Need a break? Leave the kids behind for an adults-only getaway
It’s time to spoil yourself, so we’ve selected a range of tempting destinations
Maybe it’s high time to indulge in some unadulterated pampering on a luxurious away break. File photograph: Getty
Whether you’re a parent dreaming of escape from back-to-school drudgery, or just looking for a pampered weekend break, these luxurious adults-only getaways have you covered. If you’re lucky enough to have someone to mind the little darlings for a night or two, it’s time to indulge in some unadulterated – and blissfully child-free – self-care.
The Wild Honey Inn
Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare; wildhoneyinn.com
The first pub in Ireland to be awarded a Michelin star, this cosy and traditional inn at the edge of the Burren is a world away from school runs and morning tantrums. Less like a hotel, and more like a restaurant with rooms, it is an adults-only destination with serious foodie credentials. Owned and run by chef Aidan McGrath and his partner Kate Sweeney, there is a strong emphasis on reconnecting with nature, from their “wild food from land and sea” philosophy, to the light-filled rooms with stunning views. One night B&B with dinner for two costs from €290 to €320.
The Old Convent
Clogheen, Cahir, Co Tipperary; theoldconvent.ie
Sitting at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains and surrounded by the quiet Tipperary countryside, the Old Convent Country House is a balm for tired minds. An adult-only destination with a focus on romantic and gourmet breaks, each room is uniquely designed for maximum luxury and comfort. They are running a “Back to School” weekend hideaway special offer which includes a two-night stay in a junior suite, breakfast each morning in the Chapel Dining Room and an eight-course Irish artisan tasting dinner for two. It costs €499 for two people sharing.
Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2; conradhotels3.hilton.com
Overlooking the National Concert Hall, and just around the corner from Stephen’s Green, the recently refurbished Conrad is perfectly situated for a night in Dublin. The hotel is offering a “Back to School: Getaway for Grownups” package, designed for couples who need a little luxury in their lives. It includes a full buffet breakfast, dinner for two at the Coburg Brasserie, and a sneaky cocktail at Lemuel’s Bar. The deal is available until October 31st, from €578 per room based on two people sharing.
Durrus, Bantry, Co Cork; blairscove.ie
Overlooking the inlet of Dunmanus Bay in west Cork, Blairscove House and Restaurant is as unique as it is picturesque. Around the beautifully restored courtyard of a Georgian house sit four stylish and individually decorated suites, each of which can be rented on a bed and breakfast or self-catering basis. Formerly a piggery, coach house and servants’ quarters, the rooms are a blend of traditional comfort and contemporary design. Coupled with the excellent restaurant, these gorgeous rooms are the perfect distraction for parents looking to stretch out the summer for just one more weekend. Bed and breakfast costs €230 for two people sharing.
Arthurstown, Co Wexford; dunbrodyhouse.com
Owned and operated by Kevin and Catherine Dundon, this luxury boutique hotel on the Hook Peninsula has a well-earned culinary reputation. With a gourmet restaurant, champagne seafood bar and breakfast until noon daily, this is the place to really recharge your batteries. Although you’ll spend most of your time reclining like some epicurean Roman emperor, there is plenty to enjoy here besides the food. A centuries-old Georgian manor filled with oak floors, chandeliers, turf fires and high ceilings, it is surrounded by 300 acres of idyllic parkland. Two nights with one dinner starts from €225 per person sharing.
St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2; theshelbourne.com
What says “back to school” more than an extravagant whiskey-soaked weekend in one of Dublin’s most opulent five-star hotels? A Whiskey Weekend at The Shelbourne includes a two-night stay in a deluxe guestroom, a whiskey flight experience in the hotel’s Horseshoe Bar, two tickets to Roe & Co Distillery and two Shelbourne whiskey bullet glasses. When you’re not busy swilling all that fine uisce beatha, take time to soak up the distinctively rich and lavish atmosphere. It is a hotel steeped in history, filled with remarkable stories; there really is nowhere else quite like it. The Whiskey Weekend deal is available on selected weekends between now and November, from €329 per person sharing.
One Pery Square
Georgian Quarter, Limerick; oneperysquare.com
A boutique Georgian hotel just outside Limerick city centre, One Pery Square has a lot going for it, but it does one thing particularly well: bedrooms. With 20 overall, it is the four heritage bedrooms that really shine. Each with a unique style, and named after previous residents of the building, they are spacious and comfortable, filled with thoughtful details like free-standing deep roll-top baths and large sash windows. The Couples Romantic Spa Retreat package, which costs €378, includes bed and breakfast, access to the thermal suite, a couple’s aroma salts bathing ritual with a glass of bubbles, and side-by-side back, neck and shoulder massage.
BrookLodge & Macreddin Village
Aughrim, Co Wicklow; brooklodge.com
Located in the heart of picturesque Macreddin Village, the gorgeously green BrookLodge is only an hour from Dublin and promises a plethora of pampering treats and treatments. For the month of September they are offering a special midweek “Dinner’s On Us” package. Starting with a bottle of prosecco upon arrival, it includes a one-hour signature Flourish Organics facial each, dinner in La Taverna Armento, and complimentary use of the Thermal Suite at the Wells Spa, and costs from €149 per person sharing.
Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; monart.ie
The Rolls-Royce of spa retreats. The cream of the crop. The gold standard of luxury accommodation. The T-Rex of thermal suites. Monart’s reputation as Ireland’s premier destination for those seeking unadulterated relaxation is pretty much set in stone, and surely deserved. With children strictly forbidden, robe-clad guests swan about in a state of blissful serenity. The spa includes sauna, steam room, outdoor Finnish sauna, salt grotto, caldarium, samarium and hydrotherapy room. Food wise you can look forward to fine dining in the Monart Restaurant or more casual fare in the Garden Lounge, as well as the Spa Cafe serving lighter bites throughout the day. Accommodation starts at €239 midweek or €285 at weekends, per person sharing.
Cliff House Hotel
Ardmore, Co Waterford; cliffhousehotel.ie
If you really want to push the boat out, take a trip to the Cliff House Hotel. Thanks to modern, glass-heavy architecture, every inch of this stunning five-star hotel is bathed in glorious coastal light. On top of the superb spa, spacious and stylish bedrooms (each with sea view and terrace), there is the world-famous Michelin-starred House Restaurant to sample. A two-night midweek getaway includes a three-course dinner in the Bar Restaurant on one evening, breakfast on both mornings, and 20 per cent off all spa treatments, and costs from €525 based on two people sharing a Deluxe Sea View room.
Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa
Clonakilty, west Cork; inchydoneyisland.com
If you can manage to sneak away for a Sunday night, make a beeline for Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa. Their Seaside Sundays package includes overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, a west Cork breakfast in the Gulfstream Restaurant, fish and chips with a pint of Murphy’s or glass of wine in Dunes Bar, as well as full access to the excellent Island Spa. In between all that you can take a dip in the sea off one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches, or relax with a tipple on your bedroom’s balcony. The package is available on Sunday nights throughout October and November, costing €210 for two people sharing.
The Merchant Hotel
16 Skipper Street, Belfast; themerchanthotel.com
We have three words for you: Festival of Prosecco. Drop the kids off at the nearest workhouse and head up to the elegant Merchant Hotel in Belfast, where they are celebrating all things bubbly. For the whole month of September expect tastings, wine dinners, masterclasses and prosecco cocktails. Couple this with their “Relax and Indulge” package and you have a match made in booze heaven. The deal includes a choice between a Victorian or Art Deco room with breakfast, and a three-course meal in the Great Room Restaurant. Available Sunday to Thursday for £220-£240.
Batty Langley Lodge
Leixlip, Co Kildare; irishlandmark.com
Forget about everything and everyone for a couple of nights in this cosy, romantic and utterly unique gothic lodge. With a wood-burning stove and no wifi, get ready to be bathed in blessed silence. Bring a good book, stock up on wine, and turn the phone off (or put it on silent, but make sure vibrate is on, just in case there’s an emergency at home. There definitely won’t be an emergency at home). Rent the lodge for €333 for two nights.