WAKING up on a beautiful Saturday morning with the sun shining down was a great way to begin a recent trip to Lyrath Estate Hotel and Spa in Kilkenny.
Kilkenny city is known for its great sights, and, of course, nights outs, with hens and stags enjoying the last hurrah.
However, what many may not know is that it is also home to a beautiful five-star hotel and spa in the beautiful grounds of Lyrath Estate.
The hour and a half drive from Dublin was less than expected, which lightened the mood on the way down.
Quick as a flash, we had arrived at our destination and were ready to find out what was in store for us at this magnificent estate.
After checking in to the beautiful rooms, it was time to get some afternoon tea. This could be done inside or outside, depending on weather, of course, and preference.
We sat inside and enjoyed some tasty sandwiches, desserts and scones – each more delicious than the last. Then it was time to head outside and soak up some sun.
Conscious about making it a family-friendly hotel, the team at Lyrath had set up some large outdoor games such as snakes and ladders, and connect-four. There was also an ice-cream stand, which was going down a treat with guests, young and old.
I had heard of the great spa and leisure facilities at the estate, and so testing them out was on top of my list – but I was willing to wait until Sunday morning for that little pleasure.
That day, we were in for a treat, as the staff had organised a falconry display, which featured five different birds – two falcons and three owls.
I was lucky enough to hold Twinky Toes – an owl I could only describe as looking like the infamous white owl that appears at the beginning of RTE’s The Late Late Show.
The information session was very interesting and the guide was very informative. After this, it was time for some fun treasure hunting around the estate.
There were three teams; two with five members and one with four. What was great about this treasure hunt was that it was all about the grounds and had us running from one place to another looking for visual answers to questions, while other questions were brain teasers that required us to sit down and take it all in.
While, unfortunately, our team didn’t win (we finished in second place), really – without sounding too cheesy – the fun element was the taking part.
There are some great options for dining at this hotel, allowing those who choose to stay more than one night to enjoy a selection of restaurants, including La Perla and Yindees, an oriental restaurant.
There is also the X-bar for late night entertainment. The food from La Perla was delicious, and each plate had just enough flavour and quantity to make you enjoy every bit.
The leisure facilities ticked all the boxes; the relaxation area, the hydro infinity pool, the steam room, and, of course, the spa treatments.
What was wonderful about this hotel was that the staff were all so friendly, and instantly set a relaxed atmosphere.
Over the summer months, this estate is constantly entertaining its guests, with so much to do, ranging from outdoor activities such as boating, mountain biking and picnics games to indoor facilities such as the games room, a snooker room and a 20-seat private cinema – making sure the family is occupied, no matter what the weather.
The hotel constantly has special offers on its website. One such offer is a three-day treat at the Lyrath Estate Hotel for three nights B&B for two adults and two children.
Every day, from 10.30pm until 12.30pm, children can enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, crazy golf, nature walks, outdoor board games, mini-olympics or music and dancing as part of the kids club.
This three-night family package at Lyrath Estate includes B&B for all the family and dinner on two evenings for both adults in either La Perla or Yindee’s restaurants at Lyrath, costing from just €255 per adult sharing.
This hotel is definitely worthy of its five-star status, and is a must-see for anyone thinking of taking a break in Kilkenny.
For further information, see www.lyrath.com, or call 056 776 0088.