Dubliner, Ciaran O Conluain and his wife didn’t have to travel too far to feel like they were taking a short break in the Italian Riviera
For many people, the perfect one or two-day break in Ireland will include enjoying time in nature whilst also enjoying the luxury of a fancy hotel. Living in the capital city, you don’t often think that you can achieve both right on your doorstep, but that’s exactly what we found on our one-night stay in south county Dublin.
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel is located in one of the most picturesque and exclusive parts of Ireland. Killiney is home to Bono, Enya and some of the most expensive properties in the country. So it is fitting that the 4-Star, 18th-century Fitzpatrick Castle is a perfect getaway for a night or two of pampering.
Myself and my wife stayed there on their “Sea Swimmers Retreat” package (from €304 per room) and we really enjoyed the fact that it felt like being a tourist in our own county. Walking to the adjacent Killiney Hill gives you the opportunity to overlook all of beautiful Dublin. It’s a view that tourists come from all over the world to see.
We returned to the hotel and enjoyed a pizza and Aperol on the Terrace. It seemed to be a popular spot with the locals too and I can see why! The pizza was perfectly cooked and the sun was out. We could have been dining on the hills of the Bay of Naples.
That evening, we enjoyed a three-course meal at the award-winning Mapas Restaurant. I really recommend the scallops starter. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, and although it is situated in the castle’s dungeon, it has a modern chic decor that really creates a nice ambience.
After dinner, we had a cocktail in the library cocktail bar. It was the perfect way to end the evening.
The following morning, we enjoyed the buffet breakfast and got ready for some outdoor swimming in Vico Baths. This is all part of Fitzpatrick’s “Sea-Swimmers” retreat package. You are brought by car to a winding walkway, which leads you to one of the most scenic swimming locations in Ireland. You are also given complimentary use of a dry robe and a flask of hot tea or orange juice!
After a quick dip, we headed back to the hotel to warm up in their 20-metre pool, sauna and steam room facilities. We felt so relaxed after this that we got a late checkout and went up for a lie down on the comfy beds. The rooms are luxuriously decorated and very spacious. Many rooms have a balcony which could be one of the best places to share a bottle of bubbly and enjoy the stunning view.
After this, we decided that rather than heading home for a late lunch we would treat ourselves to Afternoon Tea. The homemade buttermilk scones and clotted cream were just perfect! This was a lovely way to end our stay and very good value at €64 for two. The service was excellent.
The great thing about Fitzpatrick’s is that it is a family-owned and run hotel. It is now run by Mark Scott Lennon who is the third generation in charge and doing an incredible job of preserving the traditions of the past. You really feel like you are being well looked after and the staff all seem to enjoy making guests feel extra special.
We are already planning on coming back. We haven’t quite completed their cocktail menu yet!
For more information and their latest offers, visit www.fitzpatrickcastle.com
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