It’s good to get away. With the evenings turing colder, take advantage of a lazy weekend and hit the road for the luxurious Dunboyne Castle Hotel in Co. Meath, a dreamy restored Georgian house that offers the first word in luxury, as well as history on your doorstep.
Whole Lotta History
If you’d like to see some of Ireland’s most ancient and beloved treasures, you won’t find a better base. From Trim Castle to the Hill of Tara, the spectacular scene that is Newgrange to the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can explore Ireland’s rich heritage with a full belly after a delicious breakfast and the promise of a soft bed when you return, weary from your travels.
As for the Castle itself, the original Dunboyne Castle was itself destroyed during the Cromwellian Wars in the 1650s, but the site of the castle and the subsequent Georgian house and gardens were bought in 1999 and extensively renovated and added to, creating the stunning Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa you see today.
Back to Nature
You’ll get the best of both worlds in this regard, as less than 20km away from the hustle and bustle of the capital you’ll find yourself surrounded by 21 acres of lush countryside. You’re even closer to Dublin Airport (12km), but there’s no need to fly to get away from it all. Sit back, relax and refresh.
Food, Glorious Food
Take a bow, Executive Chef John Nagle. Nagle takes full advantage of the wealth of local suppliers on Dunboyne’s doorstep, creating delicious seasonal menus for the landmark location’s various bars and the hotel’s premiere food offering; the Ivy Restaurant. The Ivy has recently been awarded two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, so your tastebuds will thank you.
The Great Outdoors
If you fancy a round during your R&R, you’ll be happy to hear that Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa partners with Killeen Castle Golf Course. The hotel even hosted the US team and the winning European team for the 2011 Solheim Cup. Other outdoor options include nearby Rathbeggan Lakes for some fly-fishing, the renowned Fairyhouse for a spot of racing action or even a family day out at the fab Tayto Park.
Rooms With a View
There’s no such thing as a bad room in this spot. Take your pick from 145 large, comfortable rooms in a layout designed to maximise the garden views. Of course, if you want to really push the boat out you can upgrade to one of two beautiful Junior Suites or the stunning Presidential Suite on the top floor.
The More the Merrier
While we opted for Dunboyne on a romantic break for two, you’ll find that all your nearest and dearest will appreciate an excuse to visit. The Drawing Room is the port of call for smaller gatherings or an impressive private dining experience, comfortably accommodating 50 guests. The Cellar Bar has its own private bar and can cater for 40 guests, perfect for some birthday or reunion celebrations.
On a grander scale, smaller weddings will find a home in the intimate and beautiful Drawing Room. If you’re putting the ‘big’ in big day, the Tara Suite is a dreamy space boasting floor to ceiling windows looking out on the gorgeous grounds.
Preen & Pamper
Seoid Spa, for those truly in need of some TLC, is the jewel in the crown at Dunboyne. This haven of relaxation is home to a wealth of divine treatments and packages, not least the 85 minute “Sleep Deeply”. We opted for this treatment as it promised to work on “all aspects of physical, mental and emotional stress”. First up was a warming foot ritual, followed by a head to toe massage using carefully applied pressures and neuromuscular and Swedish techniques to “balance the nervous system and ease an overactive mind”. We floated away to another world entirely during the full body massage, breathing in the heady scents of essential oils vetivert, camomile and sandalwood. The experts at Seoid Spa recommend this particulate offering for those who suffer with insomnia and after a week of the best sleep ever, we’re inclined to our our money where their mouths are.
Even if you don’t opt for a beauty treatment, you’ll appreciate the thermal suit and hydrotherapy pool, which will gently wash away the strains and stresses of your working week. Extra special offerings include a crystal steam room, a herb sauna, a laconic and our personal favourite, the Sabbia Med chamber where you can close your eyes and pretend you’re on the warm sands of a foreign shore.
Make a night of it and book an overnight stay at Dunboyne Castle Hotel from only €50 per person sharing midweek including breakfast.