10 new trends for Staycation, from “hotels within hotels” to wilderness stays with pizza delivery

Would you like a breakfast box delivered to your room? How about a pizza or yoga class during your stay in the wilderness?

touring the island to put together this year’s fabulous 50, ours List of the best places to stay in Ireland 2022gave us a unique sense of how Irish stays are changing and reinventing what they offer as we come out of Covid.

Here are just a few fun trends to check out…

1. Home away from home


A bathroom in the bedroom at Thistledown Lodge, Co. Wexford. Photo: Pol Ó Conghaile

Many of us have modernized our homes during lockdown and hotels and guesthouses are reflecting this when renovating.

Good coffee, Netflix, wine coolers, quality showers, and fresh milk in the rooms are all touches that add both luxury and home comforts.

There is a bath in one of the guest bedrooms at Thistledown Lodge in Co Wexford, a new boutique B&B on the Hook Peninsula (above). In Co Donegal’s Rockhill House, the designers were even instructed to retain the feel of a family home.

2. Breakfast boxes and trays


A breakfast tray at Pax House, Co. Kerry

Breakfast buffets have been a casualty of Covid as hotels scramble to implement social distancing and reduce touchpoints. Some hotels bring them back; others find creative ways to spice up morning meals.

For example, breakfast boxes can be delivered to your door at Hotel67 in Killarney or the Wild Rooms in Co Wexford.

Another example is the afternoon tea-style tiered trays stacked with scones, smoothies, fruit and cereal at Dingle’s Pax House and Co Clare’s Doolin Inn.

“Breakfast has become such a luxury,” says Anthony Moloney of the Doolin Inn. “It’s a real treat.”

3. Adults only!


One of the Wild Rooms on the Tara Hill Estate. Photo: Pol Ó Conghaile

We all love children. But sometimes parents need a night away, and a small but growing number of accommodation options (e.g. Wexford’s Wild Rooms) cater to this. Others, like Pax House, Clonalis House, and Haddington House, cater to older kids.

4. Hotels within hotels

Creating smaller branded stays or exclusive floors at larger resorts has been relatively rare in Ireland. This could change with larger objects such cardboard house and Tulfarris, turning their old mansions into hotels within hotels, and Gleneagle’s new Hotel67, breathing new life into a previously hidden part of its resort. Its 24 rooms were formerly used as office and storage space.

5. Upcycle the insert


The sitting room at Thistledown Lodge, Co. Wexford.

Church organ headboards at the Old Inn in Crawfordsburn. The former reception of Dublin’s Berkeley Court Hotel reappears in Lawlor’s of Naas. A coffee table made from part of an aircraft engine, itself salvaged from a shop display, at Thistledown Lodge, Co Wexford.

Upcycling is picking up speed, and given the overall rising costs, this makes both economic and ecological sense. “It’s great not to throw things away,” as Dunbrody House’s Catherine Dundon puts it.

6. Petite resorts

Done with sprawling, impersonal resorts? Downsize with more intimate, individual retreats such as the Bancran School – above, with four glamping accommodations in Co Derry – Dromquinna with its tents, lodges and self-catering in Co Kerry or the newly designed manor house, lodge and stables in Liss Ard west cork

These carefully curated oases reflect the vision and ethos of their owners, with private and communal spaces often surrounded by nature.

7. Next level lodges

forest remains as Center Parcs and Cabu by the lakes, combined with a growing trend for immersion in nature, has taken Irish lodges to a whole new level. From hangouts with hot tubs on Killyhevlin to the Drumhierny Woodland Hideaway (where much of the furnishings are made from fallen wood), rustic living has never felt so chic.

8. Prior Art


The bar at the Arthouse in Dublin

The use of local and Irish artists to beautify bedrooms, hallways and public areas is thriving. From curated contemporary artists at press-up hotels like The Dean, to works at the Arthaus in Dublin paying tribute to Mainie Jellett and Mary Swanzy, or smaller stays like Lagom that commission local artists, it brings color, a feeling local and supports our creative community.

9. Great terraces

Pandemic lockdowns and the boom in outdoor living have kicked patios into gear, from big plays like The Montenotte’s €1m rooftop bar to small stays like the terrace in June Blake’s garden. With our newfound love for and reconnecting with nature, we hope these outdoor living spaces will continue to evolve.

10. Sustainability Mistake

Sustainability is our focus fab 50, but we find that a surprising number of stays have fallen short of standards — from mini toiletries to a fundamental lack of recycling or green teams. Covid can be blamed, but with costs soaring, the race to renewable energy and more sustainable stays is more urgent than ever. Let’s get back on track!

Read this year’s Fab 50 here. 10 new trends for Staycation, from “hotels within hotels” to wilderness stays with pizza delivery

Fry Electronics Team

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