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Explore the most romantic getaways in Ireland
Take the time to treat your partner to a romantic break in Ireland.
Orla NeliganOrla Neligan is a freelance editor and journalist. She contributes a weekly column to the Irish Independent, as well as regular features on travel, business, psychology, interiors and lifestyle for the paper and other publications.
If you’re thinking of treating the one you love, you don’t have to face the airport queues; Ireland is rife with romantic places to stay that rival the likes of Rome or Paris. Think elegant country houses, lakeside retreats, historic castles and boutique luxury in beautiful landscapes and far-flung corners of Ireland.

Whether you gaze into each other's eyes by a crackling fire, nip to a nearby cosy pub, hole up in your very own hot tub or keep warm under luxury canvas – there’s plenty of romance right on the doorstep.

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1Wineport Lodge, Co Westmeath

Wake up to the gentle twitter of birds and lapping water at the Wineport Lodge, a Scandi-style hideaway on the shores of Lough Ree where the focus is on switching off. Outdoors you’ll find wooden decks and verandas, a pontoon and seating areas (with blankets supplied for those chillier evenings) for whiling away afternoons together. Inside is just as romantic – blazing fires and reading nooks and rooms, all with uninterrupted lake views and balconies or terraces, walk-in wardrobes and luxe products. If food is your romance, then you can rest even easier with their restaurant, where provenance is championed and the wine list is impressive.

Inside Wineport Lodge in Co Westmeath

Photo credit: @wineport_lodge

Relax by the fire in Wineport Lodge.
2 Cabu by the Lakes, Co Cavan

What’s more romantic than curling up for the weekend with your other half in a cabin on the shores of Lough Oughter? Rustic chic meets a dreamy landscape of islands, lakes and forests at Cabu by the Lakes. Their 28 luxury hideaways, a handful of which are dog-friendly, are kitted out with mod-cons including a full-range cooker, coffee machine, sheepskin throws, blankets and kilim rugs. Spend the day forest bathing, enjoying a hot tub, boating or on a bike ride. Come nightfall, head to the sitoorie for drinks and s’mores or just hunker down in your cabin by the wood-burning stove.

Cabü by the Lakes in County Cavan
Enjoy a quiet romantic break at Cabu by the Lakes.
3The Cliff House Hotel, Co Waterford

Clinging to the edge of the cliff on Ardmore Bay, the Cliff House Hotel is a wedding and honeymoon go-to with a Michelin-star restaurant, excellent spa, floor-to-ceiling panoramic views, terraces and private gardens. Bedrooms are designed so that you may never want to leave, with techie amenities and Donegal tweed furnishings, and some with fireplaces and libraries of books. In their own words – it’s a ‘magnificent choice for starry-eyed lovers’.

4Monart, Co Wexford

This adult-only destination spa hotel has been a favourite with couples for many years with a string of accolades to show for it, including the award of “Ireland’s Best Spa” of 2024 by The Irish Independent’s Reader Travel Awards. Lounge for the weekend in one of the Monart’s cosy sitting rooms, or relax away all stresses in the spa, fully decked out with a thermal suite, infinity pool, and light and dark relaxation rooms. There’s also a leafy woodland to ramble before dinner at the gastronomic delight that is the restaurant. It’s white-robed nirvana where lavish meets low-key.

Chill out in the Monart's deluxe spa.
Chill out in the Monart's deluxe spa.
5Ice House Hotel & Spa, Co Mayo

Small but swish, what the Ice House Hotel & Spa lacks in size it makes up for in luxury offerings, a long leap from its humble beginnings as an ice store. If the boutique hotel doesn’t sweep you off your feet, the location, perched on the edge of the River Moy, will. The interiors are smart and stylish, a mix of contemporary and ‘heritage’, with an impressive art collection, goose down duvets and Voya goodies in the bedrooms. But the real treat here is the Chill spa and the outdoor seaweed bath that overlooks the river – perfect for an escape for two. 

A woman at The Ice House Hotel spa in County Mayo
Soak up the scenic views at Mayo's Ice House Hotel.
6Gregans Castle Hotel, Co Clare

While not a castle (the original 15th century tower house “castle” sits across the road), Gregans Castle Hotel has all the hallmarks of a fabulous family-run retreat, part isolated luxury, part unfussy comfort. There’s croquet on the lawn and squishy sofas on which to retire, rooms dotted with open fires and antiques, and a restaurant with a daily tasting menu that has made it a foodie destination, all on the edge of the beautiful Burren. Choose from rooms overlooking the mountains or the sea – either way it’s as romantic a stay as you can get.

Exterior view of Gregans Castle Hotel in Co Clare
Spend time on the lawn of Gregans Castle Hotel.
7Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois

A weekend away for those couples that want to splurge, Ballyfin Demesne promises digs fit for royalty. Four-poster canopy beds and furnishings worthy of a museum, dinners with ingredients grown in the garden and beautiful rooms encourage you to sit down and savour the romance of this grand house and its 614 acres of private gardens. For all its grandness, however, it still manages to feel warm, welcoming and very special indeed.

A couple in a horse drawn carriage outside of Ballyfin Demesne, Co Clare
Feel like you're in a fairytale at Ballyfin Demesne.
8Dunbrody Country House Hotel, Co Wexford

A Georgian mansion without the fuss but with plenty of stylish comfort and romance, Dunbrody Country House Hotel is not just a country pile, but a cookery school and spa headed up by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon and his wife Catherine. Expect five-star meals by candlelight, chic Champagne at the seafood bar, bubble baths in roll-top tubs with views of the countryside, long, lazy lie-ins followed by leisurely breakfasts and 300 acres of parkland on the Hook Peninsula to explore. For the ultimate hideaway, try the Cosy Cabin, a new woodland retreat on the estate.

Exterior view of Dunbrody Country House Hotel in Co Wexford
Spend a romantic evening at Dunbrody Country House Hotel.
9Tankardstown House, Co Meath

The sweeping driveway to Tankardstown House is a precursor to the grand manor, which looks like something pulled from Downton Abbey. While away the afternoon on one of the main house’s squishy sofas by the roaring fire with a book and a dram before heading to the acclaimed Brabazon restaurant for the tasting menu. The design is low-key, but the menu is anything but. Choose between one of the main house rooms, the courtyard cottages, luxury lodge or newly repurposed barn and stable rooms – all with their own distinct character. For an added dose of solitude, steal away to the outdoor hot tub tucked away in the walled garden.

Exterior view of Tankardstown House in Co Meath

Photo credit: @tankardstownhouse

Explore the beautiful grounds of Tankardstown House.
10Dunraven Arms Hotel, Co Limerick

Being located across the road from Adare Manor (one of the country’s grandest hotels) might prove challenging for a modest address, but Dunraven Arms Hotel is more than capable of competing in this village lauded for its charm. There’s nothing like a family-run hotel to make you feel welcome, only adding to its ‘country inn’ atmosphere. Rooms are exceptionally comfortable, the food is stellar (especially breakfast), it has an unrivalled reputation for quality and value, and on the doorstep is arguably the prettiest village in Ireland with thatched cottages and intimate pubs – the ideal romantic getaway.

11Blairscove House and Restaurant, Co Cork

For those who want to hideaway for the weekend DIY-style, Blairscove House and Restaurant is a lovely Georgian guesthouse overlooking Dunmanus Bay with four stylish self-catering cottages which can be rented on a B&B or self-catering basis. Each cottage is designed and curated with thoughtful accessories: a chilled bottle of wine upon your arrival, a bathroom stocked with Voya products and a wood-burning stove ready to go. The cottages are set around a pretty courtyard opposite the hotel’s restaurant where you can sample the very best of West Cork produce next to the giant fireplace.

A room in the Blairscove House and Restaurant in Co Cork.

Photo credit: @blairscove

Relax in your own cottage at Blairscove House and Restaurant.
12Hayfield Manor Hotel, Co Cork

From the top-hatted doorman to the friendly faces behind the reception desk and waiting staff, the family-run five-star Hayfield Manor has managed to maintain its luxury status since it opened in 1996. And yet you’ll feel like part of the family as soon as you step in the door. The new Bloom restaurant, with its glass-walled cocktail bar, is a real talking point, as is the pool and spa area. The rooms are generous, some classic and some more contemporary, and all that little bit fancy so you feel you’re being spoiled for the weekend.

13Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry

Fresh from its sensitive refurb in 2020, the Park Hotel Kenmare is dressed to impress. The spectacular location on the Kenmare Estuary hits all the romance buttons but there’s plenty inside to dial up the amour. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at the sultry Champagne bar before cosying up on the velvet banquettes in the restaurant for a tasting menu. Steal some alone time together at the Samas spa with views of the water and woods or tuck into afternoon tea in one of the terraced gardens – it’s a place made for an intimate weekend.

14Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

Consistently voted as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, Ashford Castle is Ireland’s only 13th century castle hotel and it has had 700 years to get it right. Famously visited by several notable celebrities, the French-style chateau on the shores of Lough Corrib sets the romantic scene nicely with its rolling lawns, walled gardens, lakeside walks and woodland paths. Rooms are heavy on the romance too, with large four-poster beds, thick satin curtains and gilt frames. There’s an exquisite spa, a cinema and one of the country’s best restaurants, making it the ultimate romantic splurge.

Aerial view of Ashford Castle in Co Mayo
Feel like a celebrity couple at Ashford Castle.
15Rathmullan House Hotel, Co Donegal

If hunkering down with your other half in a country manor on the windswept Donegal coast is what you’re after, then Rathmullan House Hotel might just tick all the boxes. It’s fancy without being fussy, thanks to the family-friendly atmosphere with plenty of comfortable sofas and roaring log fires. After a lavish breakfast, head for a massage in the treatment room or a swim in the pool, which will set you up nicely for a walk on the nearby beach. Finish the evening with a romantic dinner of lobster and lamb rump at the Cook & Gardener restaurant.

16Cashel Palace Hotel, Co Tipperary

Sometimes romance is about experiencing something new and exciting, and the Cashel Palace Hotel arrived with aplomb in 2021, along with a ‘one of the best hotels in the world’ tag courtesy of Conde Nast Traveller. The reimagined Palladian mansion has put Tipperary firmly on the map when it comes to luxury hotels not least for its opulent interior (think French country house meets Pride & Prejudice) but also for its food offerings of local Irish delicacies, slick new spa with views of the gardens and its high-end hospitality. It’s also neatly positioned at the foot of the Rock of Cashel, which provides a memorable backdrop from the bedroom windows and for woodland walks.

Exterior view of Cashel Palace Hotel in Co Tipperary
Roam the grounds of the beautiful Cashel Palace Hotel.
17Barberstown Castle, Co Kildare

You won’t find suits of armour or medieval heraldry at Barberstown Castle. The original 13th century castle keep is still there and bears the hallmarks of its history of conflict and rebellion, but it’s adjoining Georgian house and modern wing is more country house chic, where turf fires blaze and the clink of teacups can be heard. Hand-carved four-poster beds and antiques in the bedrooms are nods to its storied past, as are the rumoured secret tunnels below ground. A hit of history with all the comforts and just a 30-minute drive from Dublin, it makes for a great base for exploring Ireland’s Ancient East.

Aerial view of Barberstown Castle Hotel, Co Kildare

Photo credit: @barberstowncastlehotel

Learn the interesting past behind Barberstown Castle Hotel.
18Knockranny House Hotel & Spa, Co Mayo

There’s something about holing up at what feels like the edge of the world that’s undeniably romantic. And at Knockranny House Hotel & Spa, you’ll feel as though you are secluded yet have all the comforts you could want from a fine country house hotel. Rooms are comfortable and spacious, there’s a spa in which to flake out for the afternoon and Le Fougere restaurant is the ideal space for a romantic meal a deux, followed by killer cocktails at the Brehon Bar. Add to this the knockout view of Clew Bay and Westport town on the doorstep and you’ve got a winning combo for a weekend for two.

19Mayo Glamping, Co Mayo

This is one for adventurous, movie-buff couples – a place where you can get off grid and properly shack up in either a hobbit hut, cosy A-frame cabin, luxury fairy hut or a Harry Potter-inspired railway carriage. Each hut at Mayo Glamping has some luxury add-ons including WiFi, movie projectors and mini kitchens. There’s also an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven, barbecue and communal kitchen, plus a private hot tub. Getting back to nature has never been so dreamy.

Four people in a hot tub at Mayo Glamping in County Mayo

Photo credit: @mayoglamping

Go for a soak in Mayo Glamping's hot tub.
20No.1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa, Co Limerick

No.1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa is perfect for a romantic bijou boutique getaway in Limerick’s Georgian quarter, marrying period charm with modern flair. The rooms are sumptuous with great proportions, tall Georgian windows and marble fireplaces. Best is the Townhouse Suite with its own living room. If you do decide to leave your room, there’s The Long Room restaurant, a wine room for tastings, a cosy bar and a Voya spa with candlelit treatment rooms.

21Killarney Glamping at the Grove, Co Kerry

There’s no better way to reconnect as a couple than beneath the stars. Book into a rustic tent suite at Killarney Glamping at the Grove, just a short hop from Killarney town. Set in a secluded meadow on the banks of the River Flesk, the suites and luxury lodges come with double beds, electric blankets and ensuite bathrooms. Sip sundowners on the heated patio under the twinkle of festoon lights and stargaze from your private outdoor kitchen.

The site of Killarney Glamping in Co Kerry

Photo credit: @killarneyglamping

Become one with nature at Killarney Glamping.
22Bellingham Castle, Co Louth

It might have lain unloved for years but Bellingham Castle, a 17th century castle in the medieval village after which it earned its name, is now a romantic bolthole and one of the top spots for a wedding. With 17 acres to explore on the banks of the River Glyde, including a man-made island and weir, it might have all the airs of a castle, but the interiors provide a sense of ease and restful comfort at every turn. Bedrooms are opulent with baths overlooking the stunning parkland, and the library, drawing rooms and dining rooms are ideal for wandering off with your other half for some alone time.

23Brooklodge & Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow

Since it set roots in the small village of Macreddin village in Wicklow in 1999, the Brooklodge has evolved to encompass anything its guests would need for a relaxing break from reality. Alongside its homely feel and spacious rooms (even some with standalone baths right next to the bed), it also hosts a bakery, pub, café, golf course and even a chocolate-boxy chapel on the grounds. Visit The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, Ireland’s only certified-organic restaurant, and tuck into wild mallard with blackcurrant and elderflower sorbet. Once your appetite has been satisfied, take a stroll around the village and enjoy a drink on the terrace before retiring to that bedside bath.

Exterior view of The Strawberry Tree restaurant at Brooklodge and Macreddin Village in Co Wicklow

Photo credit: @macreddin

Grab a bite to eat at The Strawberry Tree.
24Screebe House, Co Galway

This Victorian hideaway on the shores of Camus Bay in Connemara has romantic getaways licked, with old-world appeal and warm comforts. Getting cosy and intimate in a wing-backed chair for the afternoon by the fire at Screebe House (with the resident pooch at your feet) makes for a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but there’s also a sauna, steam room, seaweed baths and a pool with beautiful sea views, not to mention a famed chef at the helm in the restaurant. The owners are also friendly and gregarious, making you feel right at home.

The sauna at Screebe House in Connemara, Co Galway
Sweat out your worries in the sauna at Screebe House.
25The Killarney Royal Hotel, Co Kerry

There is something romantic about arriving somewhere by train that can’t be rivalled by a plane or car, rolling through the green countryside and then arriving to a Georgian townhouse just a moment’s walk from the train station with your loved one for a weekend of luxury. The Killarney Royal Hotel is a comfortable four-star smack in town, run by a husband-and-wife team Joe and Margaret Scally, the duo responsible for bringing Cork’s first five-star hotel, Hayfield Manor, to the city. Expect high quality, elegant rooms, excellent food and very friendly service.

Prosecco and strawberries at The Killarney Royal Hotel in Co Kerry

Photo credit: @killarneyroyal

Celebrate your relationship with a glass of Prosecco at the Killarney Royal Hotel.
26Currarevagh House, Co Galway

If stealing away on your own boat with your other half, visiting remote islands with a picnic and returning to a chair by the fire sounds like the ultimate romantic weekend to you, then settle in for a weekend away at Currarevagh House. This 130-year-old Victorian estate knows how to up the romantic ante, whether it be through their lakeside sauna or a delightful afternoon tea. Dinner, too, is worth the trip alone, as is the total tranquility and owners, Henry and Lucy, have a way with guests that makes you feel like you’re part of the family. 

27Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, Co Galway

With a string of awards under its belt, Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate is a solid choice for a special getaway with your loved one, not only for its scenic setting on the edge of Lough Corrib but also for its unique dining experience aboard the Pullman. These two original antique train carriages featured in Murder on the Orient Express, and the cooking is just as special. The 50 luxurious rooms are lavish, designed with all modern amenities, and there’s plenty of reception rooms, fires to perch beside and beautiful grounds meant for wandering.

A couple eating at Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate in Co Galway
Bond over a meal at Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate.
28Portsalon Luxury Glamping, Co Donegal

Before you dismiss glamping for its solid luxury counterparts, getting off grid for the weekend with your partner, snuggling up together under blankets by a log fire and listening to the rain on canvas can be as romantic as a luxury five-star. At Portsalon Luxury Glamping, it’s camping with all the benefits: Mongolian-style yurt tents kitted out with king-size beds, carpets, wood-burning stoves, a deck, barbecue and fire pit area to toast those marshmallows. To top it off, you’re sandwiched between mountains and sea – it’s back to nature but with style for those who don’t ‘do camping’.

Escape to a castle hotel

Feel the love and explore more of the country’s most beautiful castle hotels on your next romantic trip for two.

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