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Cracking Christmas hotel, dining and shopping options in Ireland

Check out our pick of Irish festive hotel packages, eating-out offers and Christmas markets

If you’re in the market, and the position, to gift yourself Christmas in a hotel this year, check out The College Green Hotel on Westmoreland Street. The hotel previously known as The Westin is putting on the ritz, so to speak, with two-night luxury Christmas offering taking you through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and out the door on St Stephen’s Day, just in time for the sales.

It includes full breakfast each morning, with a Champagne version on the big day, mulled wine and mince pies in the Atrium Lounge on arrival and dinner at its Morelands Grill on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day sees a five-course blow out, buffet style. There’s entertainment each evening and a late check out, at 2pm, all from €765 per person sharing.

If you’re footloose and flying solo, the single supplement is €505. At the time of writing the hotel also has limited availability on Christmas Day for non-residents to dine in. In this case your Christmas lunch costs from €210 per person but early booking is essential because it’s selling out fast.

Go to market

Not all Christmas shopping is the same. There’s the soulless, online version. There’s the stressful, last-minute dash version. And then there is the Christmas market. These are perfect for browsing at your leisure, with twinkly lights, festive music and traditional crafts. And the more mulled wine you drink, the more you can convince yourself they’d love a knitted phone case.


If you’re looking to make a break of it enjoy a night at Galway’s gorgeous Christmas market in Eyre Square, staying at the swish G Hotel afterwards. It has a pre-Christmas package including pre-dinner cocktail, dinner in its new Restaurant GEO, and access to a complimentary shuttle bus to the market, Thursday through Sunday. This one-night festive five-star Galway getaway costs from €96.50 per person bed and breakfast, based on two sharing.

Shop till you drop

Anyone staying over in the capital after a day’s Christmas shopping can check out the InterContinental’s Stay and Dine option. Staying in the five-star Ballsbridge property in the run-up to Christmas bags you a late checkout, free parking and a room upgrade, so basically you’re saving money.

It also includes a three-course meal in Seasons Restaurant and breakfast. The one-night package is available Thursday through Saturday in December from €500 per room per night, based on two sharing.

Christmas catch-ups

‘Tis the season to catch up with friends, colleagues and customers. If you’re looking for a festive lunch you’re spoiled for choice. Hugo’s on Merrion Row has a set menu for €49.95 per person, doing two lunch sittings a day (12.30 and 3pm) on Thursdays and Fridays in December. Sole Seafood and Grill on South William Street is doing a three-course Christmas lunch menu for €55 per person, with a Christmas Eve menu for €65.

If you fancy the flavours of Navidad, Uno Mas on Aungier Street is open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday in December with a three-course Christmas lunch menu from €65.

Furry friends get festive too

Dogs are for life, not for Christmas, but you can still make sure your furry friends are looked after over this festive season with Irish website ButterBiscuit.ie.

It is offering a range of stylish dog accessories – everything from Babour Fairisle dog jumpers (and matching beanies) to elevated feeding stations that mean Fido doesn’t have to stoop to eat, like some kind of, well, animal. If all that’s too posh for your own modest pooch, these are super, high-quality gifts that the dog lover in your life will love to receive too.

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell is a contributor to The Irish Times