Castles in Ireland may be a dime a dozen, but it’s not everyday you get to stay in one. With Ireland’s Blue Book of castle properties, guests can sleep like royalty in actual historic accommodations boasting luxury, heritage, unique features and easy access to local attractions and day excursions.
Beginning in County Clare, Gregan’s Castle boasts incredible views across Galway Bay and the rugged Burren landscape While situated off the beaten path from tourists, Gregan’s Castle is a luxury retreat minutes from local tourist attractions. Enjoy homemade Irish cuisine, 15 elegant bedrooms, six luxury suites and open log fires during colder nights.
Over in County Kildare, Barberstown Castle is a 13th-century residence your family can use as home base while exploring Dublin and the eastern side of Ireland. Once the home of Eric Clapton, Barberstown hosted visitors for more than 800 years and offers 4-star accommodations and luxury service as well as local food and wine in an ideal location.
On the newer side (by Irish standards), Belleek Castle in County Mayo was built in the 1820s and boasts a unique Neo-Gothic architecture. This cozy hotel provides just 10 bedrooms, open-log fires and Irish charm for days. Built on a medieval abbey, Belleek Castle resembles an Irish country house with an updated dining venue.
The 4-star hotel and traditionally beautiful Castle Durrow is located in County Laois and was once the home of Peter and Shelly Stokes. Built in 1716, Castle Durrow is now a popular wedding venue surrounded by lush woods and winding pathways — idyllic to say the least.
When you picture old-world luxury on the rolling green of Ireland, you might actually have a picture of Castle Leslie Estate in mind. Located in County Monaghan, the Leslie Estate is literally surrounded with acres of natural beauty and rustic landscape, perfect for an authentic Irish countryside experience.
Each castle estate boasts a bit of the old world meets new. Enjoy luxury comforts and modern convenience with that added touch of something special to your Irish family vacation for all ages and interests. Slow down and unwind with the rolling landscape of Ireland without sacrificing comfort.
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.
By Hainan Airlines
Downton Abbey swept into family rooms and show-binging homes back in 2010 and is now resurfacing with a new story — this time on film! For Downton Abbey enthusiasts, this is a highly-anticipated event; for newcomers, this is a great chance to binge the show ahead of the film’s release; and for families looking for any excuse to get away, this is the time to take advantage of CIE Tours lineup of Downton Abbey-themed stops.