While most tourism activities, including business tourism-related travel, have come to a pause during the global pandemic, the time is right to start planning ahead for the future.
With stunning luxury country resorts dotted about its green and verdant landscape, Ireland offers a unique opportunity for networking, relaxation, work and play. While virtual meet-ups currently reign supreme, there will come a time when travel restrictions ease and on-location incentives
, retreats and team-building experiences
can return to the agenda; as companies begin to think about planning those future events, Ireland's top-class venues
provide some welcome inspiration.
For one-of-a-kind business tourism experiences, look no further than the enticing, easily accessible and always welcoming country resorts in the secluded safety of the Irish countryside. When you require wide-open spaces and great social distancing potential, these five resorts ensure that your delegates can relax in the comfort of world-class surroundings, knowing their health and safety is paramount.
Location: County Mayo
If you are searching for an exclusive venue with extensive, private surroundings, then consider the world-renowned five star Ashford Castle. Enclosed in 350 acres of woodlands and gardens, this Forbes-listed castle sits majestically on Lough Corrib in County Mayo, offering complete privacy and security for a bespoke conference of up to 110 people.
Guests can relax in one of 83 sumptuous rooms and enjoy fine wines and delicious food in the award-winning George V Dining Room after a day at the spa or an invigorating encounter with some birds of prey at the falconry school. Ashford Castle (located under an hour from Ireland West Airport, Knock and just over an hour and a half from Shannon International Airport) will have delegates singing its praises as they relish every moment of their socially distant stay.
Lough Eske Castle
With National Geographic
adding Donegal (a county renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and uncrowded beaches) to its "cool list", it's not surprising that a visit to Ireland's Northwest is on many a bucket list. Although nestled snuggly in the picture-perfect rolling hills, Lough Eske Castle
is just over an hour from the City of Derry Airport
, making fairytale scenery and award-winning luxury easily accessible. Ireland West Airport Knock
is also within 2 hours' drive of the tranquil splendour of this five-star castle resort. Lough Eske Castle can comfortably host delegations in their conference room, and with the option to hire the entire castle and all its 97 bedrooms, your guests can enjoy an exclusive and safe storybook stay.
Lough Eske Castle
Location: County Antrim
Located just 30 minutes from Belfast and only 20 minutes from Belfast airport, The Galgorm is Northern Ireland's premier luxury hotel. Its prime location also offers the perfect base for discovering the breath-taking scenery of the North Antrim Coast or enjoying a game of golf on a world-class course.
The estate sits on over 200 acres of sprawling grounds and parkland with the River Maine flowing through, making it an ideal spot to embrace some much-needed tranquility. The Galgorm boasts over 124 guestrooms, eight event suites and four award-winning restaurants. But it’s thanks to the truly unique Thermal Spa Village — nothing quite says a warm welcome like riverside hot tubs, heated pools and saunas — that the estate is sure to create a long-lasting impression on all those lucky enough to attend an event here.
Location: County Galway
The Condé Nast-recommended Ballynahinch Castle takes advantage of its location in the middle of Connemara by offering activities that embrace the great outdoors. From hiking trails and horseriding to fishing excursions and shooting, this slice of luxury in County Galway has something for all guests, even those who would prefer the less energetic pursuit of a picnic in the stunning grounds.
Perfect for a more intimate gathering, the castle's 48 guest rooms offer a range of views from luscious woodlands to magnificent mountains, immersing guests in a rural paradise. With Shannon International Airport and Ireland West Airport Knock both approximately 2 hours away, escaping to the Connemara countryside is well within reach of all those seeking a uniquely Irish stay.
Ballynahinch Castle Grounds
Location: County Clare
Just a short drive from celebrated surfing locations, the surreal landscape of the Burren and the UNESCO Global Geopark Cliffs of Moher, Dromoland Castle provides a memorable stay for global business travellers. For conferences and meetings, the castle has capacity for 220 with 98 guest rooms available.
Less than 20 minutes from Shannon International Airport, Dromoland Castle promises a luxury retreat where delegates can safely enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings of the County Clare countryside.
Start planning now
These five country estates are committed to putting the health and safety of business travellers first. While they wait to welcome global visitors back to their resorts in future years, they are working hard to ensure that preparation is flawless.
As the world's business tourism industry takes a pause, why not start planning a future incentive experience around one of Ireland's majestic five-star castles — the perfect remote setting for events influenced by health and safety measures — and all from the comfort of your armchair?
Contact a member of the Meet in Ireland team today
to receive comprehensive advice and support as you prepare for your next event.