Dromquinna Manor, Co Kerry, has launched a new Hideaways experience at its glamping site, at a cost of €450 per night per couple.
Glamping – short for “glamorous camping” – typically involves luxury accommodation in a traditional canvas tent or Mongolian-style yurt, often including a real bed, a wooden platform, a stove for warmth and other comforts. Prices are usually higher than for basic campsites.
But what do you get for €450? According to John Brennan, proprietor of Dromquinna Manor and the Park Kenmare Hotel and occasional TV personality, “Value is not always related to price. This is a really unique and special place. It is so peaceful with nothing in front of you except the water.”
The Hideaways will open next summer for three months and already customers are making bookings, mainly guests who have stayed at the existing Dromquinna glamping site, which has been operating for five years.
Behind a private entrance, the three Hideaway tents – one of which is already erected and fitted– will be furnished with antique and native furniture. They measure six by seven metres and include an ensuite bathroom.
The king size Wilderness bed is dressed with feather topper, goosedown duvet and luxury cotton linens. Breakfast will be delivered to the campers’ tent.
How do the price compare with a bricks and mortar hotel? A night at the Brennans' Park Hotel with breakfast costs from €380, and glamping with breakfast at the Hideaway Dromquinna Manor costs from €450. The hotel's existing glamping tents cost €150 for two, or €185 for a family of two adults and two children per night. For more information see dromquinnamanor.com.
If you cannot make – or can’t afford – the glamping at Dromquinna Manor, there are lots of places around the country where you can experience glamping, enjoying the outdoor life without having to rough it. Here is a selection. Most sites close at the end of September until next spring.
And high though some of their prices may be, few are as steep as luxury camping at Electric Picnic, where rental of bell tents and yurts ranges from €600 to €2,200 for the three nights.
Ballyvolane House, near Fermoy, Co Cork
What about trying glamping in a country house garden? Ballyvolane near Fermoy, Co Cork with salmon fishing on the Blackwater is a well established wedding venue and hotel with beautiful gardens. The glamping site comprises 4m and 5m bell tents and a wooden glamping arc/cabin.
On site there are full hotel facilities with restaurant, bar and afternoon tea. This area of north Cork is ideal for exploring places like the Galtee and Knockmealdown Mountains, or a trip into Cork city. There are no cooking facilities, but breakfast is included and served in the main house. You can also try their Bertha's Revenge, milk-made gin. Rates are €150-€240, with an additional 10 per cent discount on two nights bookings in September, ballyvolanehouse.ie.
Rock Farm, Slane, Co Meath
In a grove of aged trees close to the banks of the Boyne, Rock Farm can cater for big groups. There is a selection of yurts, bell tents, shepherd’s huts and a traditional straw-bale cabin. There is a large communal house on site for hanging out and making food.
Activities include kayaking on the Boyne, electric bikes, straw-bale building and exploring the Boyne Valley. Prices are from €120 per night in low season up to €200 for two in high season. Rockfarmslane.ie.
Teapot Lane, Castlegal, Co Sligo
Glamping began at Teapot Lane in 2010 and can include staying in yurts, in a tree house, a vintage caravan or a cosy cottage. If you can't make Electric Picnic, Teapot Lane will organise a DJ and you can have your own festival. Groups are welcome and hen parties too. Other activities include surfing or spa visits, with prices from €200 to €300 for two nights for two, glampingireland.ie.
Donegal Glamping, Portsalon, Co Donegal
No matter how cold, wet and windy it gets in Portsalon, Donegal Glamping says its yurts offer warmth and comfort. You can even have a wood burning stove. Yurts sleep up to four with one double and a sofa bed. They have stunning views across to the Inishowen Peninsula and the mountains of Donegal.
Staying in Donegal Glamping is all about the outdoors: hiking, cycling, fishing, kayaking, rock-climbing, surfing, bird-watching and if you are lucky, glimpses of the Northern Lights at this time of the year. There is a kitchen and lounge, and prices are from €224 for two people for two nights minimum. Donegalglamping. com">Donegalglamping.com.
Killarney Glamping at the Grove, Co Kerry
On the outskirts of Killarney this glamping site is in a meadow descending to the Flesk River. Luxurious bell tents have proper beds, lush linens and heating. Each tent has an outdoor kitchen or you can use the on-site kitchen with BBQ. You can explore the mountains and lakes of Kerry, or just relax in this tranquil zone, sit on your deck and watch the stars. September rates are €80-€100, couples only in October and 10 per cent off certain dates. Killarneyglamping. com">Killarneyglamping.com.
Knockrobin Glamping, Tinakilly, Co Wicklow
Set in the grounds of Tinnakilly House Hotel, the bell tents at Knockrobin have fully fitted beds with quality linens. Each tent has its own bathroom nearby and breakfast is included at the hotel. There are no cooking facilities. It is an ideal location for exploring the beauty of Wicklow. There is early-morning horse-riding on nearby Brittas Bay or enjoy spa treatments, relax on the balcony and enjoy the stunning views. Knockrobinglamping.ie. Rates from €95-€120 per night.
Purecamping, Querrin, Loop Head, Co Clare
The eco-friendly camp site on Loop Head has both traditional wild camping and glamping in bell tents or cabins. On the edge of the Shannon Estuary and the Wild Atlantic Way, Purecamping has a a pizza oven on site, and a sauna for easing away the day’s adventures. During the summer there are yoga classes.
A bell tent that sleeps up to four cost €60-€75 per night. Purecamping.ie.