Weekend Break: Ringing in the changes in five-star style

Make your final getaway of the year at one of these luxury hotels and resorts
Weekend Break: Ringing in the changes in five-star style

IT’S never an easy night to mark, and let’s face it. We’ll all be glad to see the back of 2016. It might be too late to secure a booking for this New Year’s Eve, but put it in the diary for next year.

Any of these venues would be perfect for the big countdown.

Sheen Falls

Ring in the new year in style at the newly refurbished Kenmare five-star hotel.

There’s a reason this hotel has a steady bank of regular guests; the staff care like no other.

Arrive on December 31 for a champagne and canapé reception before following up with a gala dinner.

There’s music from some of Kerry’s finest musicians, to get you set for the countdown.

One night packages start at €259 per person.


Ashford Castle

Their Christmas stay packages sold out in quick time, so we can expect their New Year’s Eve offering to be just as popular.

It’s no surprise really, this is five-star at its most lavish.

Check in at noon for mulled wine, followed by a treasure hunt.

There’s afternoon tea at 3pm and a welcome cocktail party with chamber music in the drawing room at 7pm.

The gala black tie dinner is in the George V room at 8pm. So you can ring in the new year in true castle surrounds

New Year’s Day begins with a leisurely breakfast, followed by Buck’s Fizz.

Then, after a history talk, there’s the option of golf or falconry and later a choice between a boat cruise or archery.

Afternoon tea will be served to recuperate with dinner available from 7pm.

Wrap up the night with a singalong in the Dungeon bar.

The package is available for €1,150 per person sharing.


Hayfield Manor

Hayfield has a three-night option, the centre piece its renowned New Year’s gala event.

Guests can choose to arrive on December 29, 30 or 31 for a three-night stay.

New Year’s Eve celebrations begin with a Champagne and canapé reception followed by a seven-course gourmet meal with accompanying wines in Hayfield Manor’s signature restaurant, Orchids.

Festivities continue into the New Year with entertainment from Hayfield Manor’s popular Jazz and Swing Band — The Roaring Forties.

Plus there’s a bubbly toast at midnight.

On the second day, dine in Perrotts Garden Bistro, with a four-course evening meal from the full a la carte menu.

Wake each morning to Hayfield Manor’s full Irish breakfast. Prices available from €664 per person sharing. Non-residents can also join the New Year’s Eve Gala from €229.

The Shelbourne Hotel

Make that countdown in the heart of Dublin city centre at the Shelbourne.

The iconic five-star hotel is offering a three-course dinner in the Saddle Room, moving to the No 27 bar and lounge to ring in the New Year. With breakfast included, packages begin at €240 per person sharing.

The Park Hotel Kenmare

As always the Park in Kenmare has a very unique take on New Year festivities.

There’s a festive dinner, naturally, but the next morning there’s a serenity walk (breakfast is served too until 11.30am) followed by a cycle, tai chi and an afternoon treasure hunt. A perfect way to ring in the new year.

Prices start from €530 per person.

Farnham Estate

It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without fireworks, and Farnham hasn’t let the side down.

Arrive to a welcoming drinks reception in front of roaring log fires followed by dinner in the Botanica Restaurant and entertainment in the Wine Goose Cellar Bar.

Then enjoy the main event — a fireworks display at midnight with sparkling wine on hand.

One night packages start at just €235 per person sharing.

After the Super Buffet Breakfast is served on New Year’s Day, you might choose to have a last swim in the indoor/outdoor infinity pool, or a stroll through Farnham Estate’s magnificent grounds.


Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Those Downtown Abbey Christmas specials were always a ratings winner.

Enjoy a real-life flavour of that nostalgia with the New Year’s Eve package at Galway’s Ballynhinch Castle Hotel.

The Victorian country house and estate, with waterside suites on its own stretch of river in the heart of Connemara, promises character, history and style.

The entertainment begins with an evening champagne reception followed by a black tie gala dinner.

Dinner will be served in the Owenmore Restaurant; then cosy up in the elegant series of riverside rooms with a Connemara marble fireplace and enjoy live music by Moondance with dancing.

On New Year’s Day get outdoors to blow away the cobwebs on one of the river and forest walks around Ballynahinch or simply relax with a good book or some classic board games by the fire.

Enjoy two night’s bed and breakfast, black tie gala dinner and dancing, and a New Year’s Day of old-fashioned peace and quiet to start the year from €365 per person sharing, or €730 per couple.


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