6 Incredible Mini-Moon Destinations
As much as most newlyweds would love to get married and then jet off to some private island or bustling mecca of excitement for a couple of weeks to just enjoy one another, it sometimes just isn’t in the cards. Whether it is a concern of time or budget, there are still plenty of places you can venture off to for a long weekend without ever leaving the Emerald Isle.
With all of the beautiful hotels, castle and stately homes to choose from, there is something to suit everyone’s style. So, don’t sweat that elaborate honeymoon. Just take a fabulous mini-moon to one of these incredible locations.
1. Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co. Waterford
The Cliff House Hotel on the dramatic coastline of Ardmore Bay is one of the most popular choices for luxury honeymoons in Ireland. The sun-drenched terraces of the 39-room seaside hotel are the ideal location to take in the magnificent views of Ardmore’s sands, lobster pots and even the dolphins that regularly frequent the waters below.
Indulge yourself in a seaweed facial or a specialist bath using Irish peat at the hotel’s stunning Well Spa, which is set in to the rock face. Hit the pause button and forget all your stresses with a few hours in the spa’s relaxation room and couple’s treatment room, which face the sea to make use of the calming horizon.
From this spectacular coastal location in Ireland’s gourmet heartland you can enjoy some of the country’s best restaurants – including the hotel’s own Michelin-starred House Restaurant.
2. Barbican Gatelodge, Glenarm, Co. Antrim
Fancy being King and Queen of your very own medieval miniature castle for a weekend? Look no further than the peaceful and romantic three story self-catering Barbican Gatelodge in Glenarm, Co Antrim.
Tucked in on the evocative Antrim coast, the painstakingly restored and immaculately maintained Barbican Gatelodge can unashamedly call itself one of Ireland’s truly unique properties. Built in 1825 from locally sourced basalt, the estate has passed down through the McDonnell family whose previous residents have included Earls, Lords and Dutchesses.
Enjoy a cosy evening sipping wine on the roof terrace where, on pristine days, views can stretch as far as the Scottish coastline.
3. Kenmare Bay, Kenmare, Co. Kerry
Kenmare Bay’s 4 Star luxury self-catering lodges offer a peaceful home away from home for couples looking to explore the idyllic town of Kenmare. Set apart from the hotel itself, the lodges provide privacy while still being close to the hotel’s superb facilities.
Take the weekend at your own pace by relaxing in your luxuriously appointed lodge before heading out to one of the many restaurants and cosy pubs within this colourful and unforgettable town.
4. Carrig House, Co. Kerry
Located on the tranquil shores of Caragh Lake and overlooking the majestic Kerry Mountains, Caragh Country House is undeniably one of the finest country houses in the county they call ‘the Kingdom’.
Plan your weekend’s itinerary around the magnificent Ring of Kerry, including a stop off in nearby Dingle before returning to this charming country house where old-fashioned Irish hospitality is par for the course.
Relax in your room where the period interiors are designed with understated opulence in mind, or enjoy the enchanting gardens of the estate which provide a tranquil setting to wile away a lazy afternoon as husband and wife.
5. Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare
The historic Dromoland Castle blends Old-World elegance with contemporary luxuries, and is a real treat for minimooners looking for somewhere extra special to spend a couple of unforgettable days.
Fill your weekend in one of Ireland’s top luxury hotels by indulging in some gourmet fine dining and delicious wines or unwind in the Castle’s 5 Star luxury Health Spa and indoor heated pool.
If you manage to pull yourself away from the comforts of the castle, you’ll see that you have an ideal base from which to explore the energetic cities of Limerick and Galway; the charming Shannon region and Ireland’s glorious rugged West Coast.
6. Harvey’s Point, Donegal
Harvey’s Point, sitting peacefully in the shadows of the Bluestack Mountains on the shores of the stunning Lough Eske in County Donegal, is a haven for newlyweds looking for a few days calm after their wedding day madness.
Harvey’s Point prides itself on their warm Donegal welcome and genuine Irish hospitality, where staff go out of their way to make sure that your every need is met and comfort catered for.
Enjoy fine dining in the hotel’s Lakeside Restaurant before heading off for a long walk in the Donegal countryside. Treat yourself to a lakeview room, where you can indulge with a beautiful backdrop to relax, unwind and recharge.
By Amy Naves, Excalibur Press