There’s still time.
Covid might have done its level best to knock all the fun out of summer 2020, but if you’re determined to kick back closer to home and blow the holiday budget on making some memories this year, there are some fabulous staycations to choose from.
One look at our Instagram feeds reveals photo after photo of city coffee bars, white sand beaches, hidden waterfalls, lakeside picnics and forest getaways. Ireland is looking exceptionally ridey right now so skipping the foreign break in favour of a road trip getaway needn’t feel like second best.
If you’ve already revisited all the nostalgic seaside towns from your childhood, you’re probably looking for something new. We’ve found three perfect options for sneaking away on a couples trip or getting the gang back together for one last warm-weather hurrah.
NOTE: If you’re planning ahead, remember you can claim up to €125 per person back in tax credits as part of the Stay and Spend scheme introduced by the Government if you book dates after October 1st, 2020.
Here are three swish new spots to add to your travel wish list.
1. HARD ROCK HOTEL DUBLIN
Rate: From €189 per night. Booking here.
Everything about Dublin’s new Hard Rock Hotel is understatedly cool, right down to the embroidered guitars on your pillowcase.
When you’re not strumming away on the Fender Stratocaster (waiting in your room, complete with amp, on request) you can limber up for day’s exploring with Rock Om, the Hard Rock Hotel’s in-room yoga experience, which combines traditional yoga and modern beats.
The handsome red brick building is located on 18 Exchange Street Upper, facing the beautiful facade of City Hall – ideally located for exploring the cobbled streets of Temple Bar and Cow’s Lane and an easy stroll into town.
There’s a sparkle of Irish music legend everywhere you look, from the moment you step into the Fashion House Lobby (check out the bespoke glass lighting sculpture featuring Irish music notes and Irish artists including Luke Kelly) to the framed records in the hallways (we spotted Rory Gallagher’s framed ‘Tattoo’ vinyl on our floor).
The streets are quieter than usual at the moment, but it gives the normally-heaving city a rare and relaxing village feel – perfect for al fresco coffees and kicking back in Dublin’s lovely parks with a good book.
The city’s restaurants are open for lunch and drinks (most accept walk-ins – chat to the concierge if you’re looking for advice on where to go and what to see) but don’t miss Zampa’s, the Hard Rock Hotel’s plush Peruvian-themed restaurant for dinner.
Take a table beneath U2’s guitar case and try the Wild Locally Landed White Fish Ceviche with leche de tigre, sweet potato, avocado and red onion with nino blanco tortilla chips to start, followed by the Seco de Carne; slow-braised beef feather blade served with spiced white beans and coriander rice. Save some room for the Churros for dessert. You can enjoy three courses and a cocktail for a very reasonable €45. Rock ‘n’roll.
Call 01 482 5000 for further information.
2. THE BUS AT MOUNT DRUID
Rate: €200 per night. Booking here.
Nestled in the picturesque village of Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath, Boutique Camping at Mount Druid offers 100 acres of parkland to enjoy while staying in some seriously cool huts, yurts and tigíns.
The graffiti-clad double-decker bus is one of Mount Druid’s most alternative accommodation options.
With a custom-built porch, kitchen and seating area downstairs and a large bright double bedroom and ensuite upstairs, The Bus has full power and wifi throughout (ideal for all those Instagram stories). It’s the perfect base for exploring and kicking back with a bottle of wine after pizza at The Forge.
Add breakfast for €15pp. Email [email protected] for more information.
3. CABU BY THE LAKES, CAVAN
Rate: From €846 for a minimum four-night stay. Booking here.
A uniquely serene hideaway, deep within the woods of Killykeen Forest Park in County Cavan, Cabü by the Lakes sits directly on the shores of Lough Oughter.
The rustic-but-luxe log cabins and lake houses are scattered throughout the woodland, creating a calming oasis surrounded by woodland walks, bike rides and forest bathing spots as well as a nature spa with an outdoor hot tub and sauna.
You can choose from cosy cabins for two or family-sized three-bed boathouse, depending on your needs and everything is built around Cabü House, where guests can pick up groceries, organise trips and discover fun new ways to enjoy the forest.
As darkness falls, gather around the fire for a barbecue at The Sitooterie, where the unique griddle tables are designed to keep you and your food warm.
There are some dog-friendly cabins too so check those out if you’d like to bring a canine companion.
For more information, call 049 489 4027.