When you have kids, it is incredibly tough to find the time to spend with your partner. There is so much to get done from the time they are little to the time they are tweens, that reconnecting with your partner can drop low down on your lists of priorities. Don’t underestimate the power of going on a weekend away though, just the two of you, to rediscover each other’s company, without a small person hanging off your leg and the dreaded, high-pitched “mummy” or “daddy” whining.
We were lucky enough to be guests of the Lyrath Estate Hotel recently, just spending a weekend away together to see why a location like Ireland, near a city like Kilkenny, can be a wonderful place to explore as a couple.
1. Easy to get to
As it is only roughly an hour and a half from Dublin Airport, and Cork; there are plenty of travel options to Lyrath, regardless of where you are travelling from. Flights and car hire for us were £230 to Dublin with Ryanair from the U.K.. No frills, but a great price. Just remember with Ryanair that the baggage rules have changed recently, so you have to pay extra for a bag in the overhead locker, or a wheelie. It is just as easy to get to from the United States too, with loads of commercial flights from the U.S. into Dublin.
Once in Ireland, the route is pretty straight-forward as the Lyrath Estate Hotel is set back from a main road. Far enough away to be convenient, but not disruptive. It is roughly three roads from Dublin airport on a good run! If you do travel in rush hour though, your SatNav might send you on a detour.
2. Midweek stays are excellent value
The hotel offers excellent midweek deals on the site regularly, so is worth checking out for this, if you can get the childcare. Costs for a weekend stay are, on average, around 230 – 330 Euros, but midweek the hotel costs from 102.50 Euros per person depending on the season.
If you do have a little extra though; the staff, location, and beauty of the hotel are well worth it for a weekend break. After all, if you are looking for a short break with your partner, and it is a special occasion, sometimes it is worth making a little extra effort 😉
3. Connect with nature on their walks and in their grounds
The hotel is set in beautiful grounds, which have been re-modelled regularly during its history. They are extensive, and there are actually two walks that can be done from the front door of the hotel:
- 2.5km around the front of the old house, and down by the lake, and
- 5km through the gardens and out the back of the estate.
The grounds are stunning, even in bad weather, so it is worth bringing a pair of sturdy shoes to help navigate the pathways, and to make sure you are able to take advantage of your location.
If you are an adventurous type, you can also indulge in the falconry experience and archery available in the grounds. But if you love Instagram like we do, you might find yourself obsessing over the coloured benches!
4. Kilkenny is a great city location to discover
The problem with kids (!) is history is “boring”, and:
“Do we really have to WALK”
“Do we NEED to visit another castle. I am sooooooo bored”
BUT, if you don’t have the kids, then a city break with your partner is a lovely way to spend time with each other. Clearly, most people might think of Dublin, or Cork in Ireland as an initial place to visit for a weekend away.
But, Kilkenny is a lovely city with plenty to do on a short break, from exploring the canal walk, to visiting the newly revamping shopping centre, Cathedral, and the castle with its obscure links to the English royal family.
As you don’t have the kids to hold you back – why not check Kilkenny out too, while you are visiting?
Can you tell it rained while we visited Kilkenny and its glorious castle?!? 😄
5. Date night sorted with the onsite events
While we visited the hotel, there was a concert in the conference centre; a comedian Mario Rosenstock. Not someone we had heard of – but a fabulous thing to be able to do onsite, and within walking distance from the hotel and Tupper’s Bar.
Tuppers is a perfect place for a post event Guinness. They also have a fabulous selection of gin, including Dingle Gin. Neither the gin nor the Guinness was a disappointment either, and it would be rude not to, right?
6. Make friends with the Estate dogs and staff
As soon as we arrived, you couldn’t fail to notice the three stunning Golden Retrievers outside the hotel entrance. These are the current owner’s, who lives in another house on the site. Ringo, Rudy and Reilly are rather friendly, and worth taking a little time to get to know.
The dogs aren’t the only friendly patrons on the site. All the staff we spoke to were friendly, and knowledgeable about the estate. It was lovely to see people that worked in such a historical location be proud of where they were employed. It is easy to see that the hotel is beautifully looked after, the decor reflects the time the staff put into making it more than presentable to guests.
7. Relaxing is instantaneous when the facilities are this good
Clearly, if you are booking a short break, the bedrooms need to be worth spending time in. As soon as you pull up to the front of the Lyrath Estate Hotel, you can see the grandeur and pride the owners take in the property. The reception area is breath-taking, and the size of the larger suite we stayed in was phenomenal. Make sure you don’t lose your partner in there 😂. There is also a danger of doing that in the beds as well…. 😉
The decoration and designs in each room are individual, so that if you ever come back, you’ll have a different experience each time. Beds are comfortable, staff polite, and rooms spotless.
It is worth making sure you realise that placing towels on the floor means they are replaced though, as it is important to remember the effect using too many towels has on our environment. In addition, do check the thermostat in your room to make sure it is on the right setting for you as otherwise you might get a little too hot.
Aside from the bedroom, the suites have an adjoining sitting room, which is perfect for relaxing in when the weather doesn’t quite do as it is told.
Something else that you perhaps aren’t used to doing in your lounge at home….
The bathroom, shower, and bath were expansive too. You could quite easily get lost in everything. There are plenty of freebies for you as well; and given the limited on Ryanair luggage that proved to be very useful for us.
The other facilities, from reception, to Tuppers Bar are equally well presented. The reception area of a hotel is so important, as it provides that first impression to guests.
Lyrath Estate Hotel doesn’t disappoint here, day or night, with some lovely touches including a rather magnificent railway clock on the wall.
8. Enjoy the varied restaurants onsite
The site has a couple of restaurants on site, as well as an Atrium for afternoon tea. This means that whatever you or your partner are looking for, they are likely to have. Do bare in mind that the costs of arternoon tea are a little more indulgent here, than some other locations; at 28 Euros.
The Yew Restaurant is where breakfast is served, but in the evening becomes the more formal restaurant.
The Grill is a little more relaxed, and suited our tastes better, so is where we ate on our visit. The food, and service, was excellent. Steak, Fish & Chips, and other traditional bar meals with a twist.
If you are eating on half board, there are supplements for the steak, and some of the seafood meals, but the extra is well worth it in our experience. The steak was succulent, beautifully presented; outstanding. My son was rather jealous when we told him about it; he LOVES a good steak.
9. You can have Baileys for breakfast…
Where else but Ireland would you spot Baileys on the porridge toppings table?
Or Guinness bread with the pastries?
Without the kids, you can try some of the more eclectic Irish habits without recriminations from them!
10. …then detox in the health centre and spa afterwards
If you do indulge in a little Baileys on your porridge, the Oasis Spa and Health Centre provide a great detox locations for you.
Use of the relaxation room, sauna, hydrotherapy pool, and steam room are all included within the cost of your room. Treatments are extra, but there are plenty of options to choose from, including 30 to 85 minute treatments. The Illumination facial is glorious, and provides a perfect antidote to the stresses of kids, and modern life. The therapist was polite, but most importantly allows you to chill as you experience the creams, hand, foot and shoulder massage, and face pack included within the treatment.
The décor within the spa, with its gentle lighting, and wood effect, is perfect for relaxing, and, as always in this hotel, exquisitely presented. There were so many little lighting touches that really chill you out.
The health centre includes a 17-meter swimming pool, which is a good size for a hotel, and a gymnasium. So whatever it is that relaxes you, we would be surprised if Lyrath Estate Hotel didn’t have it.
The hotel’s stunning location, relaxed atmosphere, and onsite facilities mean you barely need to leave the Lyrath Estate Hotel to enjoy your short break; but there are plenty of options should you choose to do so.
If you want to spend time only onsite, just remembering why you married your partner, it’s easy. If you are happy exploring further afield, even without a car, Kilkenny is so close, it’s a doddle.
We would highly recommend this gorgeous hotel to give you one of the best short break experiences you will likely have as a parent sans kids! Though if you did take them, the hotel is actually perfect for kids as well, with a playground, great food, and a swimming pool! Perhaps next time we come, we should bring them. 😀
We hope you like this article from us; if you do, do check out the other articles that we have in the travel section on the site. We have some great content, particularly on family travel including:
- Why glamping with the family is so much fun,
- What to do in Bristol with kids, and
- We have even got some iSpy printables for when you are in the car or on the ferry.
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Thanks so much for popping by, and we really hope we can see you again soon.
Note: We were given a stay at Lyrath Estate Hotel for the purposes of this review, but we have complete editorial control of this article, and all opinions are our own.