It’s been a tricky 12 months. Regardless of all of the uncertainty, nevertheless, lodges are taking calls from prospects trying to check-in for Christmas.
hy? Simply assume… days spent by a hearth you don’t need to gentle, tucking into meals you don’t need to cook dinner (or wash-up after), sleeping in a mattress you didn’t need to make. What extra might you ask for?
Stage 5 lockdown hasn’t stopped the enquiries.
“We noticed a right away enhance in bookings coming by for residential packages [over Christmas] as soon as it was introduced,” says Gráinne Ross of Dublin’s Dylan Resort and Co Meath’s Dunboyne Fort Resort and Spa. “Our prospects are extra organised than earlier years.”
Whereas uncertainty isn’t going away (we’re unlikely to know for certain if brief breaks are even attainable till December), there may be some excellent news. In earlier years, Christmas packages tended to be three-night affairs that included a great deal of meals, every kind of festive additions, and worth tags to match. This 12 months, lodges are together with extra brief and easy choices that gained’t break the financial institution. And a few have slashed costs simply to lure again customized.
As with every part in our new world, flexibility is essential. Earlier than you guide, verify the cancellation coverage — most supply free cancellations within the face of adjusting Covid measures, however this isn’t a given, so double-check earlier than you give over the bank card particulars.
1. The Clarence, Dublin
On the tail finish of a (much-needed) refurbishment, The Clarence is a brilliant trendy spot for Christmas spent smack bang in the midst of the town. The ‘Christmas All In’ package deal contains mulled wine on arrival, sharing plates and a bottle of wine on Christmas Eve, a glass of bubbly on Christmas morning, a present from Santa and, in fact, a three-course Christmas dinner. Plus, you’ll be able to take your candy time leaving with a late take a look at of 2pm (so you’ll be able to have a fast lay down after an enormous breakfast). Additionally, sister resort The Devlin (thedevlin.ie) in Ranelagh is open for a extra conventional resort expertise — good in case you’re visiting household however wish to sleep elsewhere (rules allowing, in fact).
Particulars: Two nights from €700 for 2; theclarence.ie
2. Druids Glen Resort, Co Wicklow
The Druids Glen goes full pelt for Christmas, with the entire sleigh bells and whistles. On Christmas Eve, you’ll collect across the tree to be serenaded by carol singers, earlier than a fireworks show, after which you’ll be able to retreat to the roaring fireplace (with a festive tipple and mince pies). You gained’t go hungry, both — there’s a four-course dinner on Christmas Eve, four-course lunch on the day itself and a supper within the night, on the off probability you’ll be able to slot in any extra meals. Fortunately, you’re within the good spot for a stroll, with any variety of beautiful trails proper in your doorstep.
Particulars: The two–evening package deal prices from €1,380 for 2; druidsglenresort.com
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Three. Abbeyglen Fort Resort, Co Galway
Clifden is a dreamy spot to spend Christmas. Think about blustery walks on the seashore, with the salty wind in your hair and the waves at your ft, earlier than heading again to a toasty nation resort the place you’ll be able to curl up on a Chesterfield by the hearth, or head again to your four-poster mattress. All that, and another person cooks the Christmas dinner for you. What extra might you ask for? Properly, maybe a Champagne reception on Christmas Eve adopted by a candlelit dinner, pleasant competitions on Christmas Day and leisure within the piano bar.
Particulars: Two evenings from €988 for 2; abbeyglen.ie
four. The Brehon, Killarney
Skip wrestling with final 12 months’s tangled tinsel and damaged lights and benefit from the Christmas tree at The Brehon as an alternative. Its 30-foot tree is the star of the present, however you additionally get a belt-busting six-course lunch on Christmas Day, adopted by a Champagne buffet within the night. A very beautiful contact is the guided stroll by Killarney Nationwide Park on Stephen’s Day. For an additional deal with, guide a therapeutic massage at The Angsana Spa, the place each therapist has been skilled at The Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Thailand.
Particulars: Two evenings from €1,150 for 2; thebrehon.com
5. Dromoland Fort, Co Clare
Christmas in a resort will be eye-wateringly expensive — a three-night package deal with all of the trimmings prices €1,500 at Dromoland, for instance. But when that’s out of your attain, why not contemplate a style of the expertise by reserving right into a five-star for afternoon tea? It’s beautiful to take a seat, spending time over fancy teas and delicacies whereas the lodges are decked up of their festive finery. The Festive Afternoon Tea at Dromoland Fort is a decadent affair, with towers of seasonal sandwiches, pastries and heat scones, together with mulled wine on arrival and a tasting dessert plate on the finish.
Particulars: €105 for 2 individuals; dromoland.ie
6. Annes Grove Miniature Fort, Co Cork
Like every part else in our new world, Christmas will look a bit completely different this 12 months. You may select to rejoice in a extra subdued approach as a pair, fairly than an enormous shindig with the entire prolonged household (you may even have been dreaming of doing simply that for years…) Should you’re going to cover away from the world, an Irish Landmark property is ideal, and this cosy, miniature medieval fortress full with winding stone staircase and arched home windows is a perfect spot for a romantic, pared-back Christmas. You possibly can cook dinner a bit feast, then curl up in entrance of the hearth in your jammies, with none arguments or rants from Aunt Vera.
Particulars: Three nights from €434 for 2, arriving December 23; irishlandmark.com
7. Powerscourt Resort, Co Wicklow
Probably the greatest issues about Christmas is the actual fact you’ll be able to have a glass of bubbly at breakfast, and nobody will bat an eyelid. On the Powerscourt Resort, everybody else shall be doing the identical in Sika Restaurant, earlier than spending the remainder of the day in blissful festive luxurious. You possibly can go on a horse and carriage experience across the grounds, take a guided stroll with scorching chocolate, or take part with a whiskey tasting. There’s a falconry show on the entrance garden on Stephen’s Day, too.
Particulars: The two–evening package deal prices from €1,800 for 2; powerscourthotel.com
eight. The Metropole Resort, Cork
A Christmas getaway needn’t break the financial institution. This 12 months, there are some bargains to be discovered, like this package deal from The Metropole. There won’t be as many festive accoutrements, but it surely’s a strong deal that features two nights with breakfast and a five-course lunch on Christmas Day. After you verify in on Christmas Eve, wander across the metropolis and take within the lights, or simply sit back on the resort, taking in a movie within the film room or settling into the library.
Particulars: Two–evening package deals price from €618 for 2; themetropolehotel.ie
9. Falls Resort & Spa, Co Clare
Should you fancy having Christmas by yourself, or wish to journey with a solo relative, the only dietary supplements could make you wince. Not so on the Falls Resort in Ennistymon, the place the only complement is simply €60 for the three-day package deal, making the total keep €540 for a single room. And it’s an awesome one too, with home made scones on arrival, glowing wine by the hearth, dinner each evening and an enormous lunch on Christmas Day. Their household rooms sleep as much as 4, with the value for youths an extra €120 for these beneath 4, and €240 for the five- 12-year-olds.
Particulars: Three–evening package deal from €960 for 2; fallshotel.ie
10. Clontarf Fort, Dublin
Let’s face it, Christmas is all in regards to the meals (sorry, household). And on the four-star Clontarf Fort, you will be certain of a top-notch culinary expertise, from the decadent breakfast unfold to a lavish Christmas dinner. There’s one thing alluringly festive in regards to the fortress setting on the outskirts of the town too — it provides a way of medieval merriment to the proceedings. You’re proper on the water, so you’ll be able to go and stretch your legs with a stroll alongside the Clontarf promenade everytime you please.
Particulars: Clontarf’s two–evening package deal begins from €1,038 for 2; clontarfcastle.ie
11. Sheen Falls Lodge, Co Kerry
The sense of magic begins on the driveway to Sheen Falls at Christmas, with the timber lining the highway shrouded in fairy lights. And it continues from there, with decorations aplenty and, in fact, an array of five-star festive meals that’ll make sure you by no means go hungry. There’s additionally lots to maintain you occupied, whether or not you wish to discover Kenmare and the native strolling trails or have a swim within the pool (there’s even a gymnasium, in case you’re feeling virtuous).
Particulars: The two–evening package deal begins from €1,770 for 2 individuals; sheenfallslodge.ie
12. Ballynahinch Fort, Co Galway
Right here’s a property that was simply made for Christmas. Smouldering log fires wherever you flip, the scent of contemporary pine within the air, and cabinets of Dubarry boots for whenever you wish to hike across the property’s quite a few trails. This package deal could be on the pricier finish of issues, however virtually all of your meals are included, in addition to canapés and snacks alongside the way in which. And there are limitless spots the place you’ll be able to cosy up, whether or not you wish to play some Scrabble or watch a film. It’ll be a Christmas you’ll always remember, that’s for certain.
Particulars: Three–evening package deal from €1,960 for 2 individuals; ballynahinchcastle.com
13. Glenlo Abbey, Co Galway
When December rolls round, each inch of Galway’s five-star Glenlo Abbey glows with the spirit of Christmas. If you wish to absolutely indulge your festive fantasies, that is the place to do it — Christmas films shall be enjoying within the Abbey Theatre, there are decorations so far as the attention can see and there’s even a festive desk quiz on Stephen’s Day. Included is a candlelit dinner on Christmas Eve, a Champagne reception earlier than a feast on the massive day and dinner on Stephen’s Day, plus breakfast (which you may get delivered to your room for the total Christmas morning impact). Youngsters beneath three can keep totally free, and it’s €415 per youngster aged Three-12 years.
Particulars: The three–evening package deal begins from €2,300 for 2; glenloabbeyhotel.ie
14. Brooks Resort, Dublin
A Christmas spent at city-centre Brooks Resort has all the time been a well-liked alternative, with extravagant decorations and festive films proven of their personal cinema. Whereas issues could look a bit completely different this 12 months (the cinema shall be stored for personal use for the visitors, fairly than group viewings), the value is nice. You possibly can even do only one evening on Christmas Eve — that features the five-course Christmas lunch the next day, in addition to a Christmas cocktail and early check-in, amongst different treats. However the additional evening is barely €140.
Particulars: Two evenings from €500 for 2; brookshotel.ie
15. Limerick Strand Resort, Limerick
Bringing the entire household away for Christmas is usually a magical affair, although one which often comes with a reasonably hefty price ticket. However on the Limerick Strand, children not solely keep totally free (you simply must cowl meals), however they’re handled to exploit, cookies and carrots within the room to depart out for Santa, who may also pop by on Christmas Day with some presents. The standard Christmas lunch appears to be like fabulous, and at 5 programs, you’ll be as stuffed because the turkey.
Particulars: The two–evening package deal prices from €798 for 2 (children free, apart from meals); strandlimerick.ie
16. Morrison Resort, Dublin
Should you’d fairly get up on Christmas morning in your individual mattress (and save a few cents within the course of) then the Nice Christmas Escape from the Morrison Resort is unbelievable. It contains an early check-in of 2pm and a late check-out of 1pm, so you’ll be able to arrive on Christmas Day and benefit from the festivities all afternoon earlier than indulging in a conventional three-course dinner within the night. There’ll even be a bottle of prosecco and a field of Butlers Sweets ready for you in your room whenever you arrive, and a free improve the place accessible.
Particulars: One evening from €239 for 2; morrisonhotel.ie
17. Lough Eske Fort, Co Donegal
Should you fancy an extended break (and, at this stage, who doesn’t?) then the Christmas residential package deal at Lough Eske is a doozy, with 4 nights for the value of three, arriving on December 23. For that, you additionally get dinner on Christmas Eve and Stephen’s Day, lunch and supper on Christmas Day and breakfast on daily basis. Should you’re bringing the household, the value for 4 nights begins at €320 per youngster (Three-12 years outdated) in the event that they’re sharing a room with the adults.
Particulars: The four–evening package deal prices from €1,778 for 2 individuals; lougheskecastlehotel.com
18. Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Co Antrim
All of us have our personal Christmas Eve traditions. However right here’s a brand new thought — spending it in an out of doors scorching tub subsequent to a babbling river. Examine into the Galgorm and you’ll take full benefit of the spa, earlier than dedicating your self to the Christmas indulgences the next day, with a five-course lunch, Christmas video games and festive films within the pop-up cinema. The Thermal Spa Village shall be open at set instances on daily basis, so that you’ll depart glowing with well being.
Particulars: Two evenings from £1,100/€1,217 for 2; galgorm.com
19. Dunboyne Fort, Co Meath
Should you’re all the time pressured by the considered developing with a complete Christmas menu, then you definitely’ll rejoice on the sight of the festive choices at Dunboyne Fort. There are inventive dishes like duck terrine and smoked hen ravioli to start out, with a seasonal cauliflower and chestnut soup earlier than the total conventional primary, or one thing a bit completely different, in case you’d fairly. There are beautiful festive cocktails on supply within the Sadlier bar, like a Grand Marnier espresso with orange cream, or a mulled gin, and you’ll stroll all of it off with a stroll across the grounds.
Particulars: The two–evening package deal prices from €950 for 2; dunboynecastlehotel.com
20. Glenview Resort, Co Wicklow
You’ll be within the Christmas spirit as quickly as you land in Glenview, with an arrival reception of mulled wine and mince pies, which you’ll tuck into whereas the carol singers present the leisure. There’s a candlelit dinner on Christmas Eve and Stephen’s Day, and a night buffet on Christmas Day, in addition to the total five-course lunch. Should you’re travelling as a household, children beneath 12 price €145 every, in the event that they’re sharing with the mother and father.
Particulars: The three-evening package deal prices from €1,118 for 2 individuals; glenviewhotel.com
NB: Costs are for 2 individuals sharing, except in any other case acknowledged, and topic to alter/availability and lockdown rules. Check cancellation insurance policies earlier than reserving.
Six seasonal self-catering stays
Fancy a change of surroundings, but in addition some flexibility? There are some fabulous self-catering properties accessible over Christmas for couples searching for an escape or for household teams (even in case you don’t fancy doing the cooking…)
21. Fanningstown Home, Co Limerick
If there’s an enormous gang of you trying to get away, Fanningstown Home is a good shout, with 5 spacious bedrooms (two of that are en suite) sleeping as much as 10. The kitchen is an efficient dimension, and absolutely geared up for cooking a Christmas dinner (good day, double oven…) Per week at Christmas prices €1,750, together with a Christmas tree and welcome hamper; fanningstownhouse.com
22. Resort Minella, Co Tipperary
Whereas the family-run resort is closed for Christmas, the courtyard lodges at Resort Minella are open, with en-suite bedrooms and a stunning roomy dwelling space. They’re in an awesome spot for climbing across the Comeragh Mountains, and also you’ll get a welcome hamper whenever you arrive. From €1,100 for every week; hotelminella.com
23. Outdated Irish Farmhouse, Co Sligo
This superbly restored farmhouse sits on 14 acres of land within the Ox Mountains, with Women Brae proper in your doorstep. There’s a stunning conventional vibe, good for an old school Christmas, and it sleeps as much as six. From €140 per evening; oldirishfarmhouse.com
24. Tawnylust Lodge, Co Leitrim
Set on a working farm in Leitrim, this cute lodge has wonderful views and nice walks proper on the doorstep. There’s a welcome hamper, and the break features a guided stroll. It’s also possible to order a Christmas dinner to gather the day earlier than from close by restaurant Osta, in case you don’t fancy cooking. 4 nights are €361 for 2; tawnylustlodge.com
25. Muckno Lodge, Co Monaghan
There are two cottages at Muckno Lodge, a spacious five-bedroom cottage that sleeps as much as 10, and a lakeside condominium that sleeps 2-Three. You possibly can hire out both individually or each for a much bigger group. The bigger cottage is €840 for the week, and the condominium is €450; mucknolodge.ie
26. Clonacody Home, Co Tipperary
This stunning interval property will be rented on a self-catering foundation, however in case you don’t fancy taking care of your self completely, there’s the choice to get a caterer to care for Christmas dinner for you. There are seven bedrooms, with six loos, so you’ll be able to sleep as much as 14 individuals. €1,750 for one evening, then €1,500 per further evening; clonacodyhouse.com
What can we do at every stage?
Ranges 1 & 2
If, by some miracle, we’re at Stage 1 or 2 come Christmas, we’ll have the ability to journey inside Eire as we please, with no relevant restrictions. If ever there have been a 12 months for a Christmas miracle, in different phrases, 2020 is it… although visitors from completely different households will nonetheless be required to bodily distance inside lodges.
You’ll have the ability to keep in a resort however solely within the county by which you reside. Motels can open with providers restricted to residents and formal and casual social occasions won’t be permitted. There isn’t a restrict on individuals from completely different households reserving separate guest-rooms beneath Stage Three, however eating is restricted to 6 residents per desk, from a most of two households.
Underneath Stage four, lodges can solely open for present visitors and people with important non-social and non-tourist functions. Inside these restrictions, indoor eating remains to be restricted to 6 individuals from a most of two households, however in actuality this shall be a cut-off — spending Christmas away beneath Stage four is a non-starter.
Home journey is off the playing cards fully, and we should keep at residence (just like Stage four, lodges can stay open for important and non-tourist stays solely).
Sources: gov.ie, failteireland.ie; Irish Motels Federation
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