Sunday 18 February 2018

Cracking breaks on offer over the Easter holidays

You won't have to shell out too much for an Easter or May bank holiday weekend break, says Lucinda O'Sullivan

PLANNING to take an Easter break in Ireland? You'll be spoiled for choice as hotels around the country gear up to offer families a smashing time.

In Limerick the chic and stylish No 1 Pery Square, in the Georgian Quarter of the city, promises a Pandora Easter Feast. Just €139pps gets you a really classy 2BB1D in the excellent Brasserie One, plus complimentary tea and scones on arrival in the magnificent drawingroom. There will be a special visit from local chocolatier and Easter Bunny, Pandora Bell, who will create delicious handmade chocolate eggs with real hens' eggshells, handpainted for guests. Accommodation is in the hotel's club rooms, but if you wish you can upgrade to a period room for €50.

In Adare, at the Dunraven Arms the kids can enjoy supervised aqua activities in the leisure centre, movie nights, high tea in the conservatory and an Easter Sunday egg hunt in the gardens. The cost for 2BB1EM is €140pps. Children aged 2-12 sharing an adults' room stay free, with two complimentary high teas. All other children's meals are charged accordingly.

Out at Ennis at The Old Ground Hotel, 3BB1D is great value, from only €159pps. The hotel has luxurious rooms, and there is lots to see.

Dromoland Castle's package of €475 per adult includes 3BB2D with two children free if sharing with adults.

In Galway at the five-star G Hotel, over the Easter and May bank holiday weekends 2BB1D costs from €225pps on the Friday and Saturday nights, and from €190pp on the bank holiday Sunday.

The Galway Bay Hotel is offering 2BB1D for two adults sharing with children from €335.

The Renvyle House hotel in Connemara has a three-day pre-Easter action-packed family break (2+2 sharing family room), from Sunday, April 17, at €599, to include 3BB2D for the adults and 3BB3 kids' teas. The activity programme includes a drama night, storytelling, and daily Easter egg hunts. Supervised childminding is available every evening from 5.30pm to 9.30 pm. The Easter weekend package commences on Good Friday, at €375pps for 3BB2D. Family rates are also available.

If you want to expend some real energy this Easter, try a family break at Delphi Mountain Resort in Connemara. There, you can stay in specially designed family accommodation and challenge yourselves to a wide variety of outdoor activities -- including kayaking, zip wire and abseiling. Five nights in a family room with all breakfasts and four dinners, plus four lunches, costs €999. Activities cost extra and can be booked to suit your specific itinerary.

In Co Mayo, Ashford Castle has a number of packages: from 2BB and one five-course dinner in the George V room at €395pps; to 3BB and one dinner in the George V room and one dinner in Cullen's at the Dungeon for €605pps. Supervised Easter fun for children costs €50 per child per day.

Lisloughrey Lodge, which is now under the management of Ashford Castle, has 2BB1D at €160pps in a duplex suite, including a family dinner one evening in its Malt restaurant. Under-12s go free.

At the sweet little Fairhill House Hotel at Clonbur, near Cong, you can have a two- night special for Easter, arriving on Friday 22 or Saturday 23 April, for only €99pps, with dinner on the second night.

In Claremorris at the four-star McWilliam Park Hotel, an Easter family break for four (2+2 under-12s) of 2BB1EM costs €269 midweek or €299 at the weekend. Alternatively, family rooms only are €89 per night. The Bizzie Bees Kids' Club will be in action for a nominal charge of €5. Special rates for hotel guests are on offer at Graune Pet Farm and Westport House.

In Westport at the four-star Castlecourt Hotel, where the kids' Buzz Club operates Monday--Thursday, a family break with 3BB2EM for two adults and two under-12s costs €389. Easter weekend itself has a 3BB2EM deal from €269pps, while over the May bank holiday weekend 3BB2EM deals start at €249pps.

At its sister hotel, the Westport Plaza, the family break as above of 3BB2EM is €509. The Easter weekend 3BB2EM is from €299pps, and the May bank holiday break offering 3BB2EM is from €269pps.

At the pretty and friendly boutique Wyatt Hotel at the Octagon, an Eggcellent Easter weekend offer of 2BB1D at €129pps is available. An Easter family break can be had from 18-28 April for €109 per room per night (2+2 under-12s). May bank holiday weekend 2BB1D costs €139pps.

Out at the Mulranny Park Hotel en route to Achill Island, an Easter midweek family break (2+2 under-12s) is available: 2BB1D/3BB2D costs €399/€599. A supervised Wild Woolies Kids' Club is available all week, with shell hunts, nature walks, kids' tea and much more. Third child complimentary BB. Easter weekend rates are €199 for 2BB1D and €269pps for 3BB2D.

In Donegal, feel the Atlantic winds on your face as you stride the magnificent Rossnowlagh beach. Right on the beach is the legendary Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa which was taken over by the popular general manager Paul Diver and his team a couple of years ago. The Sandhouse has great seafood, and really nice staff. Have 2BB1D and a free facial in the Marine Spa for €169pps.

Up in Belfast, The Merchant Hotel has a Sunday--Thursday offer from the 17--27 April for two adults at £340, to include 2BB and one dinner in Bert's Jazz Bar. You can also bring two children, who will have complimentary accommodation and breakfast if sharing with parents.

If you want to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day, you can do that in style on April 29 when the Merchant will be hosting a Royal Wedding afternoon with big screen, afternoon tea, and Champagne; £39.50 pp.

Get planning that trip now.

Sunday Independent

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