Check-in: country fairs and fashion getaways

Jo Linehan rounds up this week’s travel news and deals

Fair game:
This weekend, Birr Castle (above) hosts the Irish Game and Country Fair, a two-day celebration for all things country pursuit. Try your hand at clay-pigeon shooting and fly-casting or take in a view of the magnificent grounds and gardens through the castle's 19th century telescope, the Leviathan, which was the largest in the world for 70 years.

Haute hitters: Luxury travel network Virtuoso has unveiled the winners of its 2016 Best of the Best awards. The world's most lauded hotels battled it out for the five-star accolade, with big winners being the Faena Hotel Miami Beach for achievement in design and the New York Edition for best bar.

Raising the bar: The Conrad Hotel in Dublin 2 is toasting its stylish new bar this month. Lemuel's, named after the hero in Gulliver's Travels, will serve an afternoon tea in the theme of the classic book, as well as an array of high-quality, locally sourced "bites" and cocktails. Its proximity to the National Concert Hall ensures plenty of buzz in the new lounge.

Diane von Furstenberg in London: The legendary fashion designer is credited for curating Claridges' luxurious Grand Piano Suite (below). Think animal prints, deep purple fabrics and gold fixtures in this stylish wing. Armani in Milan: With the faint hint of the Italian designer's signature scent in the air, this hotel's interior is a minimalist's dream, as seamless and slick as an Armani suit. The Milanese hotel is an Italian institute. Ralph Lauren in Jamaica: The American icon brings his signature preppy style to Round Hill resort, complete with dark wood interiors, nautical stripes and crisp navy and white furnishings. This is a Polo lover's dream stay.


Need a new vocation? The Arctic SnowHotel in Lapland is looking for someone to scan the night sky. The watcher's challenge is to stay awake and watch for the Northern Lights. If they appear, the watcher wakes the other hotel guests. More than 200 people applied for the sky-gazing position last season with two people winning coveted posts.

The ice-block hotel, in the village of Lehtojärvi, is built every winter, complete with glass-roofed igloos, from which one can marvel at the aurora borealis from the comfort of a warm bed. So, even if you don’t get the job, you can certainly book in now for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This app allows you to find nearby amenities, from banks and restaurants to shops, ATMs and public transport points. Available from iTunes.

stay in the new Amarin Hotel in Rovinj on the Istrian Peninsula. Rooms discounted by 25%, book on; direct flights with to Pula until October 11th.
Bahamas: escape to Paradise Island in the Caribbean and stay in the Atlantic Beach Tower resort, one week from €1,759 including flights from Ireland,, (01) 608 0056.
Costa Brava: time for solo travellers to explore Costa Brava and Barcelona, one week with – €699 half board in October, (01) 637 1650.