Growing older can have its benefits. With more time on their hands and considerably more in their bank accounts than the majority of Millennials, the Over 55’s have never had greater choice. Far flung destinations and places close to home love customers who can travel off peak and there are often bargains to be had. Those available to travel during school term may not realise the power that they have. A Euro spent during this time is worth three Euros during high season according to the Travel Expert Eoghan Corry. So I’ve picked out a selection of ideas for those who enjoy travel in the Golden Years.
Golf and Spa in Northern Ireland at Galgorm Resort and Spa
There has never been a better time to travel up North and enjoy the fabulous food that I’ve been raving about since my first venture across the border. This autumn many of the hotels are teaming up with Tourism Northern Ireland to produce exciting Golf and Spa programs and I brought my mother up North to sample one of the finest last weekend! The leaves were turning to all shades of gold and orange as we drove past Belfast on the M2 to Ballymena. We passed the pretty village of Galgorm on the way to the resort and immediately the beautiful river and falls blew us away.
We were greeted on arrival by Maurice who had a list of all the day’s guests. Both mum and I agreed that every hotel should have a Maurice as he made us feel like we were returning when
it was our first time at Galgorm.
The hotel is popular for wedding parties but the designers cleverly built an entirely new building further down in the grounds to cater for them, so they are not imposing on the guests who have come to enjoy a relaxing time being pampered by spa and good food.
I’m not a golfer but I do credit myself on being rather good at enjoying a decent spa! So before enjoying my area of expertise I was taken by the concierge at Galgorm Resort to Galgorm Castle Golf Club. Here I was met by the very charming club professional, Phil Collins, who showed incredible patience and encouragement despite my dismal attempts to hit the ball straight. A lesson is a great way to gain confidence and I enjoyed it so much I will persevere and put Golf on my new years resolution list. After the lesson Phil took me on a tour of the beautiful grounds where the Northern Ireland Open was played this summer.
I left the lesson knowing that I need to work hard on my follow through. I also left it realising that I really enjoyed it and this is a game that could take me some rather nice places! Galgorm Castle Golf club has a special treat at the ninth hole which has become very popular with players. At McQuillan’s you can enjoy a hot dog washed down with a glass of wine or beer! I love it when I find a novel idea on my travels and this one could definitely encourage the most reluctant golfer.
Galgorm Castle itself is a remarkable building dating from the 17th Century and filled with ghost stories and tales. Visitors can enjoy the garden centre nestled in the corner of the estate and kids can have fun playing pitch and putt on a new course set up for Learners.
But it was time for me to do what I am good at and when I returned to the hotel mum had already changed into bathrobes and headed down to the spa. The Thermal Village is expansive with a new suite and delightful experience at every turn.
The hot tubs placed close to the cascading river really sets the scene for romance and the fact that each relaxing therapy session in the tub is accompanied by a glass of bubbles means it is best shared!
Afternoon Tea is a speciality at Galgorm and the Gin Bar boasts over 300 different brands. The restaurants are hugely popular with locals so it’s a good idea to book your meal before arrival.
Gillicks serves incredible meat dishes and we ate dinner in Fratelli’s which had a huge menu of pizza, pasta and speciality dishes. The prices were reasonable too, especially now that the pound is reaching parity with the Euro. Mum really enjoyed every minute of our time at the resort. She commented on the atmosphere and customer service especially. It’s easy to get around and the beds were extra comfy. The wifi also is free, easy to log on to and good reception in all the bedrooms and main areas.
It’s really difficult to find fault with this hotel, except it would be wonderful if it was a little bit closer Dublin. For anyone wishing to visit The Giant’s Causeway then this is the perfect distance only 30 minutes down the road. While up there it would be rude to pass by Bushmills distillery without paying a visit too. I’ve been converted for some time now to the pleasures of Northern Ireland but I think I’ve found my new favourite hotel.
Under their ‘Autumn Treats’ offer running until end of November…A 2-night stay (midweek) B&B in Galgorm Resort & Spa from £180 per person, subject to availability. This includes dinner on one night, afternoon tea on one day and access to the Thermal Spa Village. (For golf, just add £26 on all their packages!) There are plenty of great ‘Golf & Spa’ breaks available in Northern Ireland this autumn – you can find all the latest offers at www.sayhellotomore.ie. or check out http://www.tourismni.com/
There are so many cruise lines and holiday types to chose from that it is easy to get confused and pick the wrong one. Especially if it’s your first time then it’s important to go to a travel operator who is an expert in this area and who will direct you to your perfect cruise. That’s why I recommend speaking to one of the highly qualified staff at www.cruiseholidays.ie Here you will be directed to the right one for your needs, age and pocket. They’ve just re-launched their Luxury Cruise Shop on Middle Abbey Street to reflect the demand in the market for great cruise holidays, be it honeymoon, a celebration, or a gift. Cruises are on the increase every year and the experts will help you with all your queries in a lovely new surroundings.
I’m a big fan of Celebrity as I’ve sailed with them twice, in the Med and the Caribbean. I can’t wait to try the Northern European route – what better way to see the beauty of Noway and towns like Flam and Bergin.
When I visited Norway for the first time a couple of years ago I was impressed by how lovely the people were but the prices of even McDonald’s would leave you needing open wallet surgery. So what better way to see this beautiful land than by cruise ship and instead of enjoying the fjords from the land you can sail through them on a luxurious cruise.
Aqua Class on Celebrity focuses on well-being and provides a Spa concierge who arranges all treatments, speciality dining in Blu restaurant where healthy breakfasts and dinner are provided, and unlimited access to the Persian Gardens and Relaxation Room. Cruises today are more about discovering the world in a relaxing and rejuvenating environment
For more information click on www.cruiseholidays.ie
Ending up in the Canary Islands, this cruise is good for the active over fifties who want to get some sun without taking a long flight.
Travel Tuesday Deals
Over 50’s Lanzarote from €449pp
4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Canaries
Half Board Basis
Free wine with evening meals
7 nights accommodation
Fuengirola – Spain Over 50’s Offer from www.travelcheaper.ie
7 nights – 4* Hotel Las Palmeras
Offer valid from 01st November to 24th December 2016 & from 01st to 31th January 2017
Full Board basis
FR€279pp (Based on 2 people sharing)
-Shuttle transfer to/from hotel
-Free full day trip to Nerja and Frigiliana
-Private taxi transfer – supplement payable €10 per person net for return transfer based on 2 people sharing
If you plan to stay close to home then these great deals aren’t far away
Active Retired Getaway at The Rose Hotel, Tralee
Authentic and easeful, warm and welcoming, The Rose Hotel is a charming four star family run hotel. Now with a smart and stylish new look, following a recent refurbishment, The Rose Hotel is the perfect place to enjoy some much deserved rest and relaxation.
Ideally located in the heart of Kerry, the Active Required Getaway at The Rose Hotel is the ideal base from which to explore The Kingdom’s exquisite scenery, from local Blue Flag beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way to the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry and Tralee town itself. After a day of exploring relax and sample the delights of the new menu in The Park Restaurant or enjoy a drink in the warm and inviting Dott’s Bar before retiring for a great night’s sleep in one of the 165 spacious and comfortable rooms. The Active Retired Getaway at The Rose Hotel in Tralee includes two night’s accommodation midweek with breakfast, an evening meal on both nights’ in the elegant Park Restaurant, complimentary tea or coffee and scones on arrival plus discounts to local visitor attractions.
Enjoy a well-deserved two-night midweek break from €99pps which includes 2 Night’s Bed & Breakfast, 2 Evening Meals, consisting of 4 course meal each night in the Park Restaurant, complimentary Tea/Coffee & Scones on arrival, plus discounts to local visitor attractions! Free Car Parking & WIFI are also included.
The Active Retired Getaway at The Rose Hotel in Tralee is available from €99 per person sharing. To book call 066 7199100 or visit www.therosehotel.com. Minimum 2 night’s stay. The Rose Hotel, Dan Spring Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry, V92 HKA4
+353 (0) 66 7199100
Golden Years Getaway at Faithlegg House Hotel and Golf Resort – Reeling in the Years at Faithlegg
Lucky for some, days spent slumped in front of a computer screen in a dark and damp office are a thing of the past. The golden years are all about putting your feet up and enjoying some much deserved relaxation time – and there’s no better place to do so then in the midst of the beautiful countryside at Waterford’s picturesque Faithlegg House Hotel and Golf Resort.
Offering the ultimate in luxury accommodation and delicious cuisine with a tranquil spa and an award-winning golf course all surrounded by luscious green woodlands, ideal for a leisurely stroll or heart racing trek, Faithlegg House Hotel and Golf Resort is the perfect destination for a golden getaway.
The Golden Years package at Faithlegg House Hotel includes two nights accommodation with full Irish breakfastand two evening meals in the Roseville Rooms Restaurant. Take advantage of a complimentary pass for Waterford’s Viking Triangle, at the heart of Ireland’s oldest city, and home to three outstanding museums; the Bishop’s Palace, the Medieval Museum & Reginald’s Tower.
Enjoy 20% off spa treatments at The Estuary Spa, complimentary newspaper daily, aqua aerobics twice weekly and daily golf clinic with our resident pro each morning at 11 am and mapped country walks for all levels of fitness and live music in the Aylward Lounge every Sunday and Wednesday night. Offer available for Golden Yrs Guests only. (over 50’s). Ideal for a golden getaway with your life partner, friends or ex-colleagues the Golden Years package at Faithlegg House Hotel is available from €125 per person sharing over 50. To book, call 051 382000 or visit www.faithlegg.com as prior booking is essential. Minimum 2 nights stay.
Knockranny House Hotel & Spa in Westport, Mayo
A proper destination hotel, busy and beloved, the welcoming atmosphere that begins at Knockranny House Hotel with the open log fires in the reception hall is carried throughout the property with its antique furniture, excellent spa facilities, superb cuisine and friendly service.
GOLDEN YEARS – 3 B&B 3 DINNERS
Enjoy three midweek nights bed and full Irish breakfast with three table d’hôte dinners in our award-winning restaurant La Fougère.
Package also includes:
• Free transfers to and from bus/train stations
• Breakfast in bed at no extra charge
- Tea & homemade scones on one afternoon
• Complimentary bottle of Grauzan house wine between two with one evening meal
• Special Golden Treatments & Rates available in Spa Salveo
- Upgrade to a Grand Deluxe room for only €10pps per night
from €279 per person sharing
For more information check out www.knockrannyhousehotel.ie.
Knockranny House Hotel & Spa
+353 (98) 28600