Looking for a romantic getaway? Nicola Brady selects 10 of Ireland's hottest hotel specials for Valentine's, and one just for the girls...
Glin Castle, Co Limerick
New to the Blue Book this year, Glin Castle has established itself as one of Ireland's most exclusive private hires, and now it's opening as a Valentine's Day pop-up hotel. That means you can live like the Knight of Glin (or owners Catherine FitzGerald and actor Dominic West) for a weekend. Plonk yourself on the couch in front of the fire, stroll the nearby Knight's Walk and have a luxurious sleep in your four-poster bed. There are 15 acres of beautiful gardens to explore, too.
Details: Two-night breaks, €490; five-course tasting dinner, €65pp. glin-castle.com
The Pembroke, Kilkenny
Things can tot up quickly on a romantic getaway - between the extra drinks in the bar, the slap-up lunch, and the spa treatment you couldn't resist, the final tab can get out of control. But the base package at The Pembroke in Kilkenny is a bargain - for a total price of less than €200, you'll get a night's stay in an Executive King room, the all-important bottle of prosecco with chocolate-dipped strawberries, a three-course dinner in the restaurant and (best of all), a Full Irish delivered to your room the next morning. Nothing says indulgence like eating bacon in bed, after all...
Details: 'Loved up' package from €188 Thursday or Sunday (€248 Friday or Saturday). pembrokekilkenny.com
K Club, Co Kildare
You'll get a complimentary upgrade at the K Club this Valentine's Day, as well as a welcome fit for a king with champagne and chocolates on arrival. Then spend your time exploring the estate, unwinding in the bar and, if the mood strikes, playing a round in one of its two championship golf courses. Its spa is a beaut, so be sure to carve out some time padding between the pool and the outdoor hot tub. The package includes a four-course dinner in the Byerley Turk restaurant.
Details: One-night package from €380. kclub.ie
No 1 Pery Square, Limerick
It's always nice to get away for two nights rather than one - you can really get into relaxation mode and settle into the good life. With this Blue Book package, you'll find a bottle of bubbly and a plate of sweet treats in your room on arrival, and you'll have a gorgeous four-course dinner in Sash restaurant on one evening. There's a €35 spa voucher per person, too, to go towards a treatment. The rest of the weekend is yours to wander the city, go for an afternoon pint and have long, luxurious soaks in the room's gorgeous roll top bath.
Details: Two-night Valentine's package from €598. oneperysquare.com; irelandsbluebook.com
Valentine's-themed menus can be a little eye roll-inducing - sharing dishes, cloying desserts and cringeworthy menus can get twee in the blink of an eye. But that's not the case at the Conrad Dublin, where executive chef Gary Rogers has come up with a three-course 'Aphrodisiac Dinner' using the best local and seasonal ingredients. Think of dishes like Kilkeel harbour crab, asparagus, Carlingford oysters and Wicklow venison - all designed to tickle taste buds and get your pulse racing. There's a glass of prosecco and chocolate truffles in the mix, too.
Details: The Aphrodisiac Dinner costs €60pp, with rooms on February 14 starting at €293; conraddublin.com
Dromoland Castle, Co Clare: If you've got a really special occasion to celebrate, Dromoland is the place to be. Its Valentine's package this year is as lavish as it gets - you'll have two nights in a luxurious rooms, Afternoon Tea with a bottle of house champagne, and the choice of an estate activity, whether you want to try your hand at falconry, take a pony and trap tour, play a round of golf or indulge in a 50-minute spa treatment. There's plenty to explore on site, too, with 450 acres around the 16th-century castle just made for ambling afternoon strolls.
Details: Two-night package from €820. dromoland.ie
Montenotte Hotel, Cork
They're going all out at the Montenotte this V-Day, with romantic movies screening in the in-house cinema, a special tasting menu, petals strewn across beds and in-room breakfast the next morning. They've even designed a lovers' trail through the hotel's Victorian Gardens, leading to a love seat complete with a heart-shaped floral arch and killer views of the city. The clincher? If you post a picture of yourself and your beau (using its Instagram tags, of course) you can win another stay with dinner and spa treatments.
Details: The one-night package, arriving on February 14 or 15, costs from €265. themontenottehotel.com
Kilkea Castle, Co Kildare
If your idea of a dreamy Valentine's celebration is delving into an indulgent five-course dinner, this is the package for you. At Kilkea Castle, there's a special Valentine's menu on offer, featuring dishes like citrus smoked salmon, Dexter beef with artichoke and dark chocolate with salted caramel and hazelnut. Afterwards, you'll just have to toddle off to your bed, or for a nightcap in the castle bar. The next morning, you can wander the grounds or play a few holes on the golf course. There's champagne and chocs on arrival.
Details: A one-night package costs from €314 for two, including dinner. kilkeacastle.ie
Cliff Townhouse, Dublin
Not only is the Cliff Townhouse one of the cosiest, most romantic hotels in Dublin, this Valentine's Day it is including a philanthropic element to proceedings. Order the 'Share the Love' seafood platter in either the Oyster Bar or downstairs in the Urchin Bar, and it will donate €10 to Focus Ireland. The townhouse is an absolute dream for seafood lovers, with fresh crab claws, native oysters, lobster and mussels with all the trimmings, and a couple of glasses of ice-cold bubbly for good measure. Then, you only need to toddle upstairs to one of the gorgeous bedrooms and try to build up an appetite for breakfast come morning. Heaven.
Details: Seafood platter is €65 for two and available throughout February; rooms from €175. clifftownhouse.ie
Salterbridge Gatelodge, Co Waterford
Couples tend to fall into one of two categories - those who love having a chat with other couples in the bar, and those who would rather hide away from the world and stay in a little love bubble. If you're the love bubble sort, then squirrelling yourself away in an Irish Landmark Trust property is the perfect break. Salterbridge Gatelodge is in the Blackwater Valley and gorgeously cosy, thanks to the underfloor heating, woodburning stove and bathtub. Bonus points: You can bring your dog along, too.
Details: €340 for two nights. irishlandmark.com
Galentine's at Limerick Strand Hotel
As Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation taught us, February 13 is all about ladies celebrating ladies. The Limerick Strand is now doing a one-night Galentine's package to celebrate the day, with dinner, cocktails, bubbles and breakfast, for €100pps. See strandhotellimerick.ie
NB: All quoted rates are based on two people sharing, and are subject to change/availability.