Discover: three Cork winter heaters

Let’s face it, the post-Christmas lull may be more anti-climatic than landing at Cork Airport after two weeks in Lanzarote.

But a sneaky January getaway is a perfect way to keep up the festive frivolity while beating the winter blues.

The rates are lower, the crowds are smaller and whether you’ve been lucky enough to find a hotel voucher in your stocking stuffer or just want to treat yourself, there’s no better way. to start the year as a getaway.

To inspire you with a few winter weekends, this week Vickie Maye is heading to the Fota Resort in East Cork and I choose two iconic Cork getaways to keep the party going.

Fota Island

The winter wonders and travels of Lapland were further away from us than ever in 2021. At times like this, we have to savor the festive wonders that have emerged closer to home. Like the alpine trail on the grounds of Fota House in Cork.

Moved from its usual base in Mahon Point this year, the organizers really pushed the boat out, creating a circular route through the woods. Lit with fairy lights, it’s a little piece of magic, just minutes from the city.

For the little ones there is a separate mini ice rink, with penguins and pandas to cling to, to help little feet find their balance. (Better yet this year, you rent them in advance for € 5 – a much more civilized system than the free one in previous years).

An hour on the ice is all well and good, but with winter vacation a realistic option for so few of us in these times of a pandemic, there is another way to make it a little more special.

We went to the Fota Island Resort to truly have a vacation experience. A five star base typically associated with golf vacations, it could also present itself as the perfect vacation for families. On the one hand, check-in is quick and so welcoming. Just what you need with kids by your side. (The added bonus, of course, is that your vacation begins after a 20-minute drive from home.)

But it is when you arrive in the bedroom that you begin to spot all the little touches that make this evening an evening that the children will always remember. There are the homemade cookies delivered to the room, the hotel’s fairy tale left by the bed (we’ll talk about that later), a board game, a bag of puzzles and coloring – and the icing on the cake. cake, a teddy bear almost the size of a child waiting in the room. Next to it is an adoption certificate and a “Take Me Home” sign.

We had two adjoining rooms, with wall-sized TVs in both. With movies to watch and giant teddy bears to cuddle, the kids would be happy to stay in the bedroom all evening.

Instead, we went to the ice rink, a two minute drive from the hotel. Then there were hot chocolates to sip in the wooden cabins and on-site markets.

Back at the hotel, we had dinner in the Amber Lounge, warming our icy cheeks in front of a large open fire. We weren’t the only family at dinner that night – so there was no risk of glancing at any potential tantrums or temper tantrums.

We sat in a small cabin, with a subtle glass pane, so in addition to ensuring privacy, we also felt safe. Another necessity for these strange times. It’s a wonderful menu of steaks, burgers and fish. During this time, the kids had a full selection of pizzas, pastas and burgers.

The next morning there were Nutella-filled pancakes for breakfast and a pre-booked pool visit, the number further kept to a minimum in what appeared to be a safe environment. The fairy tale of the day before is fresh in our minds, we strolled through the hotel’s wooded grounds and discovered its fairy trail – great little doors and miniature furniture.

He kept the magic of the previous day alive. Another option for the day was Fota Animal Park, but we got checked out and got home at noon just in time for the Saturday morning camogie workouts. Effortlessly. Who needs Lapland?

  • To book a stay at Fota Island Resort see fotaisland.fr with B&B rates from 189 €.
  • Tickets available online for the Alpine Skate Trail at ice skating.fr. Sessions start at 10 a.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. until January 23.

Inchydoney Island

Think of it as a gale-force getaway! Perhaps inspired by the recent explosion in Barra, one of Cork’s most beloved hotels now has a new nature-inspired offering: the Storm Watcher Package!

Here, guests can soak up all the winter drama of the Wild Atlantic Way while staying toasty in all the luxuries that Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa has to offer.

As the winds pick up outside, you can sip a Storm Watcher (a heartwarming blend of hot chocolate, creme de mint and Drombeg whiskey) on the balcony, before retiring to a luxuriously appointed room to enjoy the show on your ocean view. balcony or terrace.

The package includes two nights’ accommodation, a full West Cork breakfast at the Gulfstream Restaurant, that inviting welcome cocktail, as well as access to the heated seawater swimming pool and relaxation areas of the hotel.

Hayfield Manor

Looking for the ultimate post-Christmas (re) treat? The Ritziest Hotel in Cork City sees its rates drop by up to 30% depending on the season if you feel like flying in January or February.

Overnight stays start from € 135 pps and the hotel offers a number of attractive winter packages such as their five-star overnight stay from € 214 pps.

The offer includes luxury accommodation in a Manor Room as well as full Irish breakfast and a four-course dinner at Orchids Restaurant.

Residents can also relax with exclusive access to the hotel’s Beautique Spa with indoor swimming pool, outdoor jacuzzi, hammam, gym.

Hayfield Manor is also a member of the Blue Book of Ireland if you were lucky enough to get a voucher for the Christmas collection!


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