Monday 26 September 2016

Luxury for less: How to stay in a five-star hotel for less than €100pp

Travel Tips

Published 28/04/2015 | 07:38

Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal
Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal
The Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin
The five star Laois hotel which is located off the M7 Motorway is an hour's drive from Dublin and comes with a Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course
A stylish bedroom in The Dylan Hotel
A golfer on the Doonbeg Golf Links course and hotel in Co Clare yesterday

We all love a little bit of luxury. Paying for it? Not so much. Here's how to nab a five-star hotel at four-star prices.

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Five-star hotels can cost a pretty penny.

Just ask anyone booking a room at Ballyfin (from €635 per double) or Ashford Castle (from €495), two of the country's most expensive top-end properties.

But they don’t have to be.

A little sleuthing goes a long way when it comes to booking hotels, and anyone prepared to put in time online, travel midweek (Sunday through Thursday) and share a room should be able to make significant savings... even on a single night.

Here are five deals to get you started - just bear in mind that prices are based on two people sharing, rather than the total price per room.

€89.50pp: Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway

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Galway's Glenlo Abbey Hotel

Glenlo Abbey has B&B in its classic king rooms from €179 midweek in May. These come kitted out with king size-beds and luxury touches such as marble en-suite bathrooms with power showers & Orla Kiely amenities. The rooms offer views of the 138-acre lakeside estate, too... boasting the closest golf course to Galway.

Details: 091 519600; glenloabbeyhotel.ie

€89.50: Dylan Hotel, Dublin

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Dublin's Dylan Hotel

While you can score great rates on sites like Hotels.com and Booking.com, it often pays to go directly to the hotel website itself. The Dylan in Dublin, for instance, has midweek rooms starting from €179 in May and June (with the occasional option for €170). Note, however, that the advance purchase rates are non-refundable.

Details: 01 660-3000; dylan.ie

€81.66pp: Solis Lough Eske, Co. Donegal

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Donegal's Solis Lough Eske Castle

Hoping to linger longer than one night? Donegal's Solis Lough Eske Castle is currently offering three nights for the price of two (€490 per room), effectively buying you each night for €81.66pp. Sounds like bean-counting, but when it nabs you a five-star break, who cares? Sheen Falls Lodge (sheenfallslodge.ie) in Kenmare has a similar 3-for2 offer running until May 28, with a total price of €540 (i.e. €90pp per night).

Details: 074 972-5100; solishotels.com.

€89.50pp: The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin

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Dublin's Fitzwilliam Hotel

The Fitzwilliam Hotel's 'Just Sleep' package is advertised as "hands-down" its best deal, offering an overnight stay in one of Dublin's top hotels "in a super-luxurious, five-star signature guestroom with complimentary Wi-Fi and mineral water" from €89.50pp (based on two sharing). You can upgrade to add a full Irish breakfast from €209.

Details: 01 478-7000; fitzwilliamhoteldublin.com

€92.50pp: Trump International, Doonbeg

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The former Lodge at Doonbeg

Donald may be a billionaire, but you don't have to be to stay at a Classic Links Room at his five-star Co. Clare resort. The former Lodge at Doonbeg currently has B&B rates from €185 per room, based on midweek stays in the Links cottages, promising "some of the most comfortable beds you will ever have the pleasure to sleep in". The cottages are a 10-minute walk from The Lodge itself, however.

Details: 065 905-5600; trumphotelcollection.com

PS: €110pp at The Heritage, Co. Laois

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Golfing in Killenard

Can you squeeze an extra tenner out of the piggy bank? Right now, €110pp will buy you an overnight B&B break at The Heritage in Killenard, Co. Laois... with dinner included. The deal includes a Table d’hôte menu in the Arlington restaurant, as well as access to the hotel's leisure facilities.

Details:  057 864-5500; theheritage.com

As you can see, the keys to saving on hotel costs are flexibility with dates, sharing a room and shopping around. It's worth calling the hotel before you book too, just in case a cheaper rate is available on the phone.

Packages can often offer better value all round - even if they look more expensive on face value - and don't be afraid to negotiate, either, particularly on Sunday to Wednesday nights.

Other tips?

Try the special offers section on irelandhotels.com (the Irish Hotel Federation's booking site), or take a look at fivestarireland.com and the last-minute booking app, Hotel Tonight. Going to press, it had the blue Book Gregan's Castle from just €199 per room for the night of booking.

NB: All rates are subject to availability/change.

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