After a day of seeing what the Rebel City has to offer, return to a spacious, stylish suite, relaxing spa and delectable restaurant. (A glass of bubbles never goes amiss either.)
Our pick of the most chic 5-star hotels in Cork
A 5-star hotel in Cork that’s a secluded oasis
Hayfield Manor Hotel is full of pleasantly contrasting styles. It’s opulent yet relaxed and homelike; located in the city centre, this 5-star hotel in Cork hides within its own walled garden and celebrates a traditional sense of grandeur, refreshed by a modern edge.
A manor house set within 2 acres of exquisitely manicured grounds, it offers 88 rooms, all of which are individually designed. A decadent, antique-styled theme runs throughout, with a palette of buttery creams, luxuriant golds and dark wood. Deluxe bedrooms are softly and subtly romantic, with textured silk throws and ornate mirrors.
Before heading out for the day, research Cork’s attractions from a plush armchair in your private relaxation area, or have a restorative coffee from your Nespresso coffee machine. Nothing marks a special occasion quite like a stay in the Master Suite, which encompasses an impressive 1200 square feet. Stroll through the grand entrance hall to discover a marble fireplace, carved antique furniture and a king-sized bed complete with canopy.
Your next stop is the Beautique Spa. Wrap up in a fluffy robe and enter this quiet sanctuary, lightly scented with organic Elemis products. Begin by taking a dip in the intricately tiled, 50-foot indoor swimming pool, which shimmers beneath a sweeping canopy of drapes and is flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. The softly lit sauna and steam room are the ideal places to unwind, while in the evening, watch the sun set over the hotel’s gardens from the outdoor hot tub.
Each of the seven treatment rooms is given a sumptuous feel by show-stealing chandeliers and vintage furniture that exudes traditional character. Treat tired skin to rejuvenating facials or let muscles melt with a deep tissue or Indian head massage. Essie manicures, lash and brow treatments and waxing can help you feel at your most confident. For moisturised skin all-over, try the signature Body Nectar Nourishing Wrap.
An indulgent addition your Cork getaway is a spot of afternoon tea. As you’re serenaded by the delicate tinkling of a piano, you can feast upon warm, freshly baked scones slathered with silken clotted cream and summer-sweet strawberry jam
There will also be petite finger sandwiches in a selection of classic flavours, like cucumber and oak-smoked salmon. Don’t forget about the delectable selection of patisserie and cakes. Why not complete your afternoon tea with a naughty-but-nice hot chocolate, given a grown-up feel by a splash of Cointreau?
When evening rolls around, you’ll have idyllic views of the hotel’s gardens from the refined Orchids Restaurant. Chairs are upholstered in refined charcoal fabric, while tables are cloaked in elegant white tablecloths. Indulge in farm-to-table masterpieces like meaty fillets of John Dory, lovingly pan-roasted and served with a pastry cigar crafted from fresh langoustine.
Hayfield Manor Hotel
A 5-star hotel in Cork with a country feel
From the second you put down your bags at Castlemartyr Resort, you might just feel those everyday worries melt away. All rooms at this 5-star hotel in Cork feature a gentle moss-green and soft cream palette, as well as sumptuous beds and plush upholstery. Choose a State Room, which is located in the traditional manor house area of the hotel. Dark wood furniture, four-poster beds and sweeping views of the lakes and meadows outside your window create a haven that’s as comfortable as it is luxurious.
Pull out all of the stops in one of the Grand Suites, which feature opulently appointed sitting rooms with elaborate tapestry rugs and antique touches. Take a moment to freshen up in the lavish black marble bathroom complete with rainfall shower and private sauna. At Castlemartyr Resort, you also have the choice of self-catering accommodation, which creates a homely feel and gives you full control over your Cork getaway.
You’ll get a great view of the gardens from the Bell Tower Restaurant, where you’ll also find seasonal menus including dishes like zingy strawberry and elderflower sorbet. Elsewhere in the hotel is Franchini’s, which specialises in authentic Italian cuisine. Rich wooden floors, an oversized wine rack and deep tones of mauve and scarlet create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Choose a traditional Italian favourite like crispy, thin-base pizza topped with sweet and tangy tomato sauce and salty cured meats, or perhaps a delicate risotto of herbs and vegetables.
Linger into the night over a fruity bottle of red wine, or wind down in the historic Knight’s Bar. Large windows, textured drapes and heritage portraits create a sense of grandeur. Sample a smoky Irish whiskey, or refresh your palette with some fresh coffee as you sit back in one of the antique armchairs.
The Castlemartyr Spa features a spacious and airy wellness and fitness centre, which has been meticulously designed with rustic wooden touches, pale cream slate and plenty of foliage to create a soothing, natural oasis. Begin your journey of relaxation by dipping into the deliciously warm indoor pool, or simply recline in one of the vitality or relaxation rooms with a book and soak up the quiet and restful atmosphere.
Detoxify in the sauna and steam room, before unwinding among the bubbles in the jet pool. All of the treatments at the spa use world-renowned and organic ESPA and Germaine de Capuccini products for a sensory experience and highly effective results.
If you’re feeling energetic, head to the fitness centre to stretch or up your cardio. Signature treatments take their inspiration from the elements to provide targeted therapies. For a deep body cleanse, go for the detoxifying ‘Earth’ treatment, which helps to reduce water retention with a firming thigh treatment and aromatherapy massage.
Hotel Castlemartyr Resort
A 5-star hotel in Cork that’s a golf-lovers’ paradise
Nestled like a pearl within its own 500-acre estate, Fota Island Resort balances the feel of a country retreat with state-of-the-art facilities. This 5-star hotel in Cork is a haven for golf enthusiasts, with three championship courses surrounding the hotel. Even if you’re not looking to test your swing, the island’s forest is still a magical place for sunrise walks or a game of tennis.
You’ll find Fota Island Adventure on the island’s banks, offering water-based activities like SUP-boarding and kayaking, as well as boundary-pushing obstacle courses and bushcraft. If you’d prefer to take it easy, make for the spa instead. It’s a rural hideaway offering views out over the grounds, and your opportunity to take some time out and rejuvenate.
Begin your day in the hydrotherapy pool or acacia thermal suite, before selecting a treatment from the extensive menu. Targeted facials soothe and moisturise stressed-out complexions, while body polishes reveal healthy, glowing skin. Experience the ultimate in sensory relaxation with the Chocolate Indulgence massage, which will envelop you in the sweet, heady aroma of cocoa beans as your muscles unwind.
Choose between a room and a lodge at Fota Island Resort. There are 131 rooms and suites in total, most of which offer sweeping views across the golf courses and the mysterious woodlands beyond. Lodges are self-catering to give you as much freedom on your holiday as possible, and have between two and four bedrooms.
The design of the lodges seamlessly complements the surrounding woodland, with Nordic-influenced window frames crafted from pine, rustic slate touches and triangular roofs. You’ll find them hidden between towering oaks and sycamores, providing an outdoorsy feel with an unfailingly luxurious edge. Rooms are comfortable and warm, with dark wood and nature-inspired artwork throughout. If you’d like an intimate dinner, take advantage of the 24-hour room service menu.
When you’re ready to head out exploring for the day, make sure you stop at the Fota Restaurant first. It serves up a hearty Irish breakfast of local bacon and sausages, as well as eggs cooked to suit your preference. On warm days, take your meal out on the terrace among the trees.
In the Amber Lounge, you can indulge in an informal lunch in light-filled surroundings. Sample satisfying dishes such as a locally reared Irish beef burger, complete with succulent smoky bacon and salty fries. Or, you might choose an international favourite like green Thai curry, infused with the flavours of basil, coconut and rich spices.
If you’ve spent the afternoon playing golf, refuel afterwards at the Spike Bar, located in the forest surrounding the 18th green of the Deerpark course. There’s no better place for a traditional Sunday lunch of meat roasted to perfection and covered in thick gravy.