Special Reports
A special report is content that is edited and produced by the special reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report but do not have editorial control.

What kind of accommodation is the best for couples?

A key reason couples may choose a self-catering unit is because they want to bring their ‘lockdown puppies’

For couples, or parents with children who are looking for a little kid-free time, there are many options to choose from when deciding to head away. Whether it’s a weekend break or a full holiday, what is the best option for couples?

Hotel luxury

For Mount Falcon Estate owner Alan Maloney, the estate’s boutique hotel is the epitome of luxury and a great escape for a couple — no matter what their goal for the period. “The hotel is a very romantic setting. It dates to 1876 and I maintained and restored every feature so it has all these lovely nooks and crannies throughout.”

He says that whether the couple is looking for rest and relaxation or to be a little more active, there’s something for everyone. “For relaxation, there is the world-class spa offering a range of treatments, and the swimming pool is set in the woodland, so when you’re swimming in the water you’re looking at the forest floor.” For the more active couples, there is fishing, golf, archery and clay pigeon shooting.

Sometimes, he says, groups of couples will book together, in which case they will book out one of the lodges — which can be fully self-service or “full-service” meaning they can have breakfast at the hotel and have housekeeping services.


Self-catering retreats

Over the past couple of years during the pandemic, the number of couples looking to book self-catering holiday homes increased significantly as people wanted to take a break but in their own space away from the crowds, says Lisa Argue, marketing manager of Dream Ireland Holiday Homes. “Holiday homes were seen as a ‘safe’ option for a break away where you could keep yourselves to yourselves.”

Couples like to enjoy outdoor space to relax in and well-equipped kitchens so they can prepare nice meals at home, she says. “Holiday homes and cottages close to towns, villages, shops, restaurants and pubs would always be most popular among this target market.”

Another key reason couples may choose a self-catering unit for their child-free time is because they want to bring another sort of child — their fur baby. “We are experiencing an increasing number of requests from couples travelling with their dog. So many people got ‘lockdown puppies’ and now they want to holiday with them.

“Holiday homes are a much better option when travelling with your pet rather than having them stay in a hotel room with you.”