Tuesday 23 July 2019

Top 10 Valentine's Day escapes - best sneaky short breaks for 2019

Looking for a sweetheart deal on a short break this V-Day? Nicola Brady has a romantic getaway for every price point...

The Cliff House
The Cliff House
Renvyle House, Connemara
Kilronan Castle
Layla's rooftop bar and restaurant
Easy to love: Romantic Ballymaloe House
Kilronan Castle Drawing Room
An aerial view of the Hodson Bay Hotel
St. John's Point
A luxurious suite at the Seafield Golf & Spa
A plush suite at the Morgan Hotel

Nicola Brady

Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse for a sneaky staycation. Nicola Brady picks 10 of the best romantic getaways in Ireland this year.

1. Romance in Renvyle

Renvyle House, Connemara

Where: Connemara, Co Galway

Why: What would Valentine's Day be without a nice glass of wine, eh? Well, get ready to indulge at Renvyle House Hotel, as it's hosting a 'Gastronomy and Wines of Loire Valley Weekend' the day after Valentine's. Hole up in this super-cosy Connemara hideaway and enjoy fine wine tastings with the vineyard owners, and a banquet dinner on the Saturday. (For more on the wines featured, see page 39).

How: A two-night B&B package costs from €398, based on a stay from February 15-17; renvyle.com

2. Devlin's advocate

Layla's rooftop bar and restaurant

Where: Ranelagh, Dublin

Why: If you're a wee bit cynical about the lovey-dovey side of V-Day, then a trip to the cinema is the perfect, low-key option. Make things a bit special with a night away in Dublin's new kid on the block, The Devlin in Ranelagh. Its Unplugged Package includes a night with breakfast, welcome drink, €20 credit voucher, late checkout and two tickets to their own swish 44-seater Stella Theatre. And don't worry - the movie that night is Can You Ever Forgive Me, so the evening can remain free of sappiness.

How: The Devlin's one-night 'Unplugged Package' costs from €215 per room; thedevlin.ie.

More: First Look: Inside The Devlin, Ranelagh's new boutique hotel and cinema

3. Coastal light

St. John's Point

Where: St John's Point, Co Donegal

Why: If the thought of spending Valentine's Day surrounded by other moony-eyed couples leaves you feeling a bit queasy, ditch the crowds and run away to St John's Point, a fantastically remote lighthouse in Donegal. There are two lightkeepers' cottages, where you can curl up by the open fire, soak in a roll-top bath and cook up a romantic feast, without clapping eyes on another soul.

How: A two-night break in the Schooner cottage starts at €422 (with an extra 20pc discount); irishlandmark.com

More: What's it like to stay at a lighthouse on the Wild Atlantic Way?

4. Cupid's Castle

Kilronan Castle Drawing Room

Where: Kilronan Castle, Co Leitrim

Why: You can't beat an Irish castle for a loved-up getaway, and Leitrim's Kilronan Castle always comes up trumps. Grab a cocktail from the bar and cosy up on one of their plush fireside couches, or head down to the spa for a glorious circuit of steams, saunas and vitality pools (€15pp). The Valentine's offer includes a special dinner, full breakfast and a bottle of bubbly and single red rose in your room.

How: Kilronan's Valentine's offer starts from €290; kilronancastle.ie

More: Review: Kilronan Castle, Co. Roscommon

5. Paws for thought

The Cliff House

Where: Ardmore, Co Waterford

Why: If you love your partner, but maybe love your dog even more, then this is the break for you. Head off to the gorgeous Cliff House Hotel and you can bring your pup along, for homemade doggy treats, long walks on the cliffs and paddles in the sea (they even get their own fluffy towel). There are dog-friendly packages available at sister property Cliff at Lyons in Co Kildare, too.

How: A one-night 'Sandy Paws' package at the Cliff House starts from €284 B&B; cliffhousehotel.ie

More: The Fab 50: Ireland's 50 best places to stay for 2018

6. Saucy Shangarry

Easy to love: Romantic Ballymaloe House

Where: Shanagarry, Co Cork

Why: Ballymaloe House was named Ireland's Favourite Foodie Experience in our Reader Travel Awards 2019, so why not combine food and romance on a short break? You'll find a half bottle of pink champagne in your room, and enjoy a lavish three-course dinner in the evening. Don't forget to leave room for the dessert trolley.

How: Ballymaloe's one-night Valentine's Escape with dinner and breakfast costs from €355; ballymaloe.ie

More: 'It tastes like food should' - Ballymaloe named Ireland's Favourite Foodie Experience

7. Marlfield magic

Duck Lodge (bedroom) at Marlfield House, Co. Wexford

Where: Gorey, Co Wexford

Why: There's nothing more romantic than snuggling up in front of a roaring fire, and there are plenty of them to choose from at Marlfield House. The Blue Book bolthole's Valentine's package includes a three-course, candlelit dinner in The Duck Restaurant, and a slap-up breakfast the following morning. When you arrive, there'll be a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates waiting for you in your room, too.

How: Find Marlfield's Valentine's offer from €320 on irelandsbluebook.com or see marlfieldhouse.com

8. Shop 'til you drop

A plush suite at the Morgan Hotel

Where: Temple Bar, Dublin

Why: Fresh out of a jazzy new refurb, The Morgan is a super sleek option for a city break in Dublin. On Valentine's Day, it's offering a stonking eight-course tasting menu for dinner, after which you'd only have to toddle up the stairs to your dreamily plush bed. The package also includes breakfast, late checkout and an upgrade, if available.

How: The Valentine's package costs from €280. A separate, 'Stay and Shop 'Til You Drop' package bundles B&B with a personal shopping experience at Arnotts from €169 per room. themorgan.com

More: First Look: Inside The Morgan's €15 million reboot

9. Hot stays at Hodson Bay

hodson bay hotel aerial.jpg
An aerial view of the Hodson Bay Hotel

Where: Athlone, Co Westmeath

Why: You don't need to spend a fortune to nip away for the night. At Hodson Bay Hotel there are room-only rates from €69, but a Valentine's package also offers great value for money - for €74 per person you'll get an overnight stay, a special four-course dinner in L'Escale Restaurant with pink bubbles, a full breakfast and a €10 spa voucher each.

How: A one-night package at the Hodson Bay Hotel costs from €148; hodsonbayhotel.com

More: Ireland's Hidden Heartlands: Top 10 things to do in Ireland's newest tourism region

10. Slip away to seafield

A luxurious suite at the Seafield Golf & Spa

Where: Ballymoney, Co Wexford

Why: Fancy spending Valentine's Day drifting around in a bathrobe? Then a spa break at Seafield Hotel is your best bet. Its 'Timeless Romance' package includes a candlelit dinner for two and a glass of Prosecco each in the Greenroom Restaurant, and you can spend the day dipping in between the thermal suites and hydrotherapy pool in Oceo Spa. Bliss.

How: A one-night package costs from €230, including dinner and breakfast; seafieldhotel.com

More: 'A little bit of heaven' - Six best spas in Ireland, according to you

NB: All prices subject to change/availability.

Read more:

12 most unusual places to stay in Ireland - from bubble domes to a self-catering pub

Weekend Magazine

Editors Choice

Also in Life