Michelle Heffernan Reports

You may have already booked your summer sunbed by the pool, but if you’re in need of a mini-break in the meantime, look no further than these beautiful hotels, all within comfortable driving distance of Waterford. With school midterm, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day all approaching, a getaway in a luxury hotel could be just the ticket.

Romantic Escape: The Old Ground, Ennis, County Clare

For an unrivalled romantic getaway, head out west to the four star Old Ground Hotel situated in the heart of Ennis in County Clare.
Built in the early part of the 18th Century, the property is steeped in rich art, architecture and history and has welcomed a host of famous guests, including the celebrated American pilot Charles Lindbergh. Indeed, hearing the mahogany 19th Century clock chime at the inviting reception, one can see why the rich and elegant lobby was once a cocktail bar for Pan Am airlines.

The entrance to The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis.

The entrance to The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis.

The Old Ground has been in the family of Flynn Hotels for over 20 years, and their tasteful refurbishments and restorations have turned this landmark manor house into an elegant and sophisticated hotel and dining experience.
Many of its 105 restored rooms boast original 18th Century features such as wooden beams and sash windows. The hotel’s Town Hall Bistro and Brendan O’Regan Restaurant offer a choice of fine casual or formal dining, while the Poet’s Corner Bar showcases the best of Irish “Ceol agus Craic” with their regular traditional Irish music sessions.

Just 40 minutes away is The Burren and The Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark, known worldwide for its beauty, while the famous Father Ted Parochial House (Glanquin Farmhouse) can be found just half hour outside Ennis town. Current special offers include ‘Three is a Magic Number’ – a three night B&B stay with 1 evening meal from just €149 pps. Or for an extra special Valentines present for comedy lovers, enjoy tickets to the hilarious Foil Arms & Hog in the nearby Glór Theatre, plus two nights B&B and dinner for only €150 pps.
For more information on The Old Ground Hotel, visit www.flynnhotels.com or call 065-6828127

Girls’ Weekend: Lyrath Estate Kilkenny

Enclosed in an Eden of elegant lakes and picturesque parkland, the Lyrath Estate is the epitome of luxury mixed with tranquillity. This restored 17th Century House is unsurpassable in its style, sophistication and services on offer, with everything from gym, pool, games room and even 22-seat cinema on site.
For a girly getaway like no other book into one of their spacious luxury suites, with entrance hallway, sitting area and fireplace included, or treat yourself to some serious 17th Century grandeur in one of their three inimitable Manor House Rooms.

The Lyrath Hotel offers an Eden of elegant lakes and picturesque parkland.

The Lyrath Hotel offers an Eden of elegant lakes and picturesque parkland.

Enjoy Afternoon tea in The Atrium where floor to ceiling glass windows will provide a panoramic view of the magnificent Lady Charlotte’s Gardens. Relax and unwind in the laps of luxury with an indulgent treatment from the Oasis Spa, voted Leinster Spa of the Year at the Irish Tatler Spa awards 2017.

Rejuvenate and revitalise your body with a signature spa treatment by renowned skincare brand Kerstin Florian, available exclusively to the Lyrath Estate Oasis Spa. Taste the most sumptuous and fresh ingredients at the highly rated Yew Restaurant before enjoying an exquisite gin cocktail by the fire in Tuppers Bar. And if all that isn’t enough fun, the quality boutiques and nightlife of Kilkenny city are just a five minute taxi ride away!

The “Taste of Lyrath Estate” special hotel package is now on offer, allowing guests to enjoy 1 night stay for two persons midweek with Full Irish Breakfast, 30 minute spa treatment and afternoon tea all for €110 pps. The “Relax & Unwind” two-night Spa Package also offers fabulous value for money at just €195 pps.
To see more offers or learn more about the outstanding Lyrath Estate Hotel
see www.lyrath.com or call 056-7760088

Family Adventure: The Metropole Hotel, Cork

For some family fun that won’t break the budget or bore the kids, try the three star Metropole Hotel, a historical landmark located in the Victorian Quarter and is within walking distance to Cork city centre and all shopping, entertainment and leisure attractions. Cork's Metropole Hotel, known locally as "The Met".
Known locally as “the Met” this hotel boasts a history of high quality hospitality, having previously had famous personalities such as Gregory Peck and Walt Disney as guests. Under new ownership since 2015 of Trigon Hotels, the hotel continues to offer all guests the warm and friendly welcome typical of the rebel county.
The hotel’s guestrooms and suites, oozing old world charm offer comfortable accommodation overlooking the central River Lee, while the Met Bar & Bistro can cater for all tastebuds with their lunch, dinner and afternoon tea menus. The Leeside Leisure Centre of course offers a 20-metre swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi access to guests while the Metropole Cellar with allow you the opportunity to indulge in a quiet glass of vino once the kids are asleep. The hotel is also very popular with the active retired market as it is within walking distance of both the bus and train stations in Cork.The real selling point to this hotel however is of course in its location. The Everyman theatre next door alone offers a huge choice of unique entertainment, with family friendly shows such Lambert Puppet Theatre’s “Cinderella and Bosco” or “the Children of Lir” running this season.
Just 15 minutes from the hotel is the Lifetime lab @ Cork Water Works, a modern interactive exhibition with onsite playground, while just half hour outside the city lies Fota Wildlife park, the popular tourist destination that has been voted “Best Family Day out” in Munster on several occasions.
Of course if your more into retail therapy than wildlife tours, the Cork City Shopping District is within just short stroll of the hotel, where Patrick Street, Merchants Quay and the gorgeous boutiques of Huguenot Quarter will offer something for everyone. The Metropole Hotel are currently a New Year room sale offering a nightly B&B rate with 15% discount.

For full list of rates, offers and facilities see www.themetropolehotel.ie or call 021-4506450