Thinking of a hotel break this Christmas? Here are six of the best options
Nutcrackers, Champagne and entertainment for the whole family this festive season
Soak up the cheerful atmostphere at Hayfield Manor
Where to spend Christmas can be the cause of much consternation within families. A hotel might be just the solution to that particular conundrum, particularly if restrictions on visiting people’s homes are in place or families would like to get together in a safer setting.
We have selected six of the best hotels to spend the Christmas season in.
Glenlo Abbey in Galway offers a three-night stay that includes gourmet food, fine wines, winter walks, activities and entertainment for the whole family. Their Christmas programme is designed for relaxation with open fires and a warming glass of mulled wine on arrival on Christmas Eve. Guests will enjoy candlelit dinner in the River Room restaurant that evening. On Christmas Day, a champagne reception will take place in the French Room, followed by Christmas Day lunch. Relax with family in one of the hotels reception rooms, while a very special guest will put in an appearance later in the day with presents for little ones. Explore Connemara, go for a walk or golf on the estate on St Stephen’s Day but save yourself for the renowned Glenlo Abbey Table Quiz that evening. A three-night residential package starts from €1,150 per person sharing. See glenloabbeyhotel.ie.
Mount Juliet in Kilkenny has more than 500 acres of estate land for guests to enjoy, as well as crackling fires and delicious food in its Michelin star restaurant, the Lady Helen. Arrive on Christmas Eve to a hot port and homemade mince pies. Breakfast is served each morning in the Lady Helen as well as on Christmas Eve. Food is very much at the centre of the stay, with Christmas Day lunch in the Stables and light food served in the Manor House that evening. Santa is also rumoured to make a visit. Enjoy long walks, falconry or equestrian pursuits on St Stephen’s Day. A three-night stay costs from €1,659 based on two people sharing. See mountjuliet.ie.
Great Southern Killarney will greet guests on arrival with a cosy and traditional Irish welcome of afternoon tea. In the evening, gather for a celebratory drinks reception before Christmas Eve dinner is served in the Garden Room, famed for its Victorian grandeur and gold cornice vaulted ceiling. Following that, an evening concert of heart-warming Christmas carols takes place in the historic foyer. Gather friends and family for Christmas lunch the following day. A visit from Santa will keep junior guests happy with each receiving a bespoke gift. Stroll through the heart of Killarney on St Stephen’s Day before rounding up the evening with live musical entertainment. The Christmas Package is available from €899 per person sharing. See greatsouthernkillarney.com.
Park Hotel Kenmare is perfect for a traditional Christmas in this little Victorian haven overlooking Kenmare Bay. On Christmas Eve, after dinner, enjoy a movie in the cinema before small guests can hang their stocking for Santa while also leaving some treats for the main man and his reindeer. On Christmas Day, if you’re brave enough, take part in the annual charity plunge at Kenmare Pier. Lunch is served at 1pm while the competitive House Quizathlon takes place from mid-afternoon. On St Stephen’s Day enjoy a treasure hunt for kids and one final candlelit supper. Rates are from €1,550per person sharing. See parkkenmare.com.
Hayfield Manor in Cork offers an exceptionally festive backdrop. On Christmas Eve, soak up the cheerful atmosphere while sipping warmed mulled wine and be serenaded with Christmas carols by a local choir. Dinner is served before a nightcap can be taken by the fire. Christmas Day begins with Irish breakfast and celebrations commence in earnest with a Champagne toast, which precedes the Christmas lunch. Santa will of course put in an appearance. The evening culminates with a light buffet supper and relaxing classical piano by the fire. A trip to Cork city is an option on St Stephen’s Day, with the city within a leisurely stroll. The Christmas Package is available from €1,490 per person sharing. See hayfieldmanor.ie for more.
The Westbury Hotel Dublin is synonymous with Christmas. From life-sized nutcrackers in the foyer to the ornate decorations throughout, the Westbury embodies the holiday. Stay in one of the signature suites complete with its own Christmas tree and open a welcome bottle of Champagne on arrival. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails in the Sidecar before Christmas Eve supper is served in Balfes. Retire to the Gallery for bubbles and cake, consisting of two dessert pairings with Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé and Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut. On Christmas Day tuck into a four-course lunch or dinner served in Wilde with a glass of Champagne on arrival. Later, there will be a visit from Father Christmas. Late check out is at 2pm on December 26th. Prices start from €1,600 per room with a minimum two-night stay. See doylecollection.com for more details.
For a family break just after Christmas, the Johnstown Estate in Enfield, Co Meath has piled on the festive atmosphere with a gingerbread village and an army of oversized nutcracker soldiers .
A two-night break includes breakfast and a two-course evening meal at the Coach House Brasserie .
There’s access to the estate’s 120 acres of rural parkland by foot or on one of the estate’s bicycles. Its new flagship spa is the the perfect place to be pampered before ringing in a new year and the leisure club has a 20m swimming pool, kids’ pool, and outdoor hot tub.
There’s some seriously good fun for little ones too, with a magical fairy trail, kids’ pool, and an outdoor playground. Availability is from December 26-30th inclusive starting from €560 for a family room or €610 for a lodge or from €475 for two people sharing a Deluxe room.
Readers should note content is subject to travel restrictions that may apply in some counties.