Honeymoons & Travel
This once-sleepy beachside Bohemian community near Mexico’s ancient Mayan ruins has evolved into a trendy vacation hotspot—both literally and figuratively—forRead More
The magical island of Ireland has all the ingredients for a perfect honeymoon—history, beauty, adventure, breathtaking landscapes, great beer, yummy food, Irish whiskey, Celtic music, and two of the most charming cities in the world—Dublin and Galway. It also boasts more than 30,000 castles and historic estates—two that are bucket-list destinations for sure.
There’s no way to significantly gush about Ballyfin Demesne, the most magnificent hotel you’ll ever visit. There’s a reason why this five-star “country house” was ranked the number-two hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure. This meticulously restored 1820s Regency mansion—perfectly appointed with today’s conveniences—is set on 614 acres in the heart of Ireland. With just 20 exquisitely decorated rooms, the charming staff more than outnumbers the guests, spoiling you with the finest in Irish hospitality.
Meander through the formal gardens, picnic in the tranquil countryside, climb a medieval-style tower, relax in the 80-foot library with more than 5,000 books, take a carriage ride, explore the history of Irish art on the walls, fish on the lake, or partake in croquet, hiking, clay-pigeon shooting, tennis, archery, mountain biking and falconry. After a “long day” of being transported back to a scene out of Pride and Prejudice, you’ll enjoy wine and whiskey tastings in the Cellar and the most outrageous eight-course farm-to-table tasting menu. You’ll need to experience this mesmerizing retreat for yourself in order to fully appreciate its beauty. Every single part will be magnificent—and you’ll be quickly plotting your return. Full-board rates start at €600; ballyfin.com.
As Ireland’s top hotel destination and the former home of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle is another must-see. This 800-year old castle will treat you to a royal stay. From its exquisitely decorated guest rooms and reception areas to the picturesque golf course, fun falconry center, state-of-the-art spa and amazing cuisine, you can easily spend a few days exploring the 350-acre estate, relaxing and enjoying the best that Ireland has to offer.
Treat yourself to a traditional Irish breakfast, savor afternoon tea, sip whiskey in the billiards room, and dine in the dungeon. Horse riding, fishing, shooting, cycling and kayaking are also available, along with Go Pros to capture the action.
And whatever you do, don’t miss the daily appearance by furry brothers Cronan and Garvan, the estate’s resident Irish wolfhounds. Rates start at €675; ashfordcastle.com.