Searching for a seaside sojourn with great views and great food? Check out Jillian Bolger’s pick of relaxing Irish coastal hotels.
Renvyle House Hotel, Galway
Historic, atmospheric and relaxing, Renvyle House is the quintessential coastal hideaway. Like something from an Enid Blyton novel, the characterful hotel is cosy, charming and comes with its own resident ghost. Overlooking the shores of the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll find a warm welcome, roaring fires, fabulous food and laidback vibes.
Tim O’Sullivan’s cooking is excellent and his sourcing impeccable: dining here is always a high point. Great facilities on the grounds include canoeing on a private lake, horse riding and an outdoor swimming pool.
Haddington House, Dun Laoghaire
Once a collection of private townhouses overlooking fashionable Kingstown Harbour, Haddington House is a reimagining of these Victorian beauties, perfectly restored as a boutique hotel in Dun Laoghaire. Stylish and elegant, design aficionados will dig the decor at this chic 45 room hotel.
The lovely parlour serves afternoon tea by day and cocktails by night, while Olivetti, a cool Italian inspired neighbourhood restaurant, offers up sea views with great cooking.
Walk the pier, borrow a bike and cycle to Dalkey, take a dip at the Forty Foot or hop on the DART into the city centre. It’s a super spot for a Dublin adventure.
Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa, Wexford
One of Ireland’s favourite hotels, Kelly’s has been welcoming guests for over a century. Not surprisingly, they’ve honed the art of hospitality and their elegant family-run hotel is a favourite for multi-generational holidays.
Located on Rosslare Strand, with five miles of sweeping sand and surf, it’s ideal for complete relaxation, a family getaway or to celebrate that special occasion.
Highlights include complimentary afternoon tea, kids’ clubs, a playground, a gorgeous spa and two wonderful pools. Great service, fine dining and a warm welcome make it popular with all ages.
Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Cork
A West Cork favourite, with a fantastic Blue Flag Beach on its doorstep, Inchydoney makes the most of its jaw-dropping location close to Clonakilty.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you can start your day with a swim and finish with a beach walk, just minutes from the hotel’s front door. Indoors, you’ll find a helpful team, great facilities and a spacious spa that’s scooped lots of awards.
Rooms all come with ocean views and a private balcony or terrace, which means you can enjoy the crashing waves from your accommodation.
Dining options showcase plenty of Cork’s excellent artisan produce, and there’s a bistro, pub, food truck and the fine dining Gulfstream Restaurant to keep your stay interesting.
Cliff House, Waterford
Clinging to the cliff edge at Ardmore, the stylish Cliff House is the ultimate luxury hideaway.
Large, light-flooded rooms and suites feature plush contemporary styling and breathtaking views over the ocean. Throw open your doors to sit awhile and soak up the sea breeze and salty tang of the waves below.
Spend your days walking, swimming in the beautiful pool or relaxing in the intimate spa before dining on exceptional cuisine. Renowned for its fine dining restaurant – the Michelin-starred House Restaurant – the Cliff House also offers a smart bar and summer terrace dining.
Smugglers Inn, Kerry
Its name is as evocative as its setting, a family-owned inn that’s high on atmosphere and comfort. Tucked between sweeping mountains and a curving bay, the original stone farmhouse is 200-years-old and has been home to 5 generations.
Intimate and welcoming, it offers 13 bright bedrooms that have just been refurbished, ensuring a cosy and relaxing stay. Expect authentic Irish hospitality from the Hunt family and great local produce in the inn’s popular restaurant.
The views from the conservatory dining room are breathtaking and there’s great fun to be had in the traditional pub at this cosy beachside property.
The Sandhouse, Donegal
Dramatically perched overlooking the broad sands of Rossnowlagh beach, The Sandhouse offers spectacular views across the Atlantic breakers of Donegal Bay.
Offering everything you’d hope from a holiday hideaway, this well-run hotel is spacious and smartly styled, with great service and facilities.
An ideal base for exploring Donegal, it’s also easy to stay put and enjoy the superb beach, Marine Spa, seaweed baths and quality food.
Good seafood is served in the Seashell Restaurant and Glasshouse, and there’s a choice of bars, including a lovely beachside bar serving food all day.
Ballygally Castle, Antrim
Overlooking Ballygally Bay, on the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route, Ballygally Castle is a 17th-century stronghold transformed into a welcoming hotel.
Owned by the Hastings Group, you’ll find original beamed ceilings, comfy bedrooms and superb views. Choose a newer Garden wing room or original period rooms, shaped by the castle’s historic architecture and enjoy good food overlooking the Castle grounds or with views over the beach and bay towards Scotland.
A great base for exploring the Giant’s Causeway or seeking out Game Of Thrones locations, many of which were filmed close to the castle.
Ballygally Castle Hotel
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