ABBEYGLEN – COUNTY GALWAY -  Abbeyglen is owned and run by two generations of the Hughes family and is renowned for its cuisine and accommodations. The hotel has a commanding view overlooking the Village of Clifden, at the head of a magnificent bay, with mountains behind. Tour Connemara from this hotel. Gourmet cuisine with Steinway playing in the background. Won two AAA Rosettes for dining. The most romantic rooms are the superior twin or double. The twins have a fireplace. Activities include swimming, tennis, sauna, Jacuzzi, snooker.

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ASHFORD CASTLE - COUNTY MAYO - Ashford Castle dates to 1228 and is set on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake, in the picturesque village of Cong, in a private estate of 350 acres. Once the home of the Guinness family, Ashford was the chosen location for the epic film, "The Quiet Man". Fine dining in the George V Restaurant. Activities include golf, clay pigeon shooting, archery, cycling, hiking, jogging, horse carts; health centre on the property. All rooms are romantic in the castle.


BALLYLICKEY MANOR HOUSE – COUNTY CORK – Set against a backdrop of mountains and coastlines and wonderful views, this Relais and Chateaux property has ornamental gardens winding down to the sea. At the end of the day unwind by a log fire and enjoy a gourmet meal by candlelight. There are deluxe garden apartment suites on the grounds overlooking the outdoor heated pool, with large king bed and sitting area with fireplace. For romance check out the Junior Garden suites also near the pool with Queen bed and sitting area.

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BALLYNAHINCH – CONNEMARA – Located on a 450 acre estate, this 40 bedroom hotel overlooks the famous Ballynahinch River. The original manor is over 200 years old, with the luxury River Wing built in 1999. The hotel offers casual country elegance. Most romantic room is the luxury double Riverside Suite, a one beroom suite with a queen bed overlooking the garden, with the sitting room overlooking the river. Alternative is the luxury double with king four poster bed overlooking the river. Fly fishing on site for salmon and sea trout (catch and release for sea trout), bikes, tennis, golf courses, horse riding on the beach.  Nearby is Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey Gothic Church, Roundstone Fishing Village, Clifden Town, and day trips to Inish Bofin and Aran Island.

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CAHERNANE HOUSE – KILLARNEY – Dating from 1877, the Cahernane House is the only luxury country house hotel on the edge of Killarney National Park. The bedrooms have been restored with antique furnishing and marble bathrooms, many with Victorian claw bath or Jacuzzi. A newer wing boasts more modern bedrooms with private balcony or garden patio. Enjoy croquet, billiards, tennis, walks, fishing, golf, hill waking, horse riding, biking. The hotel’s Herbert Room is an award winning restaurant serving wines and food à la carte and table d’hote nightly. Enjoy the Cellar Bar or the Drawing Room for telling your latest stories.

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DROMOLAND CASTLE - COUNTY CLARE - Not just a castle, but a large 16th century Gothic revival castellated multi-towered aslar monument. Dromoland was the former home of the O'Brien Family, one of the great noble Irish clans, who ruled Southern Ireland. This stone splendor is set on 365 acres of its own estate in a natural amphitheatre scooped out by the action of a glacier ice sheet and surrounded by a lake and woodlands filled with deer. The castle opened as a hotel in 1963, and today, after many renovations, there are 75 rooms and 21 suites on four floors. Get one of the romantic deluxe garden rooms overlooking the Walled Garden. The Castle's signature restaurant is The Earl of Thomond, offering an elegant experience with the ambience enhanced by the castle's resident harpist.


FAITHLEGG HOUSE HOTEL GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB – COUNTY WATERFORD -  This is a deluxe and elegant 18th century manor on extensive gardens and grounds surrounded by an 18-hole championship golf course. The hotel was recently renovated with a spacious foyer, log fireplace, ornate ceilings, Waterford Crystal chandelier, and original Portland stone. There are 68 rooms with garden and woodland views. The Roseville Restaurant spans two ornate drawing rooms in the old house and garden conservatory. The Sanctuary Club provides spacious spa facilities.  The most romantic rooms are the Lady Olivia Room and Cornelius Bolton Room with views of the golf course and Suir River Estuary. If I had to pick, take the Cornelius Bolton Room with the super sized four poster bed.

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FITZPATRICK CASTLE DUBLIN - Located in the fashionable suburbs of Killiney and Dalkey, Fitzpatrick Castle is the epitome of elegance and charm, overlooking Dublin Bay and yet only 20 minutes from Dublin City Centre. Relax in comfort in one of 113 suite rooms, all recently refurbished and equipped with DD telephone, multi-channel television, tea and coffee making facilities and views over Killiney and Dublin Bay . Dine in PJ’s Restaurant in luxurious surroundings, and superb food and fine wines and the excellent Fitzpatrick personalized service ensuring your lunch/dinner or special occasion is a success.

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GLENLO ABBEY - GALWAY – The history of Galway City, Glenlo Abbey, and fortunes of at least two of the Great Merchant Tribes who ruled the city for 500 years are closely intertwined. Built in 1740 and reopened in 1992 as a family-owned 45 bedroom luxury hotel and conference center, Glenlo Abbey already holds the Rac Gold Ribbon. The 138-acre waterfront estate is home to great golf with a 12 bay driving range. Guests enjoy fishing, clay pigeon and skeet shooting, lake boating and other activities. The rooms are exquisitely furnished with scenic views. The restaurants are award winners and there is a unique 1920 Pullman railroad train restaurant, formerly part of the Orient Express.

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GLIN CASTLE GLIN Glin Castle is the home to the 29th Knight of Glin, and has been in the Fitzgerald family for 0ver 800 years. Situated 32 miles west of Limerick city on the banks of the Shannon River on a 500-acre estate, it is one of the last great houses to still be lived in by the original family. Superb interiors with new classic plaster work, rare flying staircase, and classic Irish 18th century furniture, pictures, and porcelain. Formal gardens and pleasure grounds include a walled kitchen garden. The castle is near five championship golf courses.  The best room for romance: Deluxe guest room with king bed (four-poster or canopied). Largest rooms in the castle are on the second floor. All rooms are furnished with antiques.


KINNITTY CASTLE - CENTRAL IRELAND - Built in 1209, this authentic Gothic Castle Hotel is nestled in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the countryside of Central Ireland, only 90 minutes from Dublin, Galway, or Limerick. There are only 37 luxurious guest rooms so book in advance. Some rooms have beautiful four poster beds, individually styled with antique furnishings, open fires and friendly staff. The most romantic place to dine is the Georgian-style Sli Dhalla Restaurant, seating 60 with modern Irish and international cuisine. Dine on excellent cuisine around antique books in the Library Bar Restaurant, or unwind in the Dungeon Bar and Drawing Room. For a time the Castle served as an abbey. In 1811 the architects of Dromoland Castle extended the size of Kinnitty. The castle was burned down in 1922 during the war of Independence and rebuilt in 1928. A spa and leisure centre is on site with gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and massage therapy. Activities include an Equestrian Centre, archery, tennis, walking in the mountains, clay shoots, quad bikes, and falconry.

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LAKE HOTEL - KILLARNEY LAKES - WESTERN IRELAND - The Lake Hotel is a charming, family run hotel, located on the shores of the famous Lakes of Killarney, nestled in the shadows of mountains. It has been a real home for visitors for over 100 years. This is a great romantic hotel to explore the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula. Built in 1820, the hotel is an award winning palace with suite rooms, Jacuzzi baths, and themed rooms for romance. There is also a fitness centre, outdoor hot tub, steam room, sauna and gym, with private tennis court, and library. The Castlelough Restaurant is the spot for romance, with unique dining overlooking the Killarney Lower Lake . The Devil’s Punchbowl Bar is for traditional Irish entertainment, with lunch served daily.


(CONRAD) MOUNT JULIET - COUNTY KILKENNY THOMASTOWN – With 1500 acres of woodlands, rolling meadows, and beautiful rivers, Mount Juliet has for centuries epitomized gracious living and country sports. Choose between classical Georgian rooms in the Mount Juliet House, or the more informal sport ambience of the Courtyard rooms set around the stable yard, or the spacious Rose Garden Lodges for longer stays, with kitchens.  The Mount Juliet House is an 18th century manor house with 32 bedrooms. There are 111 rooms total in the hotel. The pubs recall a glorious equestrian past; the Drawing Rooms are homier.  The Hunters Yard was the original stable accommodation, now modernized.

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MUCKROSS PARK HOTEL – KILLARNEY – Established in 1795, Muckross Park Hotel is set in Killarney National Park surrounded by forests and lakes but convenient to the town of Killarney. The 28 superior rooms and suites are luxuriously appointed with antiques. The Blue Pool Restaurant, awarded the RAC Dining Award and AAA Rossette Award, overlooks two acres of gardens.  The hotel is near Muckross House and Abbey. There are 11 championship golf courses in the area, plus boating, fishing, horse riding, and hill walking. Exclusive helicopter service on request.  The most romantic room is the Superior Suite with one king bed and two ensuite bathrooms. with a separate sitting room with sofas and fireplace. Turn off the satellite telly and soak in the corner bath. One suite has a Jacuzzi.

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PARK HOTEL KENMARE – COUNTY KERRY The hotel was built in 1897 and remodeled in 1998. This is an exclusive elegant and timeless hotel nestled in a location overlooking Kenmare Bay and the Caba Mountains and surrounded by tropical gardens. There is the deluxe Samas spa, Gaelic for indulgence. The most romantic rooms are the suite rooms with large open plans and sweeping views of the bay. The staff can design a picnic, or go shooting, horse riding, croquet, golf, and nature walks. Bikes for rent at the hotel. Restaurant on property.


PORTMARNOCK HOTEL AND GOLF LINKS – DUBLIN This vintage hotel is a blend of the old and new, created from the former home of the famous Jameson whiskey family; it has modern rooms near restored public areas in the 19th century building. Set on 180 acres of seaside links; The Portmarnock Golf Links are world famous. Rooms have either a sea view or golf view. The first class Osborne Restaurant is awarded two AAA Rosettes. There are 99 rooms in a selection of period decorated suites in the main house, and the spacious rooms in the modern wing. The hotel lays claim to the World Irish Coffee Making Champions. There are three Irish bars. There is also a gym, sauna, massage and beauty salon. Nearby is a yachting marina.

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RATHMULLAN HOUSE – COUNTY DONEGAL – Rathmullan House enjoys a glorious setting on the shores of Lough (lake) Swilly in County Donegal. It stands amid award winning gardens and deserted sandy beaches. Celebrate the good taste of bygone days. All rooms have modern comforts. There is an indoor pool, steam room, massage and beauty treatments, tennis, pavilion restaurant, four golf courses, fishing, and horse riding nearby. The most romantic room is the superior double bed with large luxury bathroom, with traditional decor. Ask for a balcony room.


RATHSALLAGH HOUSE – COUNTY WICKLOW Winner of the Irish National Breakfast Awards four times and Ireland ’s 2000 Country House of the Year Award, the rambling country home was built in 1700 and remodeled in 2001. It is set on 570 acres of park land with a walled garden and it has its own 18-hole Championship Golf Course. Log and turf fires in the bar and Drawing Rooms, with an award winning restaurant with a great wine list.  There are over 30 rooms but only two suites. Most romantic room is Kate’s Room,  a loft with courtyard views. Ask about fly-fishing, bicycling, billiards, snooker, and golf with an academy on site .

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ROSSLAKE HOUSE HOTEL – COUNTY GALWAY - Ross Lake House Hotel is a wonderful Georgian House set in the wilderness of Connemara, with furnishing from the same period, including the fabrics. Emphasis is on quality food. The most romantic room is the junior suite with king bed and sitting area. There is tennis on the property. Join in at the cocktail bar. Nearby is the Kiltartan Gregory museum, Rathbaun Farm, Dunguaire Castle, and battle sites.


TINAKILLY COUNTRY HOUSE – COUNTY WICKLOW -  The mansion was built in 1879 and remodeled in 1997. This Italianate mansion is on seven acres of formal gardens sweeping down to the Irish Sea. Tinakilly is a romantic venue steeped in history. There are 51 period bedrooms with four poster beds and junior suites with sea views, all filled with antiques. Nearby are mountain drives, historic sites, great golf, horse rides, and walking. The award winning restaurant serves local produce with breads baked daily. Wonderful wine cellar. The most romantic room is the Captain’s Suites with a king or queen bed, separate lounge with fire, large bath, Victorian antiques. Get the Sea Garden View. Some of these suites overlook the Irish Sea.

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WATERFORD CASTLE – THE ISLAND – WATERFORD COUNTY Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Club is set on the grounds of a private 310-acre island, three miles from Waterford Crystal City and factory. The River Sur surrounds the island with access via a chain linked car ferry that operates daily. Once home to the Fitzgerald family, the hotel is an internationally acclaimed 5-star hotel with 19 bedrooms/suites. The Presidential suite has one queen bed, but for romance go with the deluxe one king bedroom. The Munster Dining Room is gourmet, surrounded by the original oak paneled walls and ornate ceilings; seasonal menus with Irish and international food; pianist in high season.

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