Five-Star Hotel and Spa with Access to Dublin, Historic Landmarks, and Eastern Ireland
Though Ireland is often referred to as the “Emerald Isle” for its lush vegetation and verdant pastures, the island is actually made up of several landscapes, ranging from the basalt columns of the western Causeway to sandy beaches and towering cliffs. On this seven-day, six-night Ireland vacation from Sceptre Tours, you’ll get an up-close view of the eastern coastline and miles of unspoiled countryside as you travel from energetic Dublin in the north through the country’s rural farmlands and historic cities. The package includes roundtrip airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD) plus accommodations in a five-star hotel and a manual-shift rental car for the duration of the trip. Click here for more information and policies.
Day 1: After touching down in Dublin (DUB), you’ll pick up your rental car from the airport and drive about 40 minutes south to The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt in Enniskerry. This Palladian hotel “strikes just the right glamorous note,” according to Fodor’s, which praised the five-star property for its “lavish array of restaurants, bar, lobbies, and other deliciously sumptuous settings.” During your stay, take a stroll around the hills and lakes of Powerscourt Gardens and feast on Challans duck breast with black pudding at chef Gordon Ramsay’s onsite restaurant. At the hotel spa ESpa, Swarovski crystals illuminate an indoor swimming pool.
Days 2–6: Because there is no set trip itinerary, you’re free to explore Ireland at your leisure over the next few days. The hotel is just a 30-minute drive from the capital city of Dublin, where you can visit three campuses of the National Museum of Ireland (admission is free to each) as well as the National Leprechaun Museum, a place devoted entirely to Irish folklore. Head to the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin to see the Book of Kells, a ninth-century manuscript of the four gospels that’s famous for its elaborate illustrations.
The town of Kilkenny, about 88 miles (142 kilometers) from the hotel, is rich with Irish history. While you’re here, take a tour of Kilkenny Castle, a stone structure built in the early 13th century that housed the Butler family—beginning with James Butler, the third Earl of Ormonde—for nearly 600 years. St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, built in the sixth century, feature beautiful stained glass windows and carved stone tombstones.
This Getaway includes admission to the House of Waterford Crystal in Waterford, about 40 minutes south of Kilkenny. On the factory tour, witness the creation of fine crystal stemware and other luxury goods as you pass through the blowing, hand-marking, and cutting departments. Afterward, you can browse the world’s largest selection of Waterford Crystal and systematically shatter it using only your mind.
Day 7: On the morning of day 7, you’ll check out of the hotel and drive back to the Dublin airport to return your rental car and catch a flight home.