When you aren’t home for Christmas

Let others do the hard work for you this Christmas and take a festive break at an Irish hotel. We check out what’s on offer    

When you aren’t home for Christmas


The Limerick Strand

Check in to mulled wine and mince pies on Christmas Eve. Take a dip in the pool that afternoon or treat yourself to a blow dry and get a 10pc discount next door at Niall Colgan hairdressing.

That evening there’s a festive buffet dinner with panoramic city views, and entertainment in the Terrace bar.

Christmas Day begins with breakfast at 7am until 11am. Later there’s drinks and canapes followed by a four-course Christmas lunch in the River Restaurant with a drop in from Santa.

There’s a Christmas movie in the library at 4pm with jazz and a light supper in the Terrace Bar from 7pm.

Finally, enjoy a late breakfast on St Stephen’s Day before check out.

Two nights costs €325 per person with kids free. Dinner is €45 per child.



Glenlo Abbey

All eyes have been on this hotel this year with the release of the new take on Murder On The Orient Express movie. Home to one of the carriages used in the original film, it’s since been transformed into a restaurant, the Pullman.

It’s quite the experience (complete with a soundtrack of a moving train) - and when better to savour it than Christmas.

On the 24th, arrive to mulled wine. There’ll be Christmas movies in the Abbey Theatre or take a serenity walk on the estate.

Relax by the open log fires later with a nightcap or creamy hot chocolate.

On Christmas morning have breakfast in bed or go for Santa’s breakfast in the River Room restaurant.

There’s a pre-lunch champagne reception in the French room with a festive feast later in the River Room restaurant.

Santa is also set to visit and there’ll be Christmas movies in the in-house restaurant that evening.

On Stephen’s Day, there’s the annual treasure hunt and table quiz with dinner served that evening before check out on the 27th. The three-day package costs €950 per adult sharing and €395 per child (under 3 free).



The Park Hotel

Nobody could possibly do Christmas better than At Your Service hosts Francis and John Brennan.

Their Samas spa with its infinity pool overlooking the forest is hands down the country’s best on offer.

Imagine relaxing in that water Christmas morning knowing that five-star chefs are prepping the perfect festive feast.

Think evenings by open fires, dances in the drawing room, and candlelit dinners in a five-star rural retreat.

Arrive to afternoon tea on Christmas Eve and a four-course candlelit dinner.

After a Christmas Eve holy communion service at St Patrick’s church, there will be mince pies.

There’s the Park Hotel Kenmare Bay charity plunge (eccentric attire preferred) on Christmas morning, with the option of a swim and run in an Xmas-athon. And there’s a breakfast feast for afters.

Traditional games will be played from 10am with Christmas lunch served from 1.30pm.

Santa will visit later with a five-course dinner and classic movie screening in the cinema.

Walks, cycles and treasure hunts are on the itinerary the next day, with the demolishing of the gingerbread house for the kids on Stephen’s Day evening.

The Christmas package starts at €1495 per person sharing.



The Shelbourne

It’s one of Dublin’s most iconic hotels and the five-star Shelbourne pulls out all the stops for Christmas.

Wake up to breakfast in your room or head for the Saddle Room, with a visit from Santa in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge.

Later there’s a five star lavish lunch. The package starts at €450 per person sharing, with two nights from €950.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel

Or, if you’re Dublin-bound, check in to the stylish Radisson Blu, just off Grafton Street. Soak up the lights on Christmas Eve before retiring back to the hotel for a night cap at the chic SURE bat. Enjoy the Super Breakfast on Christmas morning and dine at the V’n’V restaurant for a five course Christmas dinner.

Think city centre views, and slick stylish rooms.

A couple’s retreat including two nights accommoodation. with a welcome winter cocktail and Christmas dinner costs from €390 per person.




On Christmas Eve there’s mulled wine, a gourmet dinner in the Bell Tower restaurant, carols in Knights bar - and even a visit from Santa himself.

On Christmas Day, there’s lunch and traditional board games – the aim is to make the five star a home from home, so think an intimate, cosy atmosphere.

Two night starts from €800 per night.


More in this section


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up
Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.