Tuesday 12 December 2017

Lighthouse Hotels for that perfect romantic break

Clare Island Lighthouse, Co Mayo
Clare Island Lighthouse, Co Mayo
Corsewall Lighthouse, Galloway, Scotland
Molja Lighthouse, Alesund, Norway

Nicola Brady

With dramatic views and cosy bedrooms, a lighthouse hotel makes for a romantic break by the water. Nicola Brady finds three of the best.

Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel

Corsewall Lighthouse, Galloway, Scotland

Where: Galloway, Scotland.

Why: Dating back to 1815, the listed lighthouse at Corsewall Point is fully functioning, beaming a warning for ships approaching the mouth of Loch Ryan. On a clear day, the beautiful Scottish coastline is laid out before you, and you can sometimes make out the Irish coast, too.

Come nightfall, the beams of other lighthouses illuminate the water, as well as those coming from Corsewall itself. The hotel sits on 20 acres of grounds, and all of the rooms face either the sea or the meadow. But the Lighthouse Suite is the real stunner, separate from the main building, with panoramic sea views and a private conservatory almost right on the rocks.

There's also a restaurant on site, serving up delicacies like Barbarrie duck from a nearby smokehouse and local wood pigeon.

How: Rates start at £80 (€100) per person per night, which includes a five-course dinner and full Scottish breakfast. Fly to Glasgow or get the ferry to nearby 
Cairnryan from Belfast from €79 one-way with Stena Line (stenaline.com).

See: lighthousehotel.co.uk


Clare Island Lighthouse

Clare Island Lighthouse, Co Mayo

Where: Clare Island, Co Mayo

Why: The best place to experience a lighthouse is on a dramatic, rugged and windswept island, where you can snuggle up by a roaring fire. Enter Clare Island, where the sea batters tiny rocky inlets and coves. At the Clare Island Lighthouse hotel, the Lantern Tower is open for all guests to enjoy. The bedrooms, with wood-burning stoves and underfloor heating, are in cottages, buildings and another tower, all huddled together behind a sturdy stone wall. Choose the Tower House suite for a unique circular bedroom in the old tower.

How: Prices start at €300 for 2 people sharing, including breakfast, a six-course dinner and collection from the ferry. The crossing from Roonagh takes around 20 minutes.

See: clareislandlighthouse.com


Room 47 - Molja Lighthouse

Molja Lighthouse, Alesund, Norway

What: Room 47 - Molja Lighthouse

Where: Alesund, Norway

Why: At the end of a jetty, in the pretty city of Ålesund, sits the 150-year-old Molja Lighthouse. Within the tiny building, there's a compact bathroom and a circular bedroom upstairs, complete with a custom designed bed. At only three meters wide, the lighthouse is cosy and effortlessly romantic. From the bed, you can look west towards Godoya Island and the Atlantic, and watch the ships pass as they're guided by the beacon above. The lighthouse is part of the Hotel Brosundet, which is a five-minute walk away, and the rooms all fit the same aesthetic - think thick wooden beams, rough linen curtains and textured stone walls.

How: A night in the lighthouse starts at around €542, which includes breakfast with chocolates and sparkling wine on arrival. At the moment, there's a special combination package, with 
one night in a junior suite and one in the lighthouse, from €349 per person. Fly from Dublin to Ålesund via Oslo with SAS (flysas.com)

See: brosundet.no

Irish Independent

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