Rivalling Ballyfin in the picturesque stakes, the location of Powerscourt Hotel – across a valley from the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain – is tough to beat. A Palladian, 194-room hotel on the secluded grounds of a historic country estate dating back to the 13th century, this peaceful hotel in the Wicklow countryside offers a spectacular signature restaurant, two championship golf courses and close proximity to Ireland’s highest waterfall. With bedroom options that range from a classic deluxe up to the Presidential Suite, a room that opens onto the balcony terrace is worth the splurge for their incredible vistas.
Powerscourt Hotel, Tinnehinch, Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, +353 1 274 8888
If your idea of luxury is more modern and stripped back than any of the above options, then the innovative Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites may be more your speed. This private retreat on Inis Meáin – the remote ‘middle island’ of the three Aran Islands – states its central aim as being to facilitate exploration of the natural surroundings. The interiors are incredibly inviting all the same, with stylish minimal furnishings, super-kingsize beds, and wetrooms with Swadling power showers. Some people go just for the restaurant, where veteran Irish chef Darina Allen has said she tasted the best meal she has ever had (a feast of fresh sea urchins).