There’s a cheeky glamour to a staycation just down the road.
In an era of jet-setting adventures, it’s an unspoken allure; why waste all that time driving when you could be fully immersed in luxury within an hour of leaving the house?
And sure, you might have a hankering to stay somewhere new but before you do, it’s high time you revisited a gem in your own backyard.
Castlemartyr Resort, like ourselves, is all grown up.
Now, in place of the flashy weddings and Celtic Tiger parties you may (or may not) recall from the Noughties, the resort oozes a refined charm.
Boasting all the benefits of an €8m upgrade and with a Michelin-starred restaurant tucked neatly under its belt, the rambling 220-acre pile and its grand 18th-century country manor house is relaxed sophistication at its finest.
Freshly inducted into the international Preferred Hotels & Resorts Group and Historic Hotels Worldwide, which celebrates the finest historic hotels around the globe, it’s a destination that attracts guests from all over the world; and not just for the scenic golfing and outrageously good food.
If wholesome strolls through the forest are your bag, crisp golden leaves underfoot, you’ll find magical trails aplenty.
The hotel is vast and spacious, so even at the busiest times it can still feel like you have the place to yourself.
If the unseasonably balmy weather continues, the terrace off the Bar is a pretty spot for an al fresco coffee or lunch (order the chowder – a luxuriously creamy pot packed with fresh fish and topped with a cod fritter crostini).
The grounds are teeming with things to explore, from wild art installations to friendly horses. We brought a lively toddler who requires lengthy welly-boot wanders in the great outdoors and we never ran out of new wonder to marvel at, despite not venturing out from behind the gates for 48 hours.
There’s croquet on the lawns for raucous games and a giant chess set nestled inside the old stone wall in the courtyard. At Halloween, younger guests can enjoy spooky storytelling by the fireplace with hot cocoa and marshmallow treats and the concierge team can create an entertainment itinerary to suit the family if you need some fun ideas.
The vibe in the grounds might be serene but it belies a flurry of work going on out here too.
Michelin-starred chef patron Vincent Crepel and Castlemartyr Resort’s head gardener Kevin O’Shea have collaborated to create an organic, productive garden on the grounds.
It’s already producing fresh vegetables, microgreens, and fruit to be moussed, jellied, and whipped into Michelin-worthy morsels at the much-lauded Terre restaurant, stylishly tucked inside the Manor House of the hotel.
A restful retreat
You could disappear into the Spa for a few hours, but the hotel pool is a bright and relaxing spot for a swim and a reviving spell in the Thermal Suite’s sauna and steam room.
Days are best whiled away exploring, interspersed with long breakfasts and lunches, sneaky naps, and a pint or two in the handsome Knights bar or The Library Residents Lounge before a delicious dinner in Terre (secure your booking well in advance) or the buzzy Canopy restaurant.
Every one of the guest rooms and 36 luxury residences are sumptuously designed, but if you’ve a hankering to go all out, you won’t find a more eye-popping room than the Earl of Shannon Suite.
Normally reserved for guests of a more presidential nature (as well as doomed honeymooners Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, rumour has it) a swish living room and a huge bedroom sweep into a bathroom worthy of its own Eircode.
As well as a deep, wide bath for soaking in, the suite even boasts its very own sauna so you can remove every last toxin from your pores each morning before heading downstairs to stock up again.
Planning a foodie getaway?
Why wait? Castlemartyr Resort’s resident sommelier, Sandra Biret will welcome Antonio Morenés Bertán, founder of Diatomists Winery, to Canopy Restaurant for an evening of fine dining and exploration of their delicious terroir-led sherry selection on Friday, November 3rd.
The evening commences with drinks under the Lafranchini Rococo ceiling in Knight’s Bar, before moving to Canopy Restaurant, where a four-course fine dining dinner will be served.
From starter to dessert, each glass of sherry has been chosen to complement a carefully curated menu created by Executive Head Chef Kevin Burke.
As each course is presented, Antonio will tell the story behind the production techniques, from soil origins and treatment to grape ripening and sherry barrel-aging.
Taking place on Friday, November 3rd in Canopy Restaurant, tickets for the Discover the Diatomists event are priced at €129 per person. An overnight stay with tickets is also available from €518 per room, based on two people sharing. Reservations for this event are essential. To book, call 021 421 9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To check out the latest offers for Halloween and autumn breaks, visit castlemartyrresort.ie.