Pack your broomsticks for a treat
The Halloween break spells value, with some fantastic offers in hotels around the country, writes Lucinda O'Sullivan
THE October Bank Holiday and mid-term break is upon us and it offers a great opportunity to get away with or without the family before the weather gets cold and wintry.
Memories are made of times like this; be it children jumping in and out of a hotel pool, dressing up on Halloween, or just a relaxed time away. With great breaks and offers all over the country, treat yourself -- you deserve it.
Dublin offers so much to do and see. Fitzpatrick's Castle Hotel in Killiney has a Halloween family package of 2BB1D for two adults and two children (u12s) at €430. Plus wine, chocolates and a kid's spooky gift on arrival and a third night's accommodation free! The Beacon Hotel in Sandyford, close to the M50 and Luas, has a 'Dine Out, Stay Out' 1BB1D at €70 pps. At the ultra-cool dylan Hotel, it is €94.50 pps for 1BB. In College Green, the five-star Westin Dublin Hotel is offering accommodation from €90 pps between October 29 and 31.
At the sweet little Aldridge Lodge at Duncannon, Co Wexford, where Billy Whitty cooks up a storm, you can have 2BB1D for €115 or 1BB1D midweek €75 pps; weekend €80.
Fota Island Hotel & Spa in Co Cork on October 30 has a family package with adjoining rooms at €400 to include bed, breakfast and a three-course dinner in its Fota restaurant for the adults, whilst the children will enjoy a Halloween buffet, pumpkin carving, fancy dress and a disco. The Garryvoe Hotel overlooking Ballycotton Bay in Co Cork has a Halloween midweek special from October 25-29 with 3BB1D at €269 pps including Little Pumpkin party games and a family day ticket to Trabolgan Holiday Village or Fota Wildlife Park (packed lunch supplied).
Kinsale will be holding a Halloween Festival from October 28-31 with scary movies around town on Scary Thursday and a Progressive Pub Trail on Freaky Friday. The Ghost Tour of the town will also be on each night. Shocktober Saturday will have a Halloween Street Parade and Voodoo Club, Halloween Sunday culminates in a Michael Jackson Thriller Show. At the Trident Hotel, a 2BB1D break midweek is €99 pps or weekend €109 pps. At the Blue Haven Hotel or Old Bank House you can have 1BBD at €80 or 2BB1D for €140 pps. Further west in Baltimore, Youen and Kate Jacob's Waterfront Hotel is offering 3BB including €20 off, per head, on dinner in the Lookout restaurant and a bottle of house wine at €150 pps/€180 pps.
The fantastic Dunraven Arms Hotel in beautiful Adare, Co Limerick, has something special for both adults and children. The hotel is offering a rate of €120 pps for 2BB with up to two children free from October 24-29.
At the Lodge at Doonbeg in Co Clare, children can have Halloween dinner together while their parents enjoy dinner in Darby's bar and restaurant from October 24 to November 1. One night for four people is €480 and two nights is €950. Dromoland Castle in Co Clare has a 'kids stay and eat free' package; a three-night break for two adults and two children sharing (under 12s) from October 24-28 is €585. On Halloween weekend, there is a two-night special for two adults and two children sharing at €375 per adult. Pack your broom and costumes for all the Halloween activities.
At the gorgeous Carrig House, overlooking Caragh Lake in Co Kerry, the Halloween weekend break is from €199 pps 2BB2D, plus a third night's BB free, plus the choice of free beach horse-ride, a round of golf at a local course, or a full-body massage.
The five-star Europe Hotel in Killarney from October 26-31 has a BB rate of €110 pps with a complimentary upgrade to a Lakeview bedroom. At the fabulous Aghadoe Heights Hotel, 2BB1D for two adults and two children is €590. Adults dine in the Lake Room whilst children have High Tea at 6pm and spend the evening at Spooky's Club.
In Kenmare, the great boutique-style Brook Lane Hotel, where breakfast is available up to 11am, is offering a three-night BB1 D from €239 pps.
The gorgeous arts and crafts-style Renvyle House Hotel out on Renvyle Point in Connemara is a haven of friendliness, fun and food, presided over by the brilliant Ronnie Counihan. It has 2BB1D/3BB2D breaks at €165/€249 pps from October 25-28. From Friday, October 29, a 2BB1D rate is €195 pps. Family rates are available from the hotel and it has a free Kids Club. Also in Connemara, at Delphi Mountain Resort, you can have a fantastic time from €189 pps, €70 per child sharing, and a "full day of adrenaline-pumping activities". This is a great place for families who like action and adventure.
In Donegal, the splendid Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa right on the fantastic Rosnowlagh Beach is doing a Pamper & Surf Break at €199 pps for 2BB and one gourmet dinner. Plus a free surf lesson and a back massage! Over at Lough Eske in Harvey's Point Hotel, a really grown-up place, a special October offer of two nights' BB plus a third night free in an executive suite is available at €198 pps.
In Co Mayo, the Moylett family, which owns the Downhill Hotel in Ballina, is celebrating 75 years in business this year. Its great family Spooks Special break is €249 for two adults plus two children (u12) from October 24- 28. In Ballina at Mount Falcon on October 30, you can have one night's BB in a superior room and an early evening meal at €185 pp, but the big excitement here is a soiree of mediumship with local psychic healer Phil Rice, and the proceeds are being shared with the ISPCA.
Next door to Ashford Castle, Lisloughrey Lodge in Cong, Co Mayo, has a 'Trick or Treat' offer of 1BB with dinner for two in the Malt Brasserie for a total of €170. Stay an extra night for €100.
In Westport, the neighbouring sister hotels the Westport Plaza and the Castlecourt Hotel have mid-term breaks from October 25-30 with all-in family packages for two adults and two children (u12s) at €575 and €499 respectively for 3BB2D. A fully supervised 'Buzz Club' will provide entertainment all week for children aged five to 12 years starting in the morning from 10am to 3pm and from 6pm to 11pm at night.
Knockranny House Hotel in Westport is celebrating its Hotel & Catering Review award of best four-star hotel 2010 with one night's BB and an eight-course tasting menu by Seamus Commons in La Fougere restaurant at €130 pps up to the end of November.
Sligo Live Sessions Music Festival takes place from October 21-25 with over 100 gigs, the majority of which are free. Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Stranglers and Republic of Loose are among the acts who will be playing. The Glasshouse Hotel in Sligo is doing a great rate of 2BB1D at €120 pps or 2BB pps for €95. In Galway at The Twelve Hotel in Bearna, families can arrive on October 29 for three nights of "spine-tingling fun". Cost is €539 for a family of four sharing, with dinner on one evening in Pins Bar Bistro.
Bailey's Hotel in the centre of Cashel has a Sunday to Thursday rate until the end of October for €199 for 2BB1D. At Coolbawn Quay Lakeshore Spa, on the shores of Lough Derg in Co Tipperary, over the Bank Holiday weekend you get 2BB1D for €169 pps and a third night's accommodation free. At the gorgeous Ashley Park Country House outside Nenagh, they can organise a Halloween dinner party for you with accommodation as well as dinner for €95 pps.
In Tullamore, Co Offaly, the four-star Bridge House Hotel, whose restaurant is recommended in the Michelin Guide, has a four-night stay, with an array of activities in its kids camp, for €530 for two adults and two children (u12). This includes two dinners.
The D Hotel in Drogheda, overlooking the River Boyne, has a package from October 22-31 including 2BB1D at €139 per adult with two children sharing free -- plus four invitations to Granny Ghostley's Halloween Party.
Lawks, Sir Percy, what fun!