Our escapist fantasies may have taken a bit of a battering of late, but the good and clever people running some of Irelands nicest hotels and guest houses have been hard at work behind the scenes. Dreaming up offers, gifts and stays to store up for the future, youre spoiled for choice about where to go to get truly spoiled Assuming all goes to plan, Irelands hotels should be open over Christmas, for safe stays, but do confirm cancellation policies when booking.
A shopping break at Brooks is the opposite of a break from shopping. So for all those whove missed the magic of browsing, you get mulled wine and mince piece, dinner, bed and breakfast, plus discounts from retailers at selected stores from Georges Arcade to the Powerscourt Townhouse. From 219 pps, brookshotel.ie.
Brooks hotel
Wexfords Riverside Park is offering Winter Warmers, with prosecco, chocolates, and bed and breakfast from just 78 per room. Or swap the prosecco for an Irish coffee, and add dinner with a Couples Christmas Indulgence package from 193 per room. riversideparkhotel.com.
Galways Harbour Hotel has a three-night Christmas stay for 469 pps, including food and drinks. Youll be welcomed with mulled wine and mince pies, and entertained with live music and more Ho Ho Hos than you could shake a reindeer at. Children 195 for three nights, sharing. harbour.ie.
Find midlands magic at The Heritage in Co Laois. The Cosy Christmas includes one-night bed and breakfast, Christmas afternoon tea, festive movies (so you can squabble over the merits of Home Alone vs Elf) and a treat box including hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. From 159.00. theheritage.com.
The Mayson Hotel
Treat yourself or someone who thrives on glamorous dollops of neon and distressed brickwork to a Suite Life special at The Mayson, in Dublins Docklands. You get a fancy suite, including a copper bathtub, bottle of bubbly and all the Netflix your heart desires. From 400. Downgrade from a suite, and swap the bubbles for a bottle of wine, and you can still have good craic from 110. themayson.ie.
Dean Hotel Penthouse
If Mariah Carey is your idea of a good time, The Dean Dublins Very Mariah Christmas package includes a suite or penthouse, bubbly and snacks, a selection of vinyl to spin, and cocktails to ensure no ones too shy to sing along. From 125 pps, thedean.ie.
Lough Eske in Donegal is only gorgeous, and winter getaways start from 189, including a bottle of prosecco. In fact, youd be hard pushed to find a hotel not offering prosecco this season. Stay over Christmas itself with a four-night break including meals and a visit from Santa from 889 incl. Lough Eske also have a very beautiful private lodge, that you can book for your family, sleeping four in two bedrooms from 600 per night in a historic two-storey cottage by the lake. lougheskecastlehotel.com.
Sheen Falls
Head to the Kingdom over Christmas with two or three nights at Sheen Falls, including dinner and drinks, and add optional activities on the estate including horse riding, falconry and fishing. From 860 at Christmas and 554 pps for two nights over New Year. sheenfallslodge.ie.
Glengariffs Eccles is really lovely with sea views to cherish, whatever the weather. A one-night break with chef Eddie Atwells magic-on-a-plate for dinner, plus fireside mulled wine, and breakfast the next morning comes in at 280 for two at eccleshotel.com.
Mustard Seed Limerick
Set in 10 acres of parkland, The Mustard Seed in West Limerick is celebrating the 135th anniversary of the laying of the first brick. Once a parochial house, now a pet-friendly boutique hotel, a Tuesday night stay during December, including dinner and breakfast comes in at you got it 135. mustardseed.ie.
Okay, so the story of the Titanic doesnt end well, but the Titanic Hotel in Belfast is a very tasty option, particularly with their Gourmet Getaway package. From 320 per room including welcoming cocktails and snacks, followed by a six-course tasting menu. titanichotelbelfast.com.
Titanic Hotel Belfast
And if that sounds like youd need to work up an appetite check out the astonishing Gobbins Experience at Islandmagee, just half an hours drive from Belfast. Including cliff walks and undersea tunnels, its quite an adventure, whatever the weather. From £14.50. thegobbinscliffpath.com.
Killashee Hotel
The pastry chefs at County Kildares Killashee have been getting creative, so dive into afternoon tea including a pistachio Christmas tree, and snow-white macaroon, plus some savoury stuff for munching first to prove youve got restraint. 35 including prosecco, or takeaway for 22.50 for home snacking purposes. Sleepovers at the hotel, including a 10 per cent discount card for Kildare Village, afternoon tea and two-course dinner from 210. killasheehotel.com.
Galgorm Thermal Village
The Thermal Spa Village at the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort is adults only, so if you need some pure escape after the close proximity of those you love most, this could be the spot. Dinner, bed and breakfast from £130 pps. Add a soothing massage with options to boost inner strength (oh yes please), or relax and de-stress from £95. galgorm.com.
Once upon a time, Charles Dickens stayed at Corks Imperial Hotel. Make your own Christmas Carol with an Imperial takeaway Christmas dinner for 150 for two, including a donation to Corks Simon Community. Or ring in the New Year (and who wont be glad to see the back of 2020?) for a two-night break including dinner and champagne on New Years Eve from 238 pps. imperialhotelcork.com.
Probably the simplest of presents, the Go Anywhere Gift Card can be purchased in denominations from 50.00 up. With hundreds of participating hotels and guesthouses, youre giving the gifts of anticipation and choice. irelandhotels.com.
The Cliff hotels do things really well, and they can also do all your shopping for you with the Cliff Home collection of goodies. From pyjamas at 190 (theyre really nice) to a Good Night In Gift Box for 75, plus foodie hampers from 95 and supper boxes from 55. its a curated selection of great loveliness. We also love the groovy growing Christmas Cards to delight green fingered kids for 6.40, cliffhome.ie.
Adare Manor is also offering you the chance to enjoy some of five-star luxuries at home, with its online boutique offering luxe white Adare Manor bathrobes (15) and slippers, candles, reed diffusers and linen sprays, teddy bears and treats, or go all out with its Dreaming of Adare package (250) to recreate a stay at the hotel until you can make it there in person. adaremanor.com
Pamper Post is a lovely idea from the Fota Island Resort. Gift a three or six month subscription for a monthly spa treatment at the resort. Three months for 245. Not in the vicinity? You can also shop online for spa smellies and unguents by Comfort Zone, Voya and Vita Liberata from 18. fotaisland.ie.
Ashford Castle monopoly
Land on the Helipad, and hope you can stay out of Jail with Ashford Castles very own Monopoly set. At 95, its one of the classy gifts available from the exceptionally classy hotel. Or check out Paula Rowan lambskin gloves for 165, delicious Rathborne scented candles for 54, and a branded wallet (to hold your Monopoly money perhaps?) for 39.95, ashfordcastle.com.
And if all that inspires you to go wild, Insight Vacations have a new Ireland in Style trip, where you can make like a very wealthy tourist and take in Ashford Castle, Mount Juliet, the Killarney Park and more over six days in April for, wait for it 2,529 pps. insightvacations.com.
Not quite ready for a spa sleepover? You can still gift hotel-inspired pampering and luxe with the Marker Spas choices including Elemental Herbologys Water Soothe Bathing Ritual for 60, or a Metal Longevity Complete Collection (the mind boggles) for 144 at themarkerhotelshop.com.
Dromoland Tarot Cocktail Cards
Missing the sweet scent of suites? Dromoland Castle has you covered. The Fragrance of Dromoland by La Bougie comes in at 35, or go slightly wilder with the Tarot Card Collection, a set of cocktail recipes by the hotels mixologist, that double up as cards from the Major Arcana. Deal them out, shake them up and see the future? Who knows 95 at dromoland.ie.
For a taste of seasonal luxury, The Westbury Hotel in Dublin has launched its first Christmas shop, with delicious treats, gorgeous collectibles, glassware and lots more available for delivery nationwide. Theres cashmere throws from Johnstons of Elgin (765), signature The Westbury Bergamot candles (40) and blend teas (8.95) or decorate your home with a handmade wreath (from 69). doylecollection.com.
Fans of Dingles Castlewood House (and there are many of them!) may also love the artworks by Castlewood owner, Helens mum, Irene Woods. Find prints from 70, and original oils of the surrounding landscape for 370. Or opt for the real thing, and get a gift voucher for the lovely guesthouse, starting at 100 and valid for five years. castlewooddingle.com.
Merrion Hotel
Outdoor dining in December? At The Merrion, its guaranteed to be a cosy experience, as Dublins finest has installed a series of cabanas on the garden terrace, complete with heaters and blankets. Gift vouchers start at 25, and afternoon tea in a cabana is 59, or a three-course feast from 55. Cabanas seat two to five people. merrionhotel.com.
Nothing says sorry like a present of a spa session, so if youve spent lockdown winding someone up, go for a Monart Gift Card. Overnight stays at the County Wexford well-being spot, including dinner, and thermal spa access are from 199 pps. Vouchers are available in denominations of 50, with no expiry date which could definitely come in handy for 2021 and beyond but we bet they wont want to wait too long. monart.ie.

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