Ireland’s most romantic bedrooms
One person’s rose petal turndown is another’s hay fever. Thankfully, whatever kind of couple you are, there’s a loved up bolthole to suit
Hayfield Manor in Cork offers a Proposal Package
Gregan’s Castle in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare
A lakeside suite at the Lodge, Ashford Castle;
Lodge of love
You’ll be tempted to never leave your room when you see the lakeside suites at the Lodge at Ashford Castle – not even for a wash. These dramatic suites feature huge copper baths in the corner of the room.
If you do manage to drag yourself outside you can explore Ashford estate, take a stroll in to Cong village (the scene of the Quiet Man) or try some of the more energetic activites on offer, from clay shooting to horse riding or falconry. A trip around Lough Corrib with Corrib Cruises is also a romantic must.
Take to the trees
Play Tarzan and Jane in one of two tree houses at Grove House in Skibbereen, West Cork. They’re accessed via tree-trunk steps, and you can nestle up to one another amid whispering pine cones and enjoy the dizzy heights of passion in a wooded wonder with its own kitchen, walk-in shower and bedroom with roll-top bath. And as if that weren’t good clean fun enough, there’s a hot tub out on the deck. From €149 a night.
Suites for your sweet
Book yourself into Gregan’s Castle, Georgina Campbell’s hotel of the year, and spend your time playing Heathcliff and Cathy out on the moors. Okay, the Burren. Take its two-night Romance in the Stones package for champers on arrival and a Cloon Keen scented candle gift to take with you when you leave, alongside all those memories. Rooms from €325 per night, but if you can, upgrade to the Martyn Suite for four-poster bed and direct access to the rose garden.
Make an immodest proposal
If you’re planning to pop the question let Hayfield Manor in Cork provide the five-star backdrop. Its Proposal Package includes a candlelit dinner for two in a private suite with your own butler and a chilled bottle of Champagne to celebrate when they say ‘Yes’, or to cry into when they say ‘Not in a million years Buddy’. Stay in a Grand Suite from €795 subject to availability this Valentines.
Cosy up in a cottage
If long walks by the seashore do it for you two, look no further than one of the seaside holiday cottages right on the beach at Bettystown, Co Dublin. Brimming with atmosphere, this super cute hamlet of six 300-year-old thatched cottages has open fireplaces and exposed timber beams. They’re surrounded by organic flower gardens and there’s only the shortest of tiptoes through the tulips to the sea. From €600 for a four-night stay.
Canvas for comfort
Forget trying to zip your sleeping bags together. For real romance, you need a tent with a proper double bed. Book a bell tent at Grove Lane Glamping in Kerry (but not until April) and you’ll find yourself sleeping under stars amid your own private orchard, like a modern day Adam and Eve. Toast marshmallows in a fire pit, stroll the riverbank and curl up in the glow of your own solid fuel stove – and that’s not a metaphor. From €490 a week.
Let romance flower
For a room with a view, check in to the Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, overlooking the Sugar Loaf mountain. The estate’s gardens are romantic in the extreme, and not just the show stopping formal ones, but the circuitous paths of its Japanese gardens and the woodland garden with gothic tower and petrified moss grotto. Grown-up getaways from €310 per couple.
Room for passion
There’s more than a whiff of romance at the Red Suite at Belle Isle Castle in Fermanagh. Not alone does it have a gorgeous four-poster, but the dressing room is home to a sleigh bed once owned by Coco Chanel, whose affair with Stravinsky is the stuff of Hollywood movies. The entire castle is stunning, surrounded by lakes and woodlands. The only catch is that to get the Red Suite you have to rent the entire castle – and it sleeps 27. Are those wedding bells we hear?
Beacon of love
What could be more romantic than a lighthouse? Holed up with the one you love while seas and storms rage outside, it’s the perfect image for your union. Stay in the beautifully maintained lighthouse at Wicklow Head, one of three on the headland, with stunning views up and down the Irish Sea and sleep in round bedrooms to symbolise the eternal nature of your love – or some such. From €614 per weekend.