Fancy a mini-break outside the pale? 6 romantic deals we love 4 years ago

Fancy a mini-break outside the pale? 6 romantic deals we love

Want to avoid rushing to the airport at 5am, feeling half-baked and with yesterday's eyeliner still applied? Book an effortless staycation instead.

If you are in need of a getaway from the toils of modern life, take a big breath – it's time to recharge those batteries and rediscover some of Ireland's best hotel and luxury B&B offerings.

MEATH

Bellinter House, Boyne Valley

The buzz Sunday to Thursday stays on a shoestring. The House itself is Downton Abbey-meets-Rebecca James style. This place is all about chillaxing, kicking-back nd relaxing with a glass of wine in-hand.

The extras Dining is an affair of the senses and definitely advisable. The menu hosts lamb, seabass, confit duck leg, truffle oil and other yum-ness. Three courses will only set you back €30. Oh ya. If you're going between now and September, you can take a private hot air balloon ride at sunrise or sunset. Cue the romance.

And how much Summer deal, €55 per person sharing here.

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WEXFORD

Seafield House 

The buzz The Seafield Hotel is a hotspot for budding brides and often the 'oohs and aahs' can be heard from well outside the entrance. It's also a weekend away with the girls kinda bolt hole.

The spa The outdoor vitality pool is a no secret – and it's a treat. It takes all kinds of willpower to leave after receiving a treatment so if you are planning a girlie retreat, this is the place to relax with your gal pals. Expect an ice grotto, monsoon shower and sunken private spa garden for the bants and LOLs to be had. Oh, and Ballymoney beach is just nearby if you fancy a stroll on the sand. Nice.

And how much €80 per person sharing for 1 night, B&B here.

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WICKLOW

Rathsallagh House

The buzz The hotel is stunning, on rolling hills of 530 acres and less than an hour outside Dublin for a quick getaway if you're based in the pale. If you upgrade to a Superior room in this Grade A country house on arrival, you get a complimentary bottle of Prosecco – fabulous, especially considering this. Add in a VIP pass to Kildare Village including a Newbridge Silverware discount with your stay and this has weekend shopping spree written all over it.

Cool fact The hotel won the National Breakfast Award three times, so we advise you mosey on down for the morning feast. Head straight back up to the fluffy pillows, right after.

And how much €159 in total for 2 people sharing here.

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KILDARE

Springfield Bed and Breakfast, Celbridge

The buzz When the business card says 'Let us remind you how very special you are' you know the beds will be turned down and the breakfast teapot will be as ornate and memorable as the artworks inside. They don't serve dinner, but there's tonnes of top eateries in the area.

The atmosphere Libby, the owner, is a culture-loving, life-hacking, storytelling enigma and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to to the 'petit dejeuner'. She fulfills the title 'Madam of the Manor' with her Texan accent and love of horseriding. Also, this idyllic location B&B has been rated excellent on Trip Advisor. #sweetdeal

And how much €50 per person sharing, €70 single occupancy here.

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CORK

Castlemartyr Resort

The buzz This 18th Century Manor is set on a gigantic 220-acre expanse of streams, woodland and classical parterre beds and gardens. There's a reason it has become one of the best known spots for tourists in-the-know. The much talked-about swimming pool area with glass walls and ceiling is super-impressive too.

The romance Two-couple treatment rooms and an indoor heated pool and steam room will add to the loved-up mood. If you find it difficult to tear yourself from the gym, don't fret, it's amazingly equipped for you gym bunnies. If your partner (or you) is interested in golf there's a resident PGA professional golfing instructor on-site so the OH* can relax while you are at the pedicure station. Bliss on a large scale.

And how much €125 in total per night here.

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MAYO

The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Cong

The buzz 35o acres of land surround this romantic setting. Amidst the grandeur of the recently renovated Ashford Castle, which is definitely worth a visit when you walk the combined grounds. The Lodge leads down to an opening on Lough Corrib where a regular boat tour explores the lake (optional alcohol on board, should you fancy it).

Other cool stuff It's one of Ireland's premier wedding locations, and is so secluded you won't want to leave. Stunningly picturesque, we suggest you hire a couple of kayaks from the pier (on condition you can swim) and visit one of the many mini-islands in the lake with a picnic. You will feel recharged in no time. #andrelax

And how much €155 for in total for 1 night, B&B here.

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Have an experience to share regarding your weekend away? Don't hesitate to pop us a mail: karen.forde@herfamly.ie

OH* Other half.