Breaks this Easter include a sweets splurge, a courtyard picnic, two nights in a lakeside room, over-55s specials, a chocolatier masterclass and surfing, says Pól Ó Conghaile
Melt away at Inchydoney, Co Cork
Easter is about the good Lord, but it’s also about chocolate — and after Lenten’s 40 days, Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa (right) has the excuse for a splurge: an Easter ‘sensation’ package from €125pp. Included are one night’s B&B in an ocean-view room, with a chocolate-and-orange wrap to stir up a Willy Wonkaesque sense of wellbeing. “Your therapist will envelope you in a warm blanket, which will allow the active ingredients to send you into a state of ultimate relaxation,” they say — and it ends with a free hot chocolate and sweet treat. Costs €145pp on weekends.
Details: 023-883-3143; www.inchydoneyisland.com.
Bear hugs in Dublin
This Easter, Dublin’s funky, under-rated, four-star Gibson Hotel is offering B&B, a courtyard picnic, and a Teddy bear gift from €126 for one adult and one child (€1 goes to the Action Ireland Trust). Two adults and one child cost €155, or €173 for a family of four.
Details: 01 681-5000; www.thegibsonhotel.ie.
Happy bunnies at Ballilogue Clochán
Ballilogue Clochán, in Co Kilkenny, was a small, rural habitat, with several families working from old stone cottages and outbuildings. Today, it’s the picture postcard of boutique luxury. Designer Pat McCarthy, who owns the buildings, converted them into top-notch accommodation, with a shop selling locally-made throws and houseware, and a small country museum. The detail is delicious, from naming the rooms after old residents to the exposed stone and silhouetted trees on the walls. Two nights B&B are available from Mar 30 to Apr 1 — with one dinner and a bottle of wine — from €175pps.
Details: 051-423857; www.ballilogueclochan.com.
The Yellow Brick Road to Aghadoe Heights, Co Kerry
Disney’s Oz: The Great & Powerful is in cinemas and, to celebrate, Killarney’s Aghadoe Heights has teamed up with the studio to offer an exclusive this Easter. The ‘Oz’ themed break includes two nights B&B in a family lakeside room, an Oz dinner with movie night, children’s arts and crafts, and milk and cookies at bedtime. From €295 per adult, from Mar 29 to Apr 7 inclusive.
Details: 064-663-1766; aghadoeheights.com.
Hop along to Limerick’s Strand Hotel
The mid-week deal at Limerick’s four-star Strand Hotel this Easter is €299 for three nights for a family of four. The offer includes children’s check-in with a Pandora Bell egg, a free children’s club, and €20 food-and-beverage credit for adults in the Terrace Bar.
Details: 061-421800; www.strandlimerick.ie.
Golden offers for the Over-55s
Golden Ireland specialises in offers for the over-55s — year-round. The Irish travel website has launched its 2013 brochure, and one offer bundles three nights’ B&B with one dinner, from €199pp, at Waterford’s Athenaeum House Hotel. The offer is valid Sunday through Thursday (you can stay weekends with a supplement of €20 per night), and includes complimentary tea and coffee.
Details: goldenireland.ie; www.athenaeumhousehotel.com.
Easter getawaysin Galway
There’s no shortage of special offers in the City of the Tribes this Easter, and no shortage of chocolate in the small print.
Hotel Meyrick has a masterclass with chocolatier, Benoit Lorge, on Easter Sunday, which can be enjoyed as part of a three-course lunch from €25 per adult. The hotel also has three nights’ B&B, with a table d’hôte dinner from €199pp.
The Twelve Hotel, in Bearna, has a ‘cocoa and Chanel’ package, including two nights’ B&B, one dinner, hot chocolates and a Chanel treat for mum from €490 for two adults and two children. There’s chocolate pizza-making for the children.
A cracking time in Cork
In Cork, a host of egg-citing events are lined up. Rumley’s Open Farm, five minutes from Cork City, has an egg hunt along a 2km walk, with panoramic views of Cork. The Glucksman Gallery has an Easter Art Club from Apr 1-5, and Fota Wildlife Park has an Easter Activity Camp from Apr 3-5, with an Easter egg trail scattered amongst the animal enclosures.
The River Lee Hotel has one night’s B&B for two adults and two children, from €159, including a free children’s pack and 20% off spa treatments, from Mar 30 to Apr 1.
Big love in Longueville House
Some bunny loves you this Easter … and by the looks of this offer, it could be the Blue Book’s Longueville House.
Roaring log fires, a bottle of bubbly, and apple brandy truffles are all promised for Good Friday arrivals, with two nights’ B&B, bracing country walks, free newspapers and two four-course dinners, from €349pp.
TAKE FIVE: OVERSEAS EASTER TREATS
Take to the slopes
Skiing in late March and early April makes for warmer temperatures (but not so warm as to melt the slopes).
Highlife has all-inclusive, seven-night chalet stays in Meribel, Morzine and Val d’Isère, from €840 per adult, and €686 per child, over Easter.
Details: 01-6771100;www.highlife.ie. Price excludes flights.
Bunny hop to Birmingham
Jury’s Inn has a range of specials over Easter, with room prices in Birmingham from £59/€68 per night, from Mar 24 to Apr 14. Tack on direct flights with Aer Lingus, from Cork, and you’re all set for a visit to Cadbury World or the National Sea Life Centre.
Make for the Med
The aptly-named GoHop.ie has several late Easter offers, including seven nights in Portugal’s Algarve, from €213pp, departing Mar 24, and three nights in Majorca from €185pp, direct from Cork on Mar 27. Both are based on three-star accommodation.
Surf’s Upin Fuerteventura
Fancy hopping onto a surfboard this Easter? Surfholidays.com has six-day surf and accommodation packages in Corralejo, departing Mar 23 and 30, from €1,060, based on two adults and two children. Transfers included; flights extra.
The big blow-outin Borneo
It’s the big egg. Departing Mar 29, Trailfinders has a 12-night family journey to Malaysian Borneo, including visits to Kinabalu and Pulau Tiga National Parks, as well as the orang-utans of Sepilok, from €7,349 based on a family of four (with children aged 7-11).
Details: 021-464-8800; www.trailfinders.ie.
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