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...
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
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
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.
3. Coastal light
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
4. Cupid's Castle
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
5. Paws for thought
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
6. Saucy Shangarry
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
7. Marlfield magic
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
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
9. Hot stays at Hodson Bay
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
10. Slip away to seafield
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
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