There are many reasons why we love sleeping in a cabin. Cross the threshold and it feels like you could be anywhere in the world — in a far-flung forest in Canada, or under the big old skies of Montana.
hen there’s the fact that most cabins are hidden away in the wilderness, so you can breathe the fresh country air and feel like you’ve escaped from all the stresses of everyday life. Finally, there’s that inescapable Instagram factor, the photographable allure of a wooden cabin standing among the tree trunks, with a rocking chair on the deck for those sunset snaps of your glass of rosé.
Irish cabin stays are having a moment, too. From the launch of Co Cavan’s trailblazing Cabü by the Lakes in 2020 to the new lodges at Drumhierny Woodland Hideaway in Co Leitrim, suddenly there are more options than ever on our home turf. And the style stakes have been upped, too — think sleek, A-frame designs, super plush bedding and the all-important ‘cabin porn’ décor inside.
There are options for every budget. Sure, you’ve got the luxury numbers, with designs to die for and roll-top baths in the bedrooms. But there are also more down-to-earth options to be found on Airbnb, where you can get change out of €100 for a night away.
So, whether you want to get away from it all in the middle of nowhere or stay in a cabin on the grounds of a hotel, here are some of the best cabins in Ireland
1. Cabü by the Lakes, Co Cavan
No one nails the ‘cabin porn’ aesthetic quite like Cabü. But while the design of these cabins is perfection, with heavy Aztec weaves, sheepskin rugs and roll-tops baths, the setting is just as beguiling. The cabins are well spread out around the tall trees of Killykeen Forest Park, giving a real feel of privacy and immersion in nature, and the setting on Lough Oughter means that kayaking and lake dips are right on your doorstep. The new addition of the Cabin Club bar means there’s a cosy space to be social on wintry days, but the outdoor Sitooterie will always be a winner, with a giant fireplace, comfy seats and tabletop grills for making s’mores.
Details: Cabins from €395 for two nights; cabu.co.uk
2. The Wild Rooms, Co Wexford
For a proper immersion in nature, you can’t beat The Wild Rooms. These charred wood cabins may be small, but the impact is mighty, with giant windows overlooking the hills and distant sea. From your king-sized bed, you can snuggle up under the duck-down duvet and simply watch the landscape from sunrise to sunset. They’re self-catering, but you can order a grazing box for the room, or get pizza delivered right to your door.
Details: Cabins from €249; thewildrooms.com
3. Drumhierny Woodland Hideaway, Co Leitrim
The newest cabins on the scene are in Drumhierny, with 16 lodges set among the ancient forest just outside Leitrim village. Each of the lodges sleep up to six people, and there’s plenty of space to lounge on the sofa inside, or cosy up with a blanket on the deck and make the most of the trees that grow around each lodge. They’ve just launched an outdoor spa, where you can take a seaweed bath or soak in a hot tub in what was the estate’s old walled garden. Read our Drumhierny review here.
Details: Lodges from €450 for two nights; drumhiernyhideaway.ie
4. Aurora North Coast, Co Antrim
There aren’t many log cabins in Ireland that have that proper Canadian look, with walls made of thick tree trunks and a deck that looks like a lumberjack could walk around the corner at any moment. But at Aurora North Coast, that’s exactly what you get, because the two cabins were imported directly from British Columbia. Things are very swish inside, with two en-suite bedrooms and all the mod cons. The cabin named ‘Ulex’ may well win in the style stakes though, if only for the copper standalone bathtub in the bedroom, with views out over Rathlin Island. Both, though, have private hot tubs.
Details: From €705 for two nights; auroranorthcoast.com
5. Marlfield House, Co Wexford
Sure, we love the ‘cabin porn’ décor of raw wood and antique rugs. But when Marlfield House added lodges to its estate, it went in a different direction. Its Pond Suites feature their own giant, unique murals, with creatures like a vibrant blue heron splashed on the wall. The cabins are spacious, with views over the pond through the sleek panelled windows, and an ultra-luxe roll-top bath under a picture window. On days when the hotel is closed (Mondays and Tuesdays), you can get a discounted rate for the suites, which also includes a bottle of wine, antipasti platter and breakfast delivered in the morning.
Details: Pond Suites from €348; marlfieldhouse.com
6. Mount Falcon Estate, Co Mayo
There are 45 lodges on the grounds of Mount Falcon, just outside Ballina, but it’s the 12 woodland lodges here that have that all-important cabin feel. Built in the middle of the forest, these cabins are part sandstone, part wood, with a giant open living room set around an open fireplace. All three bedrooms are en-suite, and there’s underfloor heating to keep things nice and toasty. There’s plenty to keep you occupied on the estate, too — from archery and hawk walks to forest school for the kids.
Details: Lodges from €360; mountfalcon.com
7. Virginia Park Lodge, Co Cavan
There’s a cute, Sylvanian Families vibe to the 12 shepherds’ huts at Virginia Park Lodge. Raised up on wheels on the edge of Deerpark Forest, these little lodges are finished off with the finest touches, like solid oak floors and log burners. There’s a Shaker-style kitchen and the bed (with high-thread-count sheets) can be folded away to make a dining and seating area during the day. There’s a pub that serves food a 10-minute walk away from the Blue-Book escape, or you can venture further to the restaurant at St Kyran’s.
Details: Shepherds’ huts start from €180 per night; virginiaparklodge.com
8. Galgorm Resort & Spa, Co Antrim
The log cabins at Galgorm run adjacent to Galgorm Wood, with full kitchens, a deck and even a private hot tub. There are two options, one which sleeps six and the other eight, both of which have a full kitchen. Inside, the aesthetic is more ‘hotel room’ than ‘mountain lodge’, but you do get access to the thermal spa village on the evening of your arrival and morning of your departure. The shepherds’ huts have a more rustic vibe, with natural wood and stone as well as a killer outdoor bathtub and a firepit. One of the six berth log cabins and one shepherd’s hut are also dog-friendly, and the spa is first class, too.
Details: Shepherds’ huts from €275, cabins from €575; galgorm.com
9. Woodland Lodges at Center Parcs, Co Longford
If you want the forest cabin vibe with the ease of a resort stay, Center Parcs has the answer. Its Longford Forest lodges have all of the swish mod cons, like dishwashers and flatscreen TVs, with cosy elements like wood-burning stoves and patios looking out at the trees. Their forest spa, Aqua Sana, is another great spot to soak in the forest, with glass-fronted saunas and outdoor hot tubs.
Details: Four-night stays from €649; centerparcs.ie
Mountain cabins and rural retreats
10. Slow Cabins
They’ve only just opened their doors here, but tongues have been wagging about Slow Cabins in Ireland for a while. Popping up in a mysterious location somewhere in Connaught, the purpose of these cabins is to get you to well and truly disconnect from the real world. They’re technically off-grid, but with solar-powered electricity and a cosy wood-burning stove. Our advice? Switch the phone off, dig out that book that’s been on your bedside for months and drink in as much nature as you can.
Details: From €500 for two nights; slowcabins.ie
11. Nire Valley Eco Camp, Co Waterford
There’s a real funky design to the five cabins at Nire Valley. The idea was to make the most of the surrounds — the meadow, trees and the Comeraghs in the background. It’s best to go in a glamping state of mind. While there is a bathroom, the kitchenette is outdoors, and you can’t park right next door. The cabins are also solar-powered, so you can’t use an electric kettle or hairdryer. But if you’re ready to go off-grid and get back to nature, this is the place to be. Prices are based on occupancy (the cabins sleep up to five), and the rate includes a breakfast basket with homemade bread, apples and juice from the local farm.
Details: Cabins from €290 for two nights for two people; nirevalleyecocamp.com
12. Native, Co Cork
Made using the most stringent of sustainable technology, the cabin at Native is a combination of architectural panache and a dash of Nordic style. Inside, things are kept minimalist, with bare walls and natural fibres. When it comes to activities, you can indulge in a spot of forest bathing or meditation, as well as taking a bushcraft workshop or cooking over an open fire. The overall aim? To finance its rewilding programme, which plants native broadleaf trees and boosts biodiversity. It’s currently only open as an artist retreat, but will be launching to the public in spring 2023.
Details: From €275 per night; native.ie
13. Erne River Lodge, Co Cavan
There are 48 cabins in this development along the riverbanks in Cavan, most of which are privately owned. But there’s one available to rent with a strong Swiss mountain chalet feel to it. The interior is fairly basic, but there is a private hot tub and a covered balcony to the front. The balcony over the master bedroom is a nice touch, and a great spot for a morning coffee. There are two public access points to the river, one being a pontoon if you want to go for a wild swim or a spot of boating.
Details: Cabins from €400 for three nights midweek; erneriverlodge.com
14. Bernard’s Log Cabins, Co Cavan
Imported from Finland, these cabins have a Scandinavian feel, with modern features inside like televisions and jacuzzi baths. There are two different types available, though both sleep up to six and have two large balconies, so you can enjoy the views of the Sliabh An Iarainn mountains in the distance. These cabins are an angler’s paradise, and they can organise boat hire for you if you want to set off for a day’s fishing.
Details: Two night stays from €300; bernardslogcabins.com
By the water
15. Lusty Beg Island, Co Fermanagh
Nothing beats waking up right by the water. And at the lodges at Lusty Beg, you could almost leap into the lake as soon as you whip off your pyjamas. Your lodge will be tucked away in the woods, and there’s an upstairs veranda on the larger cabins, so you can enjoy the view with a bit more privacy. Even better, there are lodges available for two people, so you can enjoy a cabin stay without having to find a gang of six. There’s a spa on site, with swimming pool and lakeside bath tubs, as well as a full menu of therapies.
Details: Two nights from €383; lustybegisland.com
16. Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Lodges, Co Fermanagh
Do you remember Tom Hanks’ dreamy waterside houseboat in Sleepless in Seattle? Well, stay in one of the lakeside cabins at Killyhevlin and you’ll feel like you’re walking in his footsteps. These lodges are right on the water’s edge, each with their own jetty onto Lough Erne that’s just one big step from the door. From there, you can take a swim, or just sit with a glass of wine in the evening. There are woodland lodges too, with private hot tubs, and all have full use of the hotel facilities, including the pool, thermal suite and outdoor jacuzzi. Read our Killyhevlin review here.
Details: Two-night breaks from €668; killyhevlin.com
17. Cabin at Dunbrody House, Co Wexford
Set in the woodlands of the Dunbrody House estate, this cosy little cabin may be hidden among the trees, but it has the feel of a beach house, with whitewashed walls and little nautical nods throughout. It sleeps up to four with one double room and two singles, and has tea- and coffee-making facilities, but no kitchen. But that doesn’t matter — you can head up to the main house for your meals.
Details: Two nights from €390; dunbrodyhouse.com
18. Cuckoo Wood Hexagon, Co Mayo
This tiny cabin is tucked into a space that’s half orchard, half forest, about 5km from Westport. Its cute hexagonal shape may be a bit tight on space, but what it lacks in roominess it makes up for in character. There’s a little wood-burning stove to keep things toasty, and more than enough space to stretch out on the decking, which gets both the morning and evening sun. There’s also a full bathroom with electric shower and toilet.
Details: From €95 per night; airbnb.ie/rooms/2546659
19. Basecamp Knader, Co Donegal
You know you’ll be getting back to basics when your cabin is named after Tom Crean. This rustic, A-frame cabin is a fitting homage to the explorer, with no running water, electricity or, unsurprisingly, Wi-Fi. Instead, you’ll keep warm with the wood-burning stove, read under the glow of solar lamps, and make your morning cuppa in the communal cookhouse just a short stroll away. But that’s not to say it’s unwelcoming — there are vintage rugs and faux-fur throws, eggs from the hens and homemade bread.
Details: From €110 per night; airbnb.ie/rooms/19504517
20 Clover Cabin, Co Kilkenny
While some cabins aren’t exactly family-friendly, this one is ideal for kids. There’s a huge garden with a sand pit, tire swing and climbing frame, and you can keep an eye on them from the large decking area. The washing machine and dryer will come in handy, too. There’s also a bedroom specifically for the kids, but bear in mind the beds are very small, so it’s only one for the younger children.
Details: Midweek breaks from €195; clovercabin.ie
21. Corbally Log Cabin, Co Cork
At the back of a private house, this cabin in Kanturk is cosy and self-sufficient, with a spacious terrace with rocking chairs overlooking the garden. If you want to get active, Ballyhass Mallow is about a 10-minute drive away, where you can go kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or use the lakeside barrel saunas after a cold-water dip in the cordoned-off swimming area.
Details: From €85 per night; airbnb.ie/rooms/25578654
NB: All prices subject to change/availability
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/ireland/21-cool-cabin-stays-in-ireland-from-wilderness-retreats-to-budget-lodges-41901663.html 21 cool cabin stays in Ireland – from wilderness retreats to budget lodges