Looking for a sweetheart deal this Valentine’s Day? Our travel editor rounds up the hottest short breaks in Ireland...
Did you know WB Yeats honeymooned at Renvyle House Hotel (095 46100; renvyle.com)? Create some Connemara poetry of your own with a one-night (€99pp) or two-night (€175) getaway on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Packages include a candlelit dinner, cocktails and canapés, live entertainment and of course… roaring turf fires.
Our 2017 Reader Travel Awards celebrated the cream of Ireland’s hotels, so why not pay one a visit for Valentine’s Day?
For starters, you could sample Ireland’s Best Breakfast at Dingle’s Castlewood House (066 915-2788; castlewooddinglecom), where two nights’ B&B and a complimentary mimosa start from a mere €95pp.
Or what about a starry-eyed seaside stay at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford (above; 024 87800; thecliffhousehotel.com)?
This five-star is Ireland’s Favourite Place to Stay, according to our readers, and pamper-friendly packages include B&B from €205 per room midweek. Spa treatments at the Cliff House start from €65, but the cliff walks don’t cost a cent.
Speaking of spas… V-Day breaks at Monart (053 923-8999; monart.ie) bundle dinner and an overnight stay with a rose petal turndown, a bottle of Prosecco and chocolate truffles. They start from €212pp.
Meanwhile, in Donegal — voted Ireland’s Hidden Gem — Harvey’s Point (074 972-2208; harveyspoint.com) has weekend breaks with a chocolate fountain, cookery demo, ‘blindfolded’ wine-tasting, dinner and more, from €238pp starting February 10 or 17.
Also in Donegal, Letterkenny’s Dillon’s Hotel (074 912-2977; dillons-hotel.ie) has B&B with a five-course dinner, bubbly and late checkout from €75pp (or €139pp for a weekend).
Fancy snuggling under Foxford Woollen Mills blankets? Or chilling out in a waterside hot tub? The Ice House in Ballina (0-96 23500; theicehouse.ie) has you covered. It’s got B&B with chilled bubbles, chocolate treats, and a romantic dinner from €337 per night for two sharing from February 10-17.
Also in Ballina, nearby Belleek Castle (above, 096 22400; belleekcastle.com) has B&B with chocolates, bubbles, and a five-course meal from €165pps, while the Mayfly Hotel in Foxford (094 925-6518; mayflyhotel.com) has B&B with a special Valentine’s Day menu from €60pp.
Recognise the restaurant from Dublin’s Gibson Hotel (01 681-5000; thegibsonhotel.ie)? It was the location for First Dates Ireland. Unsurprisingly, little Cupid is shooting arrows all over the place ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Weekday deals include B&B with dinner and a pair of ‘love potion’ cocktails from €210, with weekends priced from €250.
Spent January staying in? A date with the Dean Hotel (above; 01 607-8110; deandublin.ie) should set things right — its ‘Feel Love’ package has B&B, a bottle of wine and dinner for two from €149.
Here’s a hotel ideally named for couples… The Rose in Tralee (066 719-9100; therosehotel.com; above). It has B&B, a five-course ‘His ’n’ Hers’ dinner, a room scattered with rose petals, chocolates, wine and a late checkout from €144 per room. The offer is available between February 13 and 15.
Roses also feature in the Valentine’s package at Castle Leslie (047 88100; castleleslie.com), where B&B at The Lodge is paired with a candlelit dinner for two, a glass of bubbly, chocolates and a red rose in your room from €175pp. February is the hotel’s ‘Month of Love’, don’t ya know…
Finally, Galway’s Glenlo Abbey Hotel (091 519600; glenloabbeyhotel.ie) has B&B with a chocolate afternoon tea and a candlelit meal on its Pullman Restaurant (above), set onboard authentic carriages from The Orient Express. It costs €259pp.
V-Day splash? The Westbury (01 646-3333; doylecollection.com) has a ‘Diamonds are Forever’ package from €310.
It bundles two quintessential Grafton Street experiences, with B&B and a bespoke pink diamond cocktail at the hotel (main), as well as an exclusive appointment with a Boodles boutique expert (available to March 31).
Meanwhile, in Straffan, Co Kildare, the K Club (01 601-7200; kclub.ie) has B&B in a deluxe room with a four-course dinner, chocs and champagne from €190pp.
Fancy taking a romantic trip north? The stars are aligned for Irish visitors given the sterling/euro exchange, and Hastings Hotels (hastingshotels.com) has V-Day offers including B&B, dinner and a glass of bubbly from just £75/€88pps at six different hotels in Northern Ireland. You can book the deals from February 10-14.
Meanwhile, on the Causeway Coast, The Bushmills Inn (above; +44 (0)28 2073 3000; bushmillsinn.com) has a ‘Romance at the Inn’ package offering B&B, Prosecco, chocolate strawberries and a £50 dinner credit per room from £100/€117pp. My tip? Don’t miss its original, gas-lit bar.
Finally, Upstairs @ Joe’s restaurant in Cushendall (upstairsatjoes.com) has a Valentine’s Day couples’ cookery class on February 14 — you can prepare your own evening meal from £25/€29pp.
NB: Prices subject to change and availabilty.