Slieve Donard – Newcastle, County Down
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Originally built by the Belfast and County Down Railway in the 19th century as an end-of-the-line holiday destination, this Victorian hotel is flanked by a golden beach on side and the world famous Royal County Down golf course on the other. Now part of Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts, it is midway through an extensive renovation that will include a reimagined lobby, rooms and restaurant concept. The Mountains of Mourne are on the doorstep and offer fantastic walking and climbing opportunities, while the breathtaking Tollymore Forest Park is a few minutes away by car (handily the hotel is also only 30 miles south of Belfast and 90 miles north of Dublin). Make sure you pay a visit to the state-of-the-art spa, a haven of escapism with a pool, steam room and sauna, plus a fitness studio, Zen Studio (for classes such as yoga and tai chi) and Espa treatments. And there are three restaurants to choose from for relaxed drinking and dining – whether guests fancy light bites, cocktails or a sit-down supper.
Doubles from £220
+44(0)28 4372 1066; marineandlawn.com/slievedonard