The best Irish escapes for a springtime getaway

From a cosy cabin on Ireland’s southwest coast to a retro-inspired hotel in the heart of Dublin, here's where to spend spring in style...

The Irish know how to kick back. Theirs is a calming, comforting nation — a land of rich, spirited whiskey and endless Emerald rambles. It’s got pints of restorative Guinness, sweet-toned folk music and novels by more famous authors (Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker) than you can brandish a bookmark at.

And this makes it the ideal destination for a much-needed relaxing getaway. If you’re based in Britain, Ireland is far-flung enough to feel like you’re travelling abroad — but close enough to be home for teatime. If you do want to stay the night, however, we’ve rounded up a selection of the most luxurious lodgings below…

For a quiet, comfortable escape: Skyros

Where is it? Just outside Schull, on the southwest coast of Ireland in County Cork.

Why should you visit? For the views. Set along the zig-zagging coast of Ireland’s Mizen Peninsula, nearby Mount Gabriel is perfect for contemplative hikes.

How much to stay? Week stays from £2,295, and weekend stays from £1,995.

Sleeping up to six guests in modern, minimalist luxury, this angular home — meticulously designed by award-winning architect Niall McLaughlin — sits pretty among tiny Irish villages, and boasts south-facing views over Roaringwater Bay and its collection of islands, Cape Clear and the iconic Fastnet Lighthouse.

For a taste of city living: The Dean, Dublin

Where is it? In the heart of Ireland’s capital, on Harcourt Street — ten minutes from St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Why should you visit? Because of this boujie, boutique hotel’s inimitable charm. Part-retro, part-contemporary, it’s the perfect base for exploring Ireland’s ever-changing, intoxicating capital city.

How much per night? Rooms from £140 per night.

Unapologetically Irish — the rooms come with ‘Munchie Trays’ piled high with local treats, and specially commissioned Irish art hangs from the walls — this slick hotel is the ideal option for anyone wanting an escape with a bit of buzz. We’d recommend Sophie’s, the ‘glasshouse’ restaurant perched panoramically on the roof.

For a traditional golf experience: Adare Manor

Where is it? On the banks of the River Maigue in the village of Adare, County Limerick.

Why should you visit? For the golf. Masterfully designed and magnificently maintained, the course has recently been transformed into a parkland paradise by celebrated golf architect Tom Fazio.

How much per night? Rooms start at £184 per night.

One of Ireland’s leading five-star hotels, this 19th-century mansion is set in the centre of a sprawling 842-acre estate. Below its 54 chimneys, you’ll find everything you need for a restorative, recuperative trip; from a plush cinema and sumptuous spa to a high-tech golf simulation roof to ready you for the pro course outside (the destination is set to host the 2027 Ryder Cup).

For a modern-meets-tradition escape: Limehouse Cottage

Where is it? By Glenbeigh, a parish on the Iveragh peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.

Why should you visit? For the unique combination of mountains, valleys and lakes — whether it’s the soft sands of Rossbeigh beach or the jagged peaks of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks.

How much per night? Weekends from £2,395, and full week stays from £3,250.

Limehouse Cottage is a home of two halves. While the wood-block shelves and green-daubed doors keep things traditional, that vast glass box living room offers a modern twist on the classic cottage — and gives holidaymakers the chance to get closer to nature than anywhere else. An al fresco stone bath is also set in prime position to watch dusk fall over the mountains.

For a foodie getaway: Ballymaloe House

Where is it? On the grounds of an organic farm, in a village called Shanagarry in east County Cork.

Why should you visit? If you’re a fan of the slow food movement. One of the most renowned cookery schools in the country, Ballymaloe was opened in 1983 and is run by Darina Allen.

How much per night? The smallest rooms, ‘Cosy Classics’, start at £198 per night.

From yoga retreats to experiences at the local Jameson Distillery, Ballymaloe has something to offer everyone — and is set within some of the most tranquil landscapes the Emerald Isle has to offer. But it’d be a missed opportunity if you didn’t enrol in the cookery school. Short courses range from a half-day to a week long, focusing on specialisms including fermentation, foraging and petit fours.

For a spirited stay: Bushmills Inn, Co. Antrim

Where is it? Just a rock’s throw from the Giant’s Causeway, on Ireland’s wild northern coast.

Why should you visit? For the whiskey. It’s an Irish staple — and few distilleries have the nous and the know-how of Bushmills, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.

How much per night? Rooms from £160 per night.

It looks like a traditional pub stay — with crackling fires, sagging beams and pints of expertly poured Guinness. It’s not. The Bushmills Inn may have these things, but it’s also got a private cinema, a secret library — even a helipad. It’s an exclusive, eccentric place to kick back and enjoy a whisky list longer than a dozen verses of a mellifluous folk song.

The Residences at The Montenotte Hotel

Where is it? In an area in the northeast of Cork City, facing south over the River Lee.

Why should you visit? For privacy. These apartments were developed (as part of a €500,000 project) by the hotel owners, and are inspired by some of their favourite global destinations.

How much per night? Room rates start €220 per night for the one-bedroom apartments.

A stylish, design led, luxury and spacious selection of one and two-bedroom residences next to one of Ireland’s leading hotels, The Residences are a luxurious treat. Again, there’s a cinema on offer here, as well as a panoramic terrace, award-winning spa and manicured Victorian sunken gardens just waiting to be wandered.

Want more British breaks? These are the top adventure holidays in Scotland…

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