Wondering where to stay for a quick break in Ireland?

This post is the first in a series of Luxury, Unique or Affordable breaks in Ireland. Ireland is known for it’s outstanding 5 five star hotels, one of which we speak about here: Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa.

We’re going to focus on a few aspects of our break there in this article:

  • Transport Links, distance from the airport
  • Working on the Road/ From Home capabilities
  • Exercise Facilities
  • Food & Beverages
  • Bedroom

Ireland has a wide variety of excellent hotels, ranging from the budget breaks to the luxury break-aways. There is a huge variety of boutique and quirky hotels with something for everyone (few yurts anyone?) and of course Wedding’s in Ireland are big business.

Stunning Gardens.

We hope you enjoy this review of Powerscourt so let’s get to it:

Introduction: Powerscourt Hotel & Spa

The Powerscourt Hotel & Spa, once the Ritz Carlton was built in 2007 at the Foothills of the Great Sugarloaf near Enniskerry, in Wicklow.

The drive up to the hotel reminds makes you feel like you’re leaving all of your troubles behind as you pass through the grand gates of the estate. It really feels like you’re traveling back in time to a more sophisticated age, this feeling just intensifies with your stay at the Powerscourt Hotel.

The great avenue of the estate of Powerscourt House & Gardens slopes off to the left as we drive down towards the hotel. The Palladian elegance of Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa is slowly revealed as you drive down the gently twisting entrance.

The sight of the hotel really is something special, the 194 Room hotel glimmers in the sunshine with it’s beautiful and dramatic Palladian style architecture.
Powerscourt Hotel Wicklow

The Great Sugar Loaf Mountain is visible across the valley, between the tall elegant beech trees.  The avenue slopes down, through woodland, before revealing the elegance of Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, with its breathtaking views. Located on the famous Powerscourt Estate, one of Ireland’s finest estates, with its historic house, beautifully manicured garden and its waterfall, the highest in Ireland, you may be just half an hour from Dublin but it could be a million miles away.

One of the most visually astounding and beautiful hotels we’ve stayed in anywhere, not just Ireland. This five star hotel oozes luxury from the very beginning. It’s recently been name AA Hotel of the Year, has two championship golf courses (which we were very lucky to be able to experience, the weather was amazing) and a 30,000 square foot spa which has some male specific treatments which is a nice change.

There are many options for great food with the SIKA signature restaurant, the Sugar Loaf Lounge and even a full traditional Irish Pub called McGills (serious pint of Guinness).

Transport Links to Powerscourt Hotel:

Powerscourt Hotel is so easy to get to! We hopped on the M50 and were there in less than an hour from North County Dublin, a very easy drive, well sign posted and a nice way to start your break.

Travelling by Car:

Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa is less than an hour from Dublin which is a big plus if you’re looking to escape the busyness of the city for a night, it’s a lovely drive down and is equally easy to get to from the airport, hit the M50 and drive straight for a hour!

We rented a Hyundai i30 from carhire.ie who are owned by Europcar in March for €31 for 4 days! Amazing value although I’m sure this gets more expensive during the summer months.  We’ve used them a few times and never had an issue

Powerscourt Hotel & Spa

The view from the suite, perfect.

Travelling by bus

The closest public transportation to the estate are the 185 and 44 bus services which leave visitors in Enniskerry village in County Wicklow, a short walk from the Estate (approximately 25 minutes, wear comfortable shoes). Bus timetables are available here.

Travelling by train

The nearest DART station (rail) to the Estate is Bray, County Wicklow which connects the 185 bus with Dublin City Centre. The rail line runs along the coast of Dublin, from Malahide and Howth southwards as far as Greystones, County Wicklow. Full timetables for the DART are available here.

ESPA at Powerscourt:

ESPA is located underneath the main area in Powerscourt with a beautiful view out over the sugarloaf. ESPA at Powerscourt Hotel - Pool Hi ResThere are 20 treatment rooms, including a private Spa Suite should you need to keep prying eyes at bay.

There is a 20 metre heated swimming pool, a state of the art thermal suite and an excellent cafe serving up plenty of healthy meal choices.

The Fitness study is particularly impressive, with a couple of full racks, excellent selection of free weights and the usual machine weights and cardio equipment to boot. There’s also a studio where there are a number of classes and the day we were there, yoga was being conducted outside in the glorious sunshine.

There are male specific treatments available such as the ‘Golfer’s Tonic’, great I’m sure after a round on the course.

The spa facilities are very impressive and the perfect place to go to unwind after a stressful week.


Gym Facilities At Powerscourt:

We were pleasantly surprised when we wandered down to the gym in Powerscourt. Lets face it, gym facilities in Hotels can be lacking, a few cardio machines with a haphazard collection of dumbells and an old bench knocking around.

Not so in Powerscourt! Under the watchful eye of Phil Brien, the resident PT, the gym is exceptionally kitted out with full racks, bars, trap bars and a great selection of dumbbells. There are the usual cardio machines but they’re new and in great condition along with machine weights, stretching areas, yoga matts, foam rollers and pretty much everything you’d need for a killer workout.

Gym Powerscourt

Excellent Free Weight Facilities

The view from the gym is inspiring!

The woodland in the background with the Sugarloaf in the distance means you can really leave the stress behind and focus on clearing the mind and busting out a good workout – you’ll need it to make up for the dinner you’ll have later!

A high performance gym for the guests who aim high, really couldn’t fault the facilities here. Dip into the pool and thermal suites afterwards and I can’t think of a better way to start any day.

You’ll be like a new person!

Powerscourt Championship Golf Courses:

The day we visited Powerscourt, the sun was splitting the rocks so the two golf courses looked especially good.

The championship golf courses are only 30 minutes from Dublin airport so are the perfect place for a day trip too. Although only 30 minutes away, it’s a world apart.

Situated on the 1,000 plus acres of land, the golf courses are truly beautiful, great if your caddy isn’t too willing!Powerscourt Golf Course

The two courses were designed by professional golfers. The east course by Peter McEvoy and the west by David Mclay Kidd.

Powerscourt has full greens and tees all year round which is great for the golfing enthusiast. Although I’m pretty useless at golf, the views made up for my pathetic attempt at it!

With Powerscourt House in the background, a few of your friends at your side and a few hours to shoot the breeze, the golf courses are an excellent idea for a trip, even if you’re not staying at the hotel! So close to Dublin Airport, it makes a really great place to drop in to for the weekend then fly back to your 9-5 Sunday evening.

Dining at Powerscourt:

There are three main options for dining at Powerscourt, there’s the Sika Restaurant, Sugar Loaf Lounge, and McGills which is a pretty decent pub tucked away in the hotel. Hotel Pubs usually feel quite manufactured and fake but McGills just feels like a normal, cosy pub with a very good pint of the Black Stuff.

Sika Restaurant:

With an emphasis on local excellence and seasonality, Sika at Powerscourt Hotel offers the best of Irish contemporary cooking against a spectacular backdrop of Wicklow’s hills and mountains. This is where breakfast is served also, a fantastic setting. The menu choice is excellent and not too badly priced considering where you are, a very good steak was €30. The vibe of the restaurant is laid back yet high class, the background music was some nice jazz and the staff were excellent.

The Sugar Loaf Lounge is perfect for meeting, greeting and watching the world go by. Serving traditional Afternoon Tea daily and cocktails each evening, the Lounge is the perfect place to people watch and have a coffee or pint, with an all-day menu of casual dining too. A beautiful bright room with a classic Georgian appearance, it’s a very grand room indeed and a lovely place to spend a few hours.Powerscourt Sugar Loaf Lounge

This Irish pub is more than a name or an address: it embodies a spirit of friendly congeniality, a culture of conversation and story. McGills manifests this magnificently, full of interesting artifacts and memorabilia, with a wonderful bar, made for elbows. As well as a fine selection of whiskeys, beers and stouts, McGills offers a tasty menu of wholesome, traditional dishes, prepared and served with imagination and style.

The Food in Powerscourt is as high quality as you’d expect. The breakfast was out of this world! The breakfast selection is vast!

Everything you could imagine with a buffet and menu on offer.

Freshly baked bread for breakfast

Healthy options or the traditional Irish Fry are available and excellent. Very good coffee combined with the view of the Sugarloaf makes for a very good breakfast and a great way to continue your day after a grueling workout in the gym.


Working on the Road:

If you’re like me, and you rarely get to step away from your business for too long it’s important that there’s adequate work space available in case you’ve to answer any urgent emails or put out any fires.

I was hoping to be able to shut off from work for my stay but had to attend to a couple of matters, thankfully I was able to connect to the fast Wifi without any issues both in the lobby and in my bedroom without any issues. Our bedroom had a wonderful mahogany desk with sockets which made working quite comfortable for a few hours whilst my significant other was in the spa enjoying herself! Such is life.

The good news about Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa is that it’s incredibly easy to get WiFi anywhere and there are some seriously good views to be found in case your mind starts to wander. One point is that the WiFi is available to all of the guests so use whatever security you usually do when on the road.

Pretending to work!

Phone Signal was perfect in the hotel if you’d prefer to use a 4G hotspot although when in the forest, phone signal is thankfully not great to allow you some time to switch off.

Other Things to do in Powerscourt, Wicklow:

Read the paper and drink some good coffee! All you need.

If the Spa, fantastic restaurants, golf, gym and general amenties aren’t enough to satisfy you then fear not, Powercourts Resort Hotel & Spa sits on over 1,000 acres of private wilderness. There are complementary bikes available (book them when you arrive!) to take you around the beautiful paths surrounding the hotel & house. It’s the perfect spot for a pre-breakfast jog, tranquil, unspoiled and refreshing.

The bikes are classic Pashley’s and really comfortable for a gentle bike ride through the countryside. Bring some water because it’s a decent stretch!


What’s best about a break away in Powerscourt is the variety of activities at your disposal.


Pashleys in Powerscourt, taking a break beside the river.

If you want to switch off and relax, there’s the gym, the bars and the sumptious rooms to chill out in (go for a suite if finances permit), if you’re looking for some inspiration to get some work done then there are excellent facilities to connect and get the head down in peaceful surroundings (come on productivity!), if you’re feeling active then this is where Powerscourt Hotel & Resort really stands out – You can use the excellent gym, take a yoga class, go for a stroll/run, take a bike around the countryside or shoot a few holes on the championship Golf Course.

The Bedroom:

A room with a view.

We were very lucky to be upgraded to a suite for our stay (if you don’t ask!) so the room was absolutely out of this world.

The view was stunning, the room very impressive and the bathroom (we have a thing for bathrooms) was beautiful! Bright, airy and automatic curtains (this lazy mans dream!). There was the usual mini bar and then the not so usual Crystal bowls, two flatscreen tv’s (three if you include the mirror mounted bathroom tv) mahogany desk, armchairs and personal balcony. The view speaks for itself really.

It was a pretty hectic day doing everything that Powerscourt had to offer (and we did!) so I was very glad to be able to take the weight off in what has to be the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in (been in a lot of beds!).

After an amazing night’s sleep at the perfect temperature, each room is controlled from a control in the bedside cabinets, I was refreshed and ready to face the day… just after a long shave!

Suite Bedroom, man.

One of my favourite things about Powerscourt is that it’s just a blissful place to spend time. Totally relaxed, it’s the ideal spot to unwind after a tough week/month/year.

It’s definitely a place to go to reward yourself or to treat a special person in your life. Is it cheap? No, but it couldn’t be for the level of luxury and service you get.

You truly get what you pay for when you stay at Powerscourt, I’ve stayed in other Spa Hotels in Ireland for double the price of Powerscourt and a fraction of the experience.

The weather we got when we stayed had a big part to play in this being an absolutely perfect trip which was pure relaxation from start to finish.


In summary, Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa is the place to go for a quick trip out of the city or if you’re flying in for a weekend. It’s location off the motorway combined with the vast selection of activities means it’s a versatile hotel for the person who knows how to live and knows how to reward themselves.

A perfect break away for a couple or family and is a uber romantic setting.

Hopefully you enjoyed this article, there’ll be plenty more on the way!


Enjoying a long shave!