Everyone dreads that post-festival comedown! If you’re feeling the need to pamper and preen or sleep off the exhaustion, take ‘me time’ and chill, recharge and refresh after one of the many festivals across Ireland this summer with one of these special packages.
Cat Nap Outside Kilkenny
If your sides are split after Kilkenny Cat Laughs (31 May - 4 June), Ireland’s premier comedy festival, choose between Lyrath Estate and Step House Hotel in Co. Carlow for an after-Laughs leisure break. Enjoy a 24-hour getaway to the exquisite Lyrath Estate, set within 170 acres of lush parkland just a five minute drive from the Marble City centre.
The hotel’s ’24’ overnight B&B package begins at €140pps, including a 25-minute Oasis Spa treatment, Thermal Suite access and a four-course evening meal in the fine dining Yew Restaurant. Lyrath Estate also boasts a range of activities which guests can book extra, from falconry lessons to cinema dates in the hotel’s private 22-seater cinema.
For something a little more quaint, find four-star boutique Step House Hotel amidst the Carlow countryside with its wonderful Summer Package for around €100pps. Situated a stones throw from the River Barrow in Borris, enjoy an overnight B&B stay including a three-course dinner for two in the hotel’s 1808 Bar. Then, after breakfast pick up your picnic basket to enjoy out before taking a multi-sensory guided tour of Walsh Whiskey Distillery, one of Ireland’s largest operational whiskey distilleries.
Boyne Valley Bolthole, Rock Farm Slane
Little Co. Louth hosts both Vantastival (1-3 June) and Fleadh Ceoil (12-19 August) around the Drogheda area this summer and Rock Farm Slane is a luxurious eco campsite set on an organic farm overlooking Slane Castle, 15 minutes away.
Comprising five yurts and two shepherd huts set around Le Shack, a central, designer home from home where guests find the self-catering facilities, showers and communal hangout spaces, the area also comes surrounded by wild meadows and woodland by the north bank of the River Boyne in the heart of one of the most historic areas of Ireland’s Ancient East.
Great for those looking for either a quiet getaway or an adventure-seekers activity-packed stay including kayaking, hiking, rafting and electric bike trails. A real foodie area, check the Boyne Valley Flavours website for lots of foodie events taking place all summer long, too.
Country or City After Belsonic
Held in Ormeau Park over three weekends in June, Belsonic will feature performances from Nile Rodgers, Liam Gallagher, Picture This, The Script and Gavin James to name only a few. For a post-Belsonic breather, head northwards to Ballymena for a relaxing break at Galgorm Resort and Spa.
Combining countryside and riverside, the resort’s Spa and Thermal Village was named Global Spa of the Year in 2017 whilst also boasting some relaxation rarities – one of only five Halo Domes in the world, Ireland’s only Snow Cabin and a unique take on the Finnish aufglass sauna ritual. Spa access from £69 per person, overnight bed and breakfast with 3-course dinner and spa treatments from £375 for two.
For a more urban space to recharge the batteries after Belsonic, check in to The Merchant Hotel in Belfast city centre. Relax with a midweek ‘Tranquil Me Time’ package (from £330) comprising an overnight stay, breakfast, a hydrotherapy session, spa experience followed by a glass of Prosecco and a three course dinner in the hotel’s stunning Berts Jazz Bar, an Art Deco-styled space continuously voted the best bar in the city.
Sea Sessions Sojourn at Lough Eske
After a weekend spent partying seaside at the 10th anniversary of Sea Sessions (22-24 June), chillax 30 minutes away at Lough Eske Castle. Nestled within 43 acres of woodland just outside Donegal town, the hotel boasts 96 guest rooms, a swimming pool, Spa Solis, Cedars Restaurant and two bars.
A Relax and Pamper package in a deluxe guest room with breakfast and afternoon tea as well as leisure centre access and a 30-minute spa treatment starts at €379 per couple.
The five-star hotel in Newtownmountkennedy offers a ‘Lazy Sunday’ package (€300) which includes a chilled bottle of Prosecco on arrival to enjoy whilst flicking through the Sunday papers, followed by a lavish four-course dinner in 2 AA Rosette restaurant Hugo’s. Breakfast in bed and a leisurely late-checkout awaits the morning after. Biss!
Enjoy Ballyvolane Glamping after Indiependence
Following North Cork’s Indiependence Festival (3-5 August) in Mitchelstown, head 20 minutes deeper into Cork and go glamping at Ballyvolane House just outside Fermoy.
A stunning country estate, popular for weddings as well as being home to Bertha’s Revenge gin distillery, Ballyvolane is known for its fabulous glamping facilities, which cost as little as €100 per tent per night including a full Irish breakfast each morning.
The pinnacle in the calendar of Irish summer festivals, if Electric Picnic (31 August-2 September) exhausts all energy, recharge, ready for Autumn, at two local Kildare hotels.
Naas’ Osprey Hotel will this June open a brand new €1.2 million, 10,000 sq ft spa, designed by RTÉ’s Home of the Year’s Hugh Wallace of Douglas Wallace Architects. With a range of relaxation, treatment and grooming rooms, a thermal suite also offers a choice of heating experiences whilst organic VOYA products are used exclusively in treatments. Turn your phone off, don a fluffy bathrobe and rejuvenate with an overnight stay from €279.
Set amidst the rolling Kildare countryside is the four-star Killashee Hotel. Go back to basics with a quiet break, waking up to gentle birdsong, embarking on a woodland walk, taking afternoon tea overlooking the gardens or whiling away an hour or two in the spa and leisure club. Overnight B&B stays begin at €100.
Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon are freelance writers and blog about food and travel at www.gastrogays.com