Two new five-star hotels for Belfast and Cork

There is still Sam

You should grab the title of “Dublin’s newest hotel” while you can, as hotels are springing up in the city like mushrooms. As of this writing, it’s currently the Samuel, a four-star hotel in the docks, and a five-minute walk from the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Rooms start at €160, but as summer approaches you’re looking at around €239 per room. Sign up for [email protected] for a 10% discount; thesamuelhotel.com.

starry nights

We learned that five stars means things like elevators, doormen, and (strangely) cast-iron baths when possible; but categorizers may also add stars for overall beauty. Two new five-star designations will take you across the country. Start at Belfast’s Grand Central, where you can sleep on pillows previously enjoyed by Prince Charles and Shania Twain, but not together, of course. Celebrate with their Bolly Good Stay, with B&B and half a bottle of bubbles from €269 per room; grandcentralhotelbelfast.com. Then head south for a self-catering stay at one of Fota Island Resort’s lodges in Co Cork, all of which are newly starred themselves. Try a three-bed, from €206 a night for a four-night stay; fotaisland.ie.

West Waterford gets festive

From Lismore to Dungarvan and all along the Copper Coast, West Waterford is nothing but beautiful. Reasons to visit in June include the return of the West Waterford Festival of Food, June 10-12, where there are still tickets for the Food Cloud Dinner, always a brilliant reminder of the great things you can do with things that otherwise would go to waste. Find out about it, plus Comeragh Lamb BBQ, Flahavan’s Greenway Breakfast, Markets and more at westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com (a mouthful in itself), where you will also find information on rates and offers from partner hotels.

Festival Market in Grattan Square, Dungarvan at the West Waterford Festival of Food. Photography: David Clynch Photography

Stick around as Lismore’s travel writing festival, Immrama, makes a welcome return from June 16-19, with talks and stories galore to tickle the most irritating feet, including true stories from Des Ekin’s Irish Pirates and De Dannan’s Charlie Piggott on his musical travels. Complete program on lismore-immrama.com.

Bet on it

Check out the Powerscourt Hotel for the upcoming bank holiday weekend

Check out the Powerscourt Hotel for the upcoming bank holiday weekend

Holidays seem to come like buses these days. If you feel like partying for the next one, which falls on June 6, try the Powerscourt Dining Experience, where you get dinner, room and breakfast from €281 pps. The best thing about the hotel (aside from its 20m Swarovski crystal-lit swimming pool, if that’s your kind of thing) is the beautiful grounds, as it’s set in the middle of the 1,000m Powerscourt estate. acres; www.powerscourthotel.com.

Open your appetite

The Ross in Killarney aims to get you moving, with its immersive two-day experience, the Pressure Drop.

The Ross in Killarney aims to get you moving and enjoying the incredible scenery the area has to offer

The Ross in Killarney aims to get you moving and enjoying the incredible scenery the area has to offer

Includes two nights in bed and breakfast, kayaking trip, mountain hike, yoga class, spa treatments, gin tasting, dinner and cocktails in one evening, plus snack box for the return trip. Sound exhausting? Their beds are so damn comfortable only to crumble afterwards. From €450 pps, it’s available all year round, but book fast, as you might want to come back for more; theross.iand.

Well-being with wow

Head further afield for your wellness experiences with the marvelous Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda, which has just reopened after a massive renovation. The Italian health hotspot offers lake views, including Sky Suites which have their own private saunas and outdoor hot tubs.

The Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda is an Italian health hot spot overlooking the lake

The Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda is an Italian health hot spot overlooking the lake

Go for packages that claim to support the immune system and rebalance gut health, sort out fatigue, and generally help you become a superman or woman. I like the sound of the Longevity Program, which offers to “assess whether your lifestyle is harming your body or your mind,” although I think I already know the answer to that question. Rooms from €370 per night. Treatment programs extra. Nearest airport, Verona, with direct flights from Dublin via Ryanair; lefayresorts.com.

Cancun? Yes you can (soon)

Irish tour operator TUI is resuming direct flights from Dublin to Cancun in Mexico from next June. The wait is long, but book now to add delicious anticipation to your trip. The seven-week season begins June 5, 2023, with a 14-night vacation on offer along the Caribbean coast. Try two weeks at the all-inclusive Riu Lupita, Playacar, from €1,799 pp; tuiholidays.co.uk

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