Suites for my sweet: 10 Irish getaways for Valentine’s
We dug deep into Ireland’s Blue Book to compile this romantic destination guide
Gregans Castle: The Martyn Suite
The Ice House: The Bartra Suite
Marlfield House: The Stopford Room
Castle Durrow: The Lady Sarah
Hayfield Manor: The Grand Suite
Castle Leslie: The Desmond Suite
The Wineport Lodge: The Champagne Suite
The Merrion Hotel: The Lord Monck and Lord Antrim Suites
Longueville House: The Vineyard Suite
Newforge House: The Hanna Room
This Valentine’s forgo chocolate and flowers and bundle your sweetheart off to one of these sumptuous suites from Ireland’s Blue Book. True luxury can make romance all the sweeter and these beautiful destinations epitomise the type of place you check in to and never want to leave.
The Blue Book is packed with ideas for romantic destinations, offering special offers and packages. These are 10 of our favourites in spectacular locations across the country.
GREGANS CASTLE: THE MARTYN SUITE
Both JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis were regular guests of the Martyn family, who were the original owners of the house in the 1950s. The Martyn Suite was once the great kitchen of the house, dating from 1750. Here, Tolkien and Lewis would have sat by the fire having a drink and chatting with Frank Martyn (the man of the house).
Located in the Burren, with stunning views of Galway bay, this hotel is the perfect luxury getaway with a range of great activities in the Burren, the nearby Cliffs of Moher, cycling and surfing. The room has a showstopper of a four-poster bed and beautiful original features have been preserved, like the huge cut stone fireplace in the light and bright sitting room and beautiful oak ceilings and a romantic private courtyard garden. If you’re dreaming of open fires, gourmet cooking and bracing views of the Atlantic outside, this is the perfect choice for your romantic getaway.
A: Gregans Castle, The Burren, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare
T: +353 (0) 65 7077005
THE ICE HOUSE: THE BARTRA SUITE
Make your way out west to the stunning Ice House on the banks of the Moy in Ballina and treat yourself and your beloved to The Bartra Suite. The Ice House’s rooms are special as they sweetly connect the history of the building to the best of modern luxury.
The views over the River Moy make for a gorgeous vista, from your suite or with dinner in their renowned restaurant, which was the original and atmospheric vaulted Ice Store. The little extras are what really makes it stand out for a romantic weekend away; monsoon showers, antique sinks and cedar wood bath, underfloor heating, goose down duvets and pillows and VOYA products. The Chill Spa is excellent for a little pampering treatment, or treat yourself to a glass of bubbly in one of their outdoor hot tubs overlooking the river, you won’t regret it.
A: The Ice House, The Quay, Ballina, Co Mayo
T: +353 (0) 96 23500
MARFIELD HOUSE: THE STOPFORD ROOM
There is something particularly romantic about a four-poster bed for a romantic getaway and The Stopford Room’s is quite something to behold at this a luxury country-house hotel in Wexford.
Director Laura Bowe shared this story of how this room became the romantic setting for a proposal: “A lovely couple dropped in for an alfresco lunch in summer, 2015. As the day went on they enquired about staying the night. We offered them our only remaining room, the Stopford, and they enjoyed a romantic meal that evening. This year on the same date they returned to the Stopford room. In advance of their arrival we were given specific instructions by the gentleman to set the scene for a proposal. While they were having a sundowner cocktail, we went to work in the Stopford room, lighting the fire and lots of candles. Canapes and champagne on ice were set by the fire and 100 white roses in two enormous vases flanked the fire, and petals were scattered across the bed while romantic music played. The scene was set for a very romantic engagement. They have since booked their wedding with us for the same date this year, that’s the magic of Marlfield.”
A: Marlfield House Hotel & Restaurant, Courtown Road R742, Gorey, Co Wexford
T: +353 (0) 53 9421124
CASTLE DURROW: THE LADY SARAH
Castle Durrow is the type of place you check in to and immediately exhale. Being greeted with soft lighting and stunning interior features before you’ve even reached your room lets you know you are in for a special romantic treat. The Lady Sarah suite has glorious high ceilings, full-length sash windows, antique furniture and the star of the show, a huge four-poster bed.
Built in 1716, by Viscount Ashbrook, by the river Erkina and later restored by Shelly and Peter Stokes, it’s located about one hour from Dublin and one and a half hours from Cork. If you can tear yourself away from the room, there are lovely walks around the estate’s woodlands and river pathways. If you want a little extra pampering, they also have their Powder Box Salon. The walled garden has a bounty of organic produce which is used in their excellent restaurant, where you can whisper sweet nothings that evening.
A: Castle Durrow, Durrow, Co Laois
T: +353 (0) 57 8736555
HAYFIELD MANOR: THE GRAND SUITE
CASTLE LESLIE: THE DESMOND SUITE
One of Ireland’s most elegant and special places to stay, Monaghan’s Castle Leslie Estate, is one of the last great Irish castle estates being run by its founding family. The history, character and charm of the Castle, along with the peaceful surrounding woods and lakes on the estate make it ideal for romance and as the Leslies describe it themselves “just 80 minutes from Dublin, 60 minutes from Belfast, and a million miles from anywhere.”
This gorgeous suite is named after the charming and effervescent Desmond Leslie, father of Samantha Leslie who now runs it. Ensure to try their afternoon tea by a roaring fire and a dinner in Snaffles restaurant. Castle Leslie is perfect for those with a passion for horse-riding too, welcoming riding enthusiasts of all levels. Or if you just want a refuge with great food, welcoming hospitality, and lazy breakfasts and their Victorian Treatment rooms for relaxation, this is the one for you.
A: Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Co Monaghan
Tel: +353 (0) 47 88100
THE WINEPORT LODGE: THE CHAMPAGNE SUITE
The name says it all, you know you are going for all out sparkling luxury in the finest room in the idyllic Wineport Lodge. From the moment you open the door to this light, spacious suite set over two floors with a mezzanine floating bedroom, you are in for a very special stay. The Champagne Suite has a wonderful contemporary fireplace, original artworks and spectacular views over Lough Ree in Glasson, Westmeath. The luxury and the warm hospitality of Wineport will make your stay feel all the more relaxed. Seasonal, delicious food is served in their restaurant and there’s nothing sweeter than seeing the sun go down on the lake while you dine. Relax in your suite with its goose down duvets and pillows and cradle bath in the bathroom with underfloor heating. They have a Treatment Suite or grab a bottle of Champagne and head to their outdoor hot tub to take in the stars with your loved one.
A: Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Athlone, Co Westmeath
T: +353 (0) 90 6439010
THE MERRION HOTEL: THE LORD MONCK AND LORD ANTRIM SUITES
There is something extra special about walking up those renowned steps and into the Merrion Hotel lobby, especially if you’re hand in hand with your partner. It’s steeped in prestige and history and The Lord Monck and Lord Antrim Suites are the finest five star hotel suites in Dublin's city centre.
The Lord Antrim Suite overlooks Government Buildings, while the Lord Monck Suite shows off the hotel’s private landscaped gardens. This glorious Georgian hotel gives you opulence and five star treatment right in the heart of Dublin city with theatre, shops, pubs and activities a stone’s throw from the door. And when it comes to dining, push the boat out by booking a romantic meal in Ireland’s only two star Michelin Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, or their Cellar Restaurant offers elegant gourmet dining.
A: The Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
T: +353 (0) 1 6030600
LONGUEVILLE HOUSE: THE VINEYARD SUITE
The Vineyard Suite is the type of room you arrive into and wish you never had to leave. A spacious room, beautifully decorated in traditional country house style it has a king size bed and separate sitting area, free from the intrusion of television. It overlooks the vine pergola and courtyard of the house. The large marble bathroom has a walk-in shower and separate luxury-sized bath. Built in 1720, Longueville is set in 500 acres of wooded estate in the heart of the Blackwater Valley. The Presidents Restaurant and the restored Victorian Turner Conservatory are both excellent for food during your stay. If you can tear yourself away from it, it is an ideal base for golf, exploring the picturesque south west or fishing on the River Blackwater. Or you can just enjoy a romantic relaxing stay lounging by the gorgeous open fires.
A: Longueville House, Mallow, Co Cork
T: +353 (0) 22 47156
NEWFORGE HOUSE: THE HANNA ROOM
The sumptuous Hanna Room is the most romantic room in this five-star Georgian Country house in the village of Magheralin. It has everything you could desire for your romantic break with an opulent four-poster bed, a uniquely quirky bathroom, an original fireplace and gorgeous antiques.
The bedroom and bathroom have impressively elegant floor-to-ceiling windows and the luxurious marble bathroom has a large bath and separate shower. Built in 1785, extensive yet sensitive, restoration works were undertaken over two years before John and Louise Mathers opened to guests in 2005. The house retains period features and antiques with modern comforts ensuring a relaxing stay. Exceptional food is a huge part of the Newforge experience with seasonal produce and meals to leave you with wonderful memories of your romantic retreat.
A: Newforge House, Magheralin, Co Armagh, BT67 0QL
T: +44 (0) 28 92611255
For more information visit www.irelandsbluebook.com
Please note, some of these properties may be booked out for Valentine's.