Review: Powerscourt Hotel, Co. Wicklow
One Night Stand: It may be just 30 minutes from Dublin, but the Powerscourt Hotel feels like you've been spirited away to a country retreat.
HIGHLIGHTS: The list runs long. This is, after all, one of the country’s premier five-star hotels. We’ll make a shortlist, though.
The staff, who are a working example of five-star efficiency with none of the pomp.
The classic grandeur of the bedrooms (wise interior designers know this look never dates and it makes a refreshing change from the soulless minimalism of high-design alternatives).
The ESPA spa treatments (hands down one of the best spa ranges), the 20-metre Swarovski crystal-lit heated pool (pictured) in which every lap feels luxurious and the invigorating hot-cold Hammam suite.
Elsewhere, it would be rude not to mention the huge bathtabs (and the recessed televisions) in the bathrooms and the theatricality of room service — all old-school trollies and dome cloches — because, let’s face it, some people check in to hotels simply to enjoy a leisurely soak and dinner under the covers.
The very best part of the Powerscourt experience, though, is the rates, which are something of a best-kept secret among the savvy.
LOWLIGHTS: The rooms are arranged on different sides of the hotel, with access from two different lifts. This can prove a touch confusing when travelling in large groups, or after one too many in the bar.
BEST FOR: Nature-lovers — the hotel has an unrivalled location on the Powerscourt Estate, overlooked by the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Equally, this is a fantastic spot for lovers, or city dwellers who want to retreat (without venturing too far).
ASK FOR ROOM NUMBER: The best rooms, besides the suites of course, are 114, 310 and 314.
CONCIERGE’S CHOICE: Where to start when the Garden of Ireland is on your doorstep? The Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall (recently voted the third best gardens in the world by National Geographic magazine) is a stone’s throw away. If you have wheels, you could pack a picnic and visit Glendalough.
GUESTS OF HONOUR: Madonna, Justin Bieber and the Kaiser Chiefs.
RATES: The ‘Grown-up Getaway’ (until the end of the month) includes overnight stay with breakfast, gourmet dinner in Sika Restaurant and 20pc off ESPA treatments. From €145 per person sharing midweek.
CONTACT: 01 274 8888; www.powerscourthotel.com