With the hospitality sector officially allowed to re-open at the end of June, a sigh of relief and excitement could be heard across the country. The Taoiseach announced the summer could be saved and, as a result, we are going to embrace the idea of getting away (anywhere) in Ireland with very welcome arms.

With that in mind, and a reluctant acceptance that it realistically might be 2021 before we can travel overseas again, it is time to look inwards and rediscover our special landscape, magnificent beaches and some of the hidden gems Ireland has to offer for couples, families, and friends alike.

two women going on a road trip

From luxury family townhouses to grandiose castle retreats and glamping in style, our choice of destinations make for the best staycation spots to book this summer. Catch them while you can.

Killarney Glamping at the Grove
Killarney Glamping at the Grove is the ideal destination for couples who are looking for something a little special, something a little more than a weekend away in a hotel. Located only 1.5 kilometers from Killarney city centre in Co. Kerry this hidden gem offers a plethora of romantic glamping choices for couples to choose from.

This utterly unique setting offers guests of two the opportunity to stay in their ‘Luxury Lodges’, made from wood, in the traditional shape of a tent, featuring mod cons such as an electric blanket on the bed for those chillier evenings to heated private patios, self-catering kitchens, and a private bathroom.

Alternatively, choose to stay in their ‘Romantic Glamping Suite’ made of cotton canvas, with private patio, self-catering kitchen, and BBQ. Set on the banks of the River Flesk at the base of the Kerry mountains, this romantic base allows for couples to reconnect on sunset kayaks and campfire cooking under the stars. Click here for more information.

The Courtyard at Sheen Falls Country Club, Kenmare
This luxury self-catering complex of three bedroom townhouses situated in Kenmare, Co. Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way is ideal for anyone looking for an escape to the country in style. The contemporary décor and full suite of amenities ensure that your stay is very well catered for.

Situated only 2km from Kenmare town itself means you can use this luxury home as your base to explore Kenmare renowned for its buzzy atmosphere and great seafood, or explore the wider Ring of Kerry and National Park of Killarney.

Guests are also welcome to use the bar and restaurant at the neighbouring 5* hotel, Sheen Falls Lodge and have complimentary access to the extensive leisure facilities at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney and the Maritime Hotel in Bantry. Click here for more information.

Sheen Falls Country Club

Hotel Westport
Located on the idyllic surroundings of Westport Estate in The Wild Atlantic Way, Hotel Westport have created the ultimate staycation spot, offering brand new experiences with a socially distanced focus. Taking full advantage of their 400 acres of land, they are launching a new Family Bush Camp that centers on bush crafting, survival activities and lapping up the fresh summer air.

They have also launched a new bike hire partnership with Clew Bay so you and your family can enjoy the magnificent surroundings of Croagh Patrick and Wild Atlantic Way or the family friendly 10km loop around the estate.

Owner and head chef of Cian’s on Bridge Street will also be setting up a pop up restaurant in the hotel for the duration of the summer, offering bespoke dishes using the best of locally sourced ingredients. Hotel Westport will be re-opening on July 10th while Westport House the Caravan and Camping Park will re-open on July 3rd. For more information see www.hotelwestport.ie

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Ballyvolane House, Cork
Ballyvolane House is one of those rare hidden gems that caters for all tastes. For anyone looking for a slice of opulence in the countryside, this Northern Cork estate makes for an ideal getaway destination. The rustic charm of the house is ideal for families looking to re-connect together for a few days in an idyllic setting.

Their estate not only offers private houses for larger parties to glamping in the garden until September and individual rooms inside the estate itself. Ballyvolane House is also the home of Bertha’s Revenge Gin so if you are a gin lover, prepare to stock up. www.ballyvolanehouse.ie.

Ashford Castle and Dromoland Castle, Legendary Castle Promotion
Two legendary castles in their own right, Ashford Castle and Dromoland Castle are hardly 'hidden' gems but their latest offer certainly caught out eye. The two have decided to join forces for their re-opening on July 3rd offering guests the option of being able to split their time between the two castles.

Guests can choose from an option of staying in Ashford Castle for 2, 3 or 4 nights and then move on to Dromoland to spend the equal amount of time in their neighbouring historic property. Being able to split your time in both castles allows guests the magical opportunity to experience the grandeur of staying in one of the Leading Hotels in the World in Ashford Castle and then to discover the medieval richness of 16th century Dromoland Castle.

Each castle is surrounded by hundreds of acres of land to enjoy with the family or as a romantic getaway. This perfect partnership running from July 3rd to October 31st offers an unparalleled experience in two of Ireland’s most memorable destinations. Bookings can be made via either hotel.

Sheen Falls Country Club

Happy travels.