What stay-cations are available in Ireland this autumn?

What stay-cations are available in Ireland this autumn?
Riders and their horses trekking across the beach at Rossbeigh, Co Kerry. Picture Dan Linehan

Many people are considering booking a weekend away in Ireland, especially after the government confirmed this week that the public health advice in relation to travel will remains as is for the time-being: avoid all unnecessary foreign travel.

A new "stay and spend" initiative was also announced this week as part of the July stimulus package. The initiative aims to encourage people to holiday in Ireland during the off-peak season, to help struggling businesses and tourist destinations which would usually be swamped with visitors.

Part of the scheme involves holiday-goers being able to claim tax back on hotel, food and non-alcoholic drinks bills. The scheme is to run from October until April 2021. It will be a simple matter of taking pictures of receipts and uploading them to the Revenue website, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said.

But, unsurprisingly, after months of lockdown and staying local due to public health restrictions, many people are keen for a break and have started looking around. As well, hotels, restaurants and other businesses are currently subject to capacity limits and other public health measures, limiting the number of people they can accommodate.

So, looking ahead to the autumn, what is actually out there for those who have not booked anything?

The Irish Examiner chose hotels across Ireland at random, and rang them to see how much it would cost for a family of four (two adults and two children under 12), and a couple (two adults) to stay two nights in a hotel. Prices vary depending on the dates booked, so these prices may not be reflective of the dates you wish to stay. All prices include breakfast and are for a Friday and Saturday night stay.

In Cork city, a stay at the Metropole Hotel, situated in the Victorian Quarter, will cost a family of four €290 for the two nights, with breakfast included. 

Unsurprisingly, demand was high and the hotel only has one family room available, with a double and two single beds, so not every weekend in September and October was available. 

September 4 and 5, and 18 and 19 were available at the time of writing, and October 9 and 10 were free also. There was a high rate of availability for couple's rooms. Bed and breakfast for two adults is €258 in total. 

The Clayton Hotel, also in Cork city, said they had plenty of availability for September and October. A family room of a double bed and two singles, with breakfast included, was €149 per night, or €298 in total. For a couple to stay with breakfast included, it is €129 per night. 

Moving a little further west to enjoy the sights of the Cork leg of the Wild Atlantic Way, a family of four can stay in the Celtic Ross in Rosscarbery during the first week of September for €338, including breakfast. To include one evening meal for the family, it is €380.  For a couple to stay during the same weekend, it is €338 including breakfast, and €374 for one evening meal.

Seaview House Hotel in Bantry Bay is €190 per night for a family of four, for the weekend of Friday 11 - Sunday 13. The price includes breakfast. For a couple to stay on the same weekend it is €159 per night or €318 in total, including breakfast. 

But, maybe the Waterford greenway is more in line with your interests.

Then, the Waterford Marina Hotel is €358 for a two night stay for a family of four with breakfast, from 11-13 September. 

However, by calling the hotel directly, the price was bumped down to €315. For two adults on the same weekend it is €245 in total. 

The Tower Hotel in Waterford, for the weekend of September 11, is €272 for two nights bed and breakfast for a family of four. For a couple on the same weekend, it is €232 for bed and breakfast. 

The lakes of Killarney remain popular as ever and are sure to attract huge numbers of staycationers later this year.

The Killarney Plaza Hotel's family room has a double bed, a single bed, and a roll away single bed. For a family of four, it is €362 for two nights bed and breakfast, with a 10% discount rate for staying two nights. This price was also for the weekend of September 11.  For a couple it was €286.

Aghadoe Heights, also in Killarney, had low availability for family rooms in September, but there was one available on the weekend of September  18. 

A lakeside view family room with two queen beds, for the weekend of September 18, is €698. For the weekend of October 9, it is €668.

A couple can stay for €498 in September and €468 in October, on the same dates as above. All prices include breakfast.

Moving up the west coast towards the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and other eye-catching sights, the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, Co Clare is €458 for a family of four for the weekend of September 11. This includes breakfast and one four course evening meal for the whole family. For a couple, it is €358 including one evening meal. 

Hotel Doolin only had Friday nights available for most of September but for those looking later in the year, the weekend of October 16 had a family room is €220 per night, including breakfast. For a couple it is €170 per night, or €340 in total. 

In Galway, the Galmont Hotel overlooking Lough Atalia was available for the weekend on September 11, with bed, breakfast and an evening meal for a family of four is €481. The same deal for a couple is €440.

The Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill, for a family of four with one evening meal for the two adults, is €512. This is for the weekend of September 11.

For a couple to stay on the same weekend, it is €404.

Finally, if you'd prefer to be in the capital, to stay right in Dublin city centre on O'Connell Street, The Gresham Hotel is €428 for a family of four bed and breakfast. For a couple it is €298. Both of these prices applied for the weekend of September 11. 

The Gibson Hotel on the docklands is €500 for a family of four on the same weekend. For a couple, it is €277 per night.

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