Hotel review

Inside Wexford’s ‘Wild Rooms’ and Europe’s warmest winter sun destinations

The race for the sun resumes…

It’s hard to keep up with travel news this week, but thankfully most involve easing restrictions. Australia has reopened to vaccinated visitors after nearly two years (Western Australia will follow on March 3), Israel will allow entry to all tourists from March 1, and Switzerland has taken the plunge in entirely lifting border health measures for EU travellers. “It is no longer necessary to submit contact data or provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test,” explains reopen.europa.eu.

In flight news, Aer Lingus will take off for San Francisco from Friday (Miami is back from October 21), Egyptair has a service from Dublin to Cairo from June 2, and Air Canada will fly to Vancouver and Montreal. from June. Ryanair has announced its biggest summer timetables for Dublin and Cork – but don’t expect peak season prices to drop. In Europe, overall capacity is expected to remain around 15% lower than in 2019.

Don’t tear up your Covid Cert just yet

Despite all the good news, pandemic rules are still a big part of travel. From Monday, for example, you will no longer have to wear masks in schools, shops or on public transport in Ireland – but passengers must continue to do so at Dublin Airport (as gateways , airports tend to apply a Europe-wide approach based on advice from EASA and ECDC). Destinations like Portugal and Italy also continue to require green passes to access bars, restaurants, hotels and ski facilities. Before travelling, check your specific destination on restart.europa.eu.

“chic rooms in the desert”

It’s a slogan for Co Wexford’s new wild chambers (pictured above). I checked into Tara Hill Estate’s Charred Log Cabins and wrote an article explaining how they work (they’re adults-only, with no-contact check-in, for starters). They are part of a new wave of immersive stays in a natural environment. Think Belgium’s Slow Cabins concept, Finn Lough’s Bubble Domes, recently named Ireland’s sexiest rooms, or the treehouses coming to Center Parcs in Co Longford. It’s not hard to see why wilderness experiences with creature comforts are successful, but it’s fun to unbox.

Offers of the week

Missed opportunities were a theme of the pandemic, and I think many of us will be booking catch-up breaks this year (new research also shows that ‘3G breaks’ – where kids, parents and grandparents vacation together – are increasing). With this in mind, Killarney Towers Hotel has aGirls Re-Unite’ package including B&B for two, dinner, lunch and a 10pc discount on treatments from €249 for two (and you can add a cocktail or cooking class from €20 pp). Also in Kerry, the Rose Hotel in Tralee is offering a walking package for 22nd and 23rd April including two nights B&B, dinner and a guided walk on Mount Brandon from €199 pp.

As always, please feel free to forward our travel newsletter to other travel fans or encourage them to sign up here.

Safe travel – Pol


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