We should all aim to spoil our loved ones on a daily basis, but in reality some of us need a little annual reminder to do just that. Whether you revel in rose petal scented mania or are reviled at the commercial nature of it all, Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to pull out all the stops and make a romantic gesture.
Surprising your beloved with one of these amazing Valentine’s Day breaks is the perfect way to win brownie points and the ultimate excuse to have yourself an indulgent little getaway. The amorous adventures below would put anyone in the mood for a little TLC.
There are few properties quite as breath-takingly romantic as the Ice House Hotel in Ballina, which almost floats on the River Moy. An Icelandic inspired spa hotel, the Ice House is one for the bucket list for couples looking for a romantic break. The Valentine’s Day Heart to Heart package includes Luxurious Riverview room so you can awake to stunning scenery, with bubbles on ice and a chocolate treat in your room on arrival. Before enjoying a love-themed Table D’Hote dinner for two, luxuriate together in the stunning Chill Spa thermal area which includes an outdoor hot tub and sauna overlooking the river. Linger over a lazy breakfast this morning before having to drag yourselves to leave – all for €423 per couple.
No matter what part of the country you live in, checking you both into The Merrion is sure to sweep your beloved off their feet and make your Valentine’s Day one to remember. The Merrion’s All Loved Up Package invites you to stay in a luxurious double room in the Garden Wing, where heart shaped chocolates await you. Having settled in to your opulent five star surroundings, head downstairs to enjoy a delicious five course dinner for two prepared by talented chef Ed Cooney, with a glass of champagne to toast in The Cellar Restaurant. This memorable package can be yours for €450.
Named as one of TheTaste’s top destinations for a romantic getaway, Galway city is always buzzing. The stylish Twelve Hotel is a little outside the hustle and bustle in picturesque Barna, with sea views and just the right amount of seclusion. The Twelve is a modern boutique property with all the mod-cons you need should you choose not to leave the room at all. Luxuriate in a gorgeous suite with red velvet cupcakes from Pin’s Bakery awaiting your arrival.
Explore Barna with a delicious packed picnic, or lounge in the room with a seaweed bath for two. Round out the evening with a candle-lit dinner in West Restaurant, and two post dinner love potion cocktails in the Pins bar. This ‘Love-Bomb’ package is available on February 14th at a cost of €450 per couple.Harvey’s Point. Consistently ranked among the top luxury hotels in Ireland, this picturesque property has seen many a romantic proposal, so could be the perfect place to pop the all important question this Valentine’s Day. Harvey’s Point is dotted with log fires to cosy up in front of, if you can stand to leave the fluffy robes in your palatial suite.
The exclusive Valentine’s Package at Harvey’s Point includes a chocolate fountain and Prosecco on arrival, a cooking demonstration and wine tasting for weekend stays, two night’s suite accommodation and a picture perfect lakeside breakfast each morning. This package is available on V-day weekend from €109pps or midweek from €89pps.
As you can see in TheTaste review of the Wineport Lodge, this luxurious lakeside retreat is ideal for a couple’s break. What could be better than sitting looking out over the lake beside your beau with a glass of bubbles in hand? The Wineport Lodge’s Valentine’s Day package is the ideal gift for you both and includes a bottle of Prosecco in your Lakeshore room and chocolates to savour on arrival. Follow this with a dip in the outdoor hot-tub looking out over Lough Ree for the perfect afternoon of romance.
The cherry on top of the Wineport’s idyllic location is the amazing restaurant, where you will enjoy a romantic dinner in the evening. The next morning, there will be no need to leave your personal oasis as breakfast is served in bed – bliss!
With just nine bedrooms, Ardtara Country House is a perfectly intimate manor house nestled in its own surrounding woodland and the ideal destination for a Valentine’s getaway with your beloved, having been awarded the title of Most Romantic Hotel by the AA. Ard Tara’s Valentine’s day package includes fresh flowers, handmade shortbread and a bottle of Prosecco in your room on on arrival, a sumptuous 5 Course Dinner (to which you can add paired wines if you wish) and an overnight stay with breakfast for £124 per person.
If your lover is a serious food lover they will be blown away when they hear they are being taken to Kevin Dundon’s Dunbrody House Hotel. Dunbrody’s Naughty but Nice package includes 2 nights of luxury accommodation, dinner for two on one evening from a special Romance Menu and leisurely breakfasts til noon, allowing that all important extra couple of hours in bed…
Add in a romantic Hook Lighthouse tour, the Dunbrody Romance hamper (including Veuve Cliquot Champagne and chocolate truffles) followed by a Signature Body Massage each on your return and you have an unforgettable V-Day experience. This package costs €325 per person sharing and is surely worth every penny.
While chocolates and bubbles are becoming a recurring theme here, at Belleek Castle you can enjoy the ubiquitous Valentine’s treats in fairy tale castle surroundings. Take a step back in time and enjoy the old world charm of this new addition to the Blue Book Collection, with a 5 course dinner for two in the romantic 2 AA Rosette Library Restaurant, dotted with hand-carved oak tables and dimly lit for an intimate evening. Retire together to your superior room for the night and enjoy a delicious breakfast the next day for €165 per person.
If pampering yourselves in the serenity of a spa sounds like the perfect way to unwind on Valentine’s Day, Blue Book member No.1 Pery Square in the Georgian Quarter of Limerick is a fantastic choice. Just an hour and a half from Dublin, No.1 Pery Square is a stylish boutique property perfect for lounging together. 2 Nights Bed and Breakfast, a pre-dinner glass of bubbles, 3 course a la carte dinner on one evening at Sash Restaurant and a couples side by side back, neck and shoulder massage can be the makings of your perfect chilled out V-Day for €299 per person.
A little known beauty, The Killaloe Hotel and Spa is a relatively new four star luxury retreat, overlooking Kincora Harbour in picturesque County Clare. Enjoy chocolate dipped strawberries on arrival, a candle-lit four course tasting dinner with a view in the Monk’s Table Restaurant where you will toast the evening with a glass of Prosecco. After breakfast the following morning, take a romantic stroll by the lakeshore or perhaps pack a picnic? The ‘Be My Valentine’ package is offered for €189 per room.
Kilkenny is always a good idea and five star Lyrath Estate Hotel is a tranquil base from which to explore the cobbled laneways of the medieval city. Set on sprawling green acres, this manor house property is a cosy oasis perfect for a relaxing getaway for two. Lyrath’s Valentine’s Getaway includes 2 nights bed and breakfast with one evening meal in La Perla restaurant, complete with a pre-dinner Pink Bubbly cocktail. Check into the old world luxury of Lyrath for€400 per couple.
Spoil the one you love this Valentines, with a one night stay in one of Ireland’s most palatial properties – AA 5 Red Star rated The K Club. Arrive to this astonishingly beautiful country club to be met with Champagne on ice and chocolates in your luxurious Deluxe room, steeped in classic charm. This will be followed with a romantic four course dinner in The River Room Restaurant to savour and a delicious breakfast the next morning. Explore the Versaille-like grounds and linger as long as you like with full access to K Health & Fitness Facilities, including the swimming pool and outdoor hot tub for €380 per couple.
There are two packages designed to woo your Valentine at Relais & Chateaux gem Sheen Falls Lodge on the Beara Peninsula – both breathtaking and guaranteed to wow! Outside of the realm of reality for the vast majority of us is a €4,205 blowout which includes a chauffeur transfer from Dublin to Kerry, Cristal Champagne and two nights in the Master Suite – no wonder this package is called the “Grand Gesture”!
If your not so subtle hints fall on deaf ears, just as tempting is the Romance at the Lodge Package which includes one or two nights in a newly renovated rooms overlooking Kenmare Bay, handmade Irish chocolates in your room on arrival and a romantic candlelit dinner in the award-winning The Falls Restaurant courtesy of chef Philip Brazil. On top of all this, choose between a delicious Afternoon Tea for two or Chocolate Making Workshop with local chocolatier, Lorge and finally – room service breakfast in bed. The dream can be yours for €430 per couple for one night or €610 for two nights.
Treat your one and only like the King or Queen they are with a Valentine’s sojourn fit for royalty at Ashford Castle. As you would expect from one of the country’s most opulent escapes, a candlelit evening meal in George V prepared by Chef Philippe Farineau is just the tip of the unforgettable iceberg.
A dozen of red roses and a bottle of house champagne will be in your room on arrival and you can soak up your regal surroundings by taking a trip to the private cinema on site, enjoying walks on the grounds with the Ashford wolfhounds or luxuriating in the state of the art thermal suite. This package fit for your inner Monarch starts from €710 per couple.
Make a weekend out of the Valentine’s celebrations by getting away from it all to stunning West Cork. The ‘Love is in the Air’ package at Inchydoney Island Resort and Spa includes 2 nights accommodation on the weekend of the 10th, with a romantic dinner for two one evening in the Gulfstream Restaurant overlooking the rugged beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Choosing between an Elemis Facial or Muscle Melt Massage will be the only difficult part of your stay, a decision you can mull over in cocooned in Spa luxury with unlimited access to the Heated Seawater Therapy Pool, Sauna, Hammam and Relaxation Areas – all for €648 per couple.
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that(and greed) as the ultimate motivator, I realised that baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law I undertook a PhD, but a preference for cookbooks to textbooks persisted. As a (self-confessed!) demon in the kitchen, I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, fuelling my desire to focus on food in a serious way. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting.