Top destinations for a perfect honeymoon in Ireland
Spectacular scenery, luxurious hotels, and some suprises.
Some of the world’s most famous people have stayed here, including President George W. Bush who spent a night here in 2004 while he attended the EU- US summit held on the grounds.
We received a warm Irish failte from a receptionist named Catherine who urged us to “take a stroll in the gardens tomorrow; ye will love them and dinner in the dining room is a must.”
We were soon standing on plush carpet in one of the castle’s finest suites where, after taking off my five-inch heels (a gal has to look her best in these castles), I was tempted to dive straight into a box of chocolates, courtesy of the management.
John reminded me that we had dinner reservations at the quaint Earl of Thomond restaurant.
We opted for the romance of having our steak in front of a roaring fire in the gallery section of the castle instead.
Seated underneath portraits of former Ladies and Lords of Dromoland, we felt privileged to be spending a night under the same roof that these historical figures had once called home.
We took an after-dinner stroll around the castle before returning to our suite where we made full use of the oversized sofa to watch a late movie.
An early wake-up call and a light breakfast and we were on our way again.
The weather cleared up nicely the farther northwest we went, and we soon arrived at our next port of call – the uber-trendy G Hotel in Galway City. (www.theghotel.ie)
Designed by Philip Treacy, Galway native and world famous hatter (think Camilla’s wedding hat), the G exudes glamour.
The lobby evokes old-fashioned Hollywood allure while the reception area is brought to life by an enormous fish tank full of Connemara-bred seahorses. (I was quick to remind John that it’s the male seahorse who gives birth!)
The ground floor of the G is home to three lounges, each with its own individual style.
I was much taken with the bold theme of the Grand Salon, the gentlemanly Blue Salon, and my favorite, the Pink Salon with its fabulous art and an oversized 1950s-inspired rug.
I longed to linger in the lounges where people laughed, drank and some sang (a group of girls on a bachelorette party), but my husband was eager to get to the bedroom where a gas fire glowing beneath a large plasma television set the scene nicely.
The views of both Galway Bay and the city skyline, and the luxurious bathroom, with its double walk-in shower, freestanding egg-shaped bath, double hand basins and another flatscreen TV, added to the romance.
We spent the better part of the next day enjoying the shops, a nice long walk along the promenade in Salthill and a feed of Galway’s finest cod and chips served in newspaper, and all too soon, we were back in our car and headed deeper into the northwest.
Our next destination – Ashford Castle. (www.ashford.ie)
Ashford, nestled in the heart of County Mayo, is surrounded by gardens and forests and accessed by an authentic drawbridge that pulls you back into the 1200s when the castle was built.