Travelling a lot for work in my twenties has made me, let’s say, discerning, about hotels. I’m bored to tears with generic hotels-by-the-numbers, but moved to tears (well, almost) by the little luxuries – those special finishing touches that elevate your overall experience.
And, from free, home-made lemonade in warmer weather (thanks, The Marker), to the biggest bedrooms known to man (Knockranny House in Westport) – when it comes to hotels with #frills, our emerald isle can punch above its weight.
Fancy kipping in an antique, four-poster bed? Your own bath butler? A hot-tub on the roof? Read on…
(What’s been your most memorable hotel experience? Leave your favourite frills below.)
The 14 Master Rooms at Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort in Waterford are like stepping back in time – in the grandest possible way. Retaining period touches like four poster beds, period fireplaces, high ceilings and plenty of historical charm, they also offer spectacular views over the golf course or the River Suir. www.faithlegg.com
Between guided nature trails, lakeside picnics, or wandering ancient woodlands blanketed in moss, Farnham Estate Hotel in Cavan is pretty special all-round. The indoor/outdoor pool is the icing on the cake – it’s imprinted on my memory from that time I floated in the warmth below the stars. www.farnhamestate.ie
An outdoor hot-tub feels especially indulgent, and I sit in one as often as I can. Antrim’s Galgorm Resort & Spa, Galway’s Radisson Blu, Wicklow’s Glenview Hotel and Johnstown House Hotel & Spa in Meath are each worthy of a trip. But the Meyrick Hotel in Galway goes one step further with its hot-tub on the roof - so as you soak, you can also soak up the views. www.hotelmeyrick.ie
And while you’re in Galway, why not swing by The Twelve – this stylish, modern hotel gives a nod to tradition by offering guests a Voya Seaweed Bath – an indigenous Irish therapy dating back to 1912. The Twelve have updated the experience with a dedicated Bath Butler, who will come and run it for you in the comfort of your room. www.thetwelvehotel.ie
In the lakelands of Fermanagh, Lusty Beg comes with its own private island, which you can whizz around by speedboat. Stay in stone cottages or log cabins, some with a Jacuzzi on the porch, and spare some time to lounge in the Island Spa. www.lustybegisland.com