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Hayfield Manor

Pierce Brosnan, Bob Dylan and Lionel Richie have called its Master Suite home for a night and with floor to ceiling windows, Jacuzzi bath and private butler service at the click of your fingers, we’re not surprised that Hayfield Manor continues to attract big names who make their way up its tree-lined entrance to lay their head. The five star hotel is set on two acres of tranquil leafy grounds, but still a short walk from the centre of Cork City.

Combining grandeur and total comfort, this place does five star like few other hotels. From its champagne afternoon tea to its spacious bedrooms with antique furnishings and top quality fabrics, it is the ideal hotel for a complete getaway. With the distinctive character of a manor home, this family-run hotel is all about the personal touch and so it’s no surprise that many guests feel like they never want to leave. With two onsite restaurants – formal and more casual dining – you won’t go hungry and both use local ingredients.

And for those who like to be pampered, The Beautique Spa, complete with chandeliers, vintage perfume decanters, antique style furnishings and elaborate mirrors, has been purposefully designed to ensure a comfortable, luxurious, and above all relaxing environment for guests. There’s also a heated indoor pool, outdoor jacuzzi and gym. fhayfieldmanor.ie

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Clare Lighthouse

Possibly one of Ireland’s most unique guesthouses, Clare Island Lighthouse has been a nautical landmark perched high on the craggy cliffs, watching over Achill, Westport and beyond for almost two centuries. What was once a beacon of light for mariners, today this heritage property on Clare Island offers luxury accommodation and sanctuary from the wilds of Clare. With splendid sea views, the listed building was dramatically transformed and it now houses six unique guestrooms, each with wood burning stoves, open fires and underfloor heating. Ideal for those seeking a tranquil break, you won’t find any televisions here, but there is wifi. For the more sociable types, mingle in the warm kitchen, drawing room or library. On arrival at the island, you are picked up and brought to the guesthouse where hot pots of tea and coffee and freshly made scones are served up. Each room was individually designed and decorated but all furnished with period fixtures and fittings, original artwork and super comfortable, old style cast iron beds. All rooms contain en suite bathrooms and have iPod docking stations, tea-making facilities and Nespresso coffee makers.

The heart of the lighthouse is the original Lighthouse Keeper’s home which now houses the kitchen, drawing room and dining room/library where guests congregate to dine nightly or are encouraged to help themselves to a cuppa. Board games and reading material is offered in the library – it’s all about chilling out here.

Dinner is altogether an event to look forward to with a six-course set menu served in the elegant dining room and included in the accommodation price. Food is a focus here with preserves, chutney and desserts all homemade and that ethos extends to the healthy breakfast offering of homemade granola, breads and scones. fclarelighthouse.ie

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Inis Meain Suites

Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites is a unique dining and accommodation destination located on Inis Meáin, the middle and probably least visited of the three Aran Islands. The award-winning restaurant is headed up by chef and island native Ruairí de Blacam along with his wife, Marie-Thérèse, who manages front of house, in addition to the marketing of the hotel. The couple built the restaurant and suites to enhance visitor’s appreciation of the island by providing a style of accommodation and dining that is complementary to its unique and special location.

Here the focus is on an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Custom-designed Cube bicycles, Steiner binoculars, ash walking sticks, fishing rods and books of interest are provided in place of televisions to help guests discover the peace and quiet of the island. The uncluttered space is complemented by soft furnishings in natural fibres and tones, designed for relaxation and comfort after a day spent exploring outdoors. Every detail of this unique hotel was inspired by the island and the unique way of living in a remote location of natural beauty. The building was inspired by the surrounding landscape of the island and houses just five unique suites and an award-winning seasonal restaurant that uses mainly ingredients from the island, including lobster and crab caught by local fishermen in currachs, and vegetables grown on-site using island seaweed as fertilizer. Only wild Atlantic fish and homestead-reared meat is served. All of the ingredients from the island are presented as prime ingredients. Equal importance is placed on the tomatoes grown in the greenhouse outside the restaurant as the lobster landed on the island pier. finismeain.com

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