Another European destination is preparing to welcome Americans again: on July 19, Ireland intends to reopen its borders to travelers from the United States. Visitors must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.
In honor of the occasion, we take a look at the best hotels in the country.
While Ireland has no shortage of properties to choose from, from family hotels to grand castles turned into luxury resorts, only a few are truly exceptional, says Siobhan Byrne Learat, Founder of Adams and butler, a Dublin-based company selling luxury travel to Ireland.
“It’s hard to choose because Ireland has so many fantastic properties, but the ones that really stand out exemplify Irish hospitality,” she says. “They have a staff who treat you like family or their new best friend and offer charisma, great food, interesting architecture or other memorable element.”
To further incentivize the trip, it’s easy to get to Ireland from the United States: Aer Lingus currently offers daily non-stop flights to Dublin from New York, Boston and Chicago. The airline plans to restart more routes to Dublin from additional U.S. destinations in the coming months, a spokesperson said in a telephone interview. Aer Lingus is also a gateway to the rest of Europe and offers many connections to cities across the continent. In addition, it has a “Book with Confidence” policy until December 31 that allows customers to change their flights up to two hours before their scheduled departure without change fees.
From an 800-year-old castle where you can climb trees by day and enjoy a gourmet meal in the evening, to a bucolic property near Dublin with ivy-covered cottages, here is our list of the top seven hotels in Ireland.
Ashford Castle, County Mayo
In County Mayo, one of Ireland’s most scenic areas, the 350-acre Ashford Castle is the retreat you’ll likely never leave. The historic castle – it is over 800 years old – is surrounded by woods, a lake, a river and mountains. Diversions include falconry, tree climbing, golf, cycling, kayaking and horseback riding. The spa is exceptional, offering a range of wellness-focused treatments, and the restaurants, including the famous George V Dining Room, are remarkable.