

1. Bargains in Baltimore
Casey's of Baltimore in West Cork combines the atmosphere of a cosy pub with the comforts of a big hotel – a great combination for a few days R 'n' R. The area is famous among seafarers so there's no shortage of maritime magic on offer from scuba diving and sailing to deep sea fishing and swimming. Take the cliff walk up to its iconic Beacon, enjoy a midnight paddle with Atlantic Sea Kayaking or try your luck with a spot of whale watching. Two nights' accommodation at Caseys, with breakfast and one dinner in its seafood restaurant, plus a ferry trip to Sherkin Island for a day's exploring costs Euro 99 per person sharing.


2. Bluebell bonanzas in Kilkenny
For luxury at a modest price make a beeline for Mount Juliet. The Co Kilkenny estate is at its most beautiful in spring time when a blanket of bluebells covers much of the grounds. The hotel is currently offering three night breaks from Euro 450 for two sharing a Clubroom in its Hunters Yard, including breakfast and one dinner. While you're there, check out some of the discounts available at its spa, such as a rejuvenating facial peel reduced from Euro 70 to Euro 35, while stocks last. Alternatively, to get your complexion really glowing, nab one of the horses from its great equestrian centre and enjoy 25 kilometres of bridle path.


3. Cheap thrills in Westport
The Clew Bay Hotel in Westport has perfected the art of added value bundling. Two nights B&B plus either a three hour sea kayak or a choice of activities from a menu that includes archery, laser clay pigeon shooting, high ropes course, combat games or stand up paddle boarding, costs Euro 120 per person. Alternatively, two nights B&B, plus a three course dinner and a day's bike hire to tour the Great Western Greenway – a 42km traffic free route from Westport to Achill Island – costs Euro 105 per person sharing. Bring the kids: a two day family adventure, with kids under 15 staying free, costs a total of Euro 285 midweek, and includes a choice of either Greenway cycle, adventure activities or a two day family pass to Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park.

4. Deer but not dear in Sligo
Coopershill in Sligo is a gorgeous country house hotel arrived at via a one and a half kilometre drive filled with Bambis a-gambolling (they're big into venison here). With 200 hectares (500 acres) to enjoy, it's the perfect spot in which to experience nature coming back to life after the extended winter. The hotel has a three-day walking package whose prices would put a spring in your step if only there weren't so much food involved, including three nights' B&B, two dinners, two picnic lunches and two complimentary afternoon teas, plus all the walking maps your heart desires, for Euro 348 per person sharing.

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www.coopershill.com


5. Ballymoney but not big money
If you're hoping the sunny south east will live up to its name check out the Seafield Hotel in Wexford for a great value option in lovely surrounds. The hotel, which has an award winning spa and a coastal golf course, has a three night B&B package plus dinner on two evenings as well as full use of its thermal suites and hydrotherapy pool. The deal is available Sunday through Thursday, from Euro 208 per person sharing until the end of May, and from Euro 226 at weekends.

6. Spring sales in Donegal
We don't hear of nearly enough hotels running room sales, which is why it's worth rewarding owner Deirdre McGlone for launching Harvey's Point Spring Sale 2013 this week. The hotel, which is on the shores of Lough Eske in Co Donegal, is selling three-night mid week packages for Euro 59 per person sharing per night between 2nd April and 25th June. That's a saving of Euro 40 per person, per night on the regular rate. It applies both to executive guestrooms and the hotel's new Lakeshore Suites and includes breakfast.

7. Two for three in Limerick
Stay two nights in dreamy Dromoland Castle in Co Limerick this month and you get the third night free. The luxury hotel, which has 'wow factor' in spades, may be more affordable than you think, given that the three night mid week package in a deluxe bedroom includes not just breakfast but can up to two children too, from a total price of Euro 470. That's a great rate for any five star hotel, but hey, this is Dromoland. Bag it before it books out.