Irish mini-moon venues that you'll never want to leave - how does that sound? Pretty great if you ask us. If you're thinking of postponing your honeymoon, a mini-moon is an ideal option to tide you over. We've scoured the country for eight of the best venues for a staycation on our emerald isle. So, without further adieu (and in no particular order), let's begin.
Image by KT Merry
Ballyfin Demesne, Co. Laois
If you're looking for some seriously gorgeous five-star luxury, Ballyfin Demesne is a country house hotel set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the centre of Ireland. Ballyfin is a place of history and romance, of tranquillity and great natural beauty - ideal for a mini break after your wedding. The venue underwent serious restoration for eight years and re-opened in May 2011 as a five-star country house hotel like no other. They offer the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable. With only twenty rooms for this 614-acre estate, is the perfect place for an exclusive, luxurious break from the stresses of the modern world and provides discretion and privacy like few other destinations.
Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
One of Ireland's leading luxury hotels, Ashford Castle offers unrivalled service, warm Irish hospitality and five-star luxury. Ashford Castle is part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, so you know you'll be in good hands here. Take in this spectacular 350-acre estate and set up shop in one of their stunning rooms or if you want to really splash out, opt for one of their suites. There are splendid interiors brimming with antique furniture, fine fabrics and unique features at every turn, truly fit for royalty. From fine dining to multiple activities right on the doorstep, Ashford Castle is perfect for that much needed romantic post-wedding break.
Sheen Falls Lodge, Co. Kerry
Overlooking the picturesque Sheen Falls, this five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel is renowned for its 2AA Rosette restaurant and luxurious rooms, suites and villas. All the good things, really! Set on the extremely picturesque Wild Atlantic Way, outside the town of Kenmare, Sheen Falls Lodge is an awesome base for your Irish mini-moon break. While there, you can opt to take tours along the Wild Atlantic Way, taking in a number of water-based (and land-based) activities. For more visit wildatlanticway.com
Mount Juliet, Co. Kilkenny
Mount Juliet was a family home up until 1989 and remains one of Ireland’s finest country houses. A home away from home, if you will, Mount Juliet provides you with not only a stunning place to rest your head but a wealth of activities onsite. From fishing to horse riding, golfing, archery, falconry or the indulgence of their treatment rooms, there's something for everyone. Your mini-moon here can be as jam-packed or laid-back as you wish, and that's the beauty of this glorious estate. A special mention goes to the newly opened, Hunter's Yard within the estate. If you're looking for a beautiful mix of old and new-world elegance, with all the same amenities as the old house, Hunter's Yard is the one for you - take our word for it.
Cliff House Hotel, Co. Waterford
This stunning five-star luxury hotel in Waterford is an hour’s drive from both Cork and Waterford airports, and Rosslare ferry port so it's easily accessible. They also have moorings for yachts, if you were so inclined. As a nice perk, all honeymooners get an upgrade and complimentary rose petals on the bed - very swish! The award-winning restaurant at Cliff House Hotel attracts foodies from all over the world to sample the best that west Waterford has to offer. During your stay, be sure to take a trip to their serene spa. Their large couple’s treatment room looks out over the tranquil waters of Ardmore Bay. Here, you can indulge in therapies designed for two - the private bathing area outside features two large baths side-by-side, with views looking across the ocean — a truly romantic place to relax with your partner. Sounds divine!
Ice House, Co. Mayo
Originally called the Iceland Cottage, the luxury Ice House in Mayo is a building steeped in history. Strategically positioned on the Moy Estuary, in the late eighteenth century tons of wild salmon were preserved here under ice, before being shipped to the markets of Dublin and Liverpool. This is where the Ice House gets its name. Today it stands built anew, once again a place to rest a while…but in a very different sort of cool. If tranquillity and relaxation are on the mini-moon agenda, you'll be in good hands here. The Ice House is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Wineport Lodge, Co. Westmeath
Wineport Lodge offers you a mini-moon destination that's overflowing with uniqueness and character. The hosts, Ray Byrne and Jane English have created this inviting space, which looks out onto the lake, providing you with Insta-worthy views. Such views are not only enjoyed from the main entrance of the hotel but from every room and suite in the building. In winter, open fires create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, while hidden nooks and crannies invite you to curl up with a good book or glass of wine. Whether you want to wine and dine or simply relax and unwind, Wineport Lodge have your perfect Irish mini-moon covered. If you fancy it, pamper yourself with a heavenly massage or let the fresh air blow away the cobwebs with a lake cruise. Can we come?
Set on a vast 220-acre estate, featuring its own castle ruins, a lake and surrounding woodlands, the five-star Castlemartyr Resort is a wonderful location for mini-mooners looking for a break in the west. Rumoured to have been where Kim and Kanye spent a few days on their honeymoon in 2014, you never know who you might be brushing shoulders with here. Castlemartyr Resort boasts so many amazing reasons to stay from its luxurious rooms to its exquisite dining option, luxe spa with ESPA treatments, and even romantic carriage rides that take in the 220-acre estate - how sweet? You're sure to have everything on hand to make it an unforgettable mini-moon.