1. Dingle Skellig Hotel, Co Kerry The pool at Dingle Skellig may only be 17 metres long, but it’s a comfortable 30C and easy to access for families, with two sets of wide steps and a separate kids’ pool with waterfall and bubble feature. A Jacuzzi, eucalyptus steam room and loungers make it welcoming for adults, too. In a beautiful setting overlooking Dingle Bay, the Dingle Skellig has been a family favourite for years, and the investment in a wide range of children’s amenities means that pool time isn’t ever overcrowded. If you like this, try: Mulranny Park Hotel, Co Mayo Details: B&B from €99pps per night; dingleskellig.com
2. The Lakeside Hotel, Co Clare
The kids will go wild when they spy the water slide at the Lakeside Hotel & Leisure Centre in Killaloe. A sweeping 40-metre, figure-of-eight water slide, it splashes down next to an 18-metre deck-level pool, so you can enjoy a swim while they race to the top to slide down again and again. The pool deck also offers a steam room, sauna and cold-water plunge pool. Built on the banks of the River Shannon, this family-friendly four-star offers up views of the twin heritage towns of Ballina in Co Tipperary and Killaloe in Co Clare.
If you like this, try: Amber Springs Hotel, Co Wexford
Details: B&B and dinner from €177 per room per night; lakesidehotel.ie
3. Center Parcs Longford Forest, Co Longford
It’s not a hotel, but how could we leave out this Subtropical Swimming Paradise? Much more than a swimming complex, Longford’s Center Parcs is home to Ireland’s largest indoor water park. Decorated with tropical plants and trees, the pool is heated to 29.5C year round, making the air balmy no matter what the weather is like outside. It’s hugely popular, so guests need to pre-book spots when they book their break. With Wild Water Rapids, 350 metres of rides and slides, from a Lazy River to the Tropical Cyclone, and children’s water-play areas, everyone will find a ride that’s best suited to their adrenaline levels.
If you like this, try: Funtasia Theme Park, staying at Scholars Townhouse, Drogheda, Co Louth
Details: A three-night break in a lodge sleeping four starts from €1,149; centerparcs.ie
4. Sheraton Athlone, Co Westmeath
A handsome, well-designed swimming complex, the Sheraton Athlone offers something of a water playground with three feature pools and 10 different hydro and air features. With a separate 20-metre swimming pool, kids’ pool and spa pool, guests can enjoy targeted neck, back, leg and foot massage jets, while kids love the water jets, air massage chair and geysers. Deck level, it says it offers accessibility for wheelchair users, with accessible changing rooms and a private shower area.
If you like this, try: The Connacht Hotel, Galway
Details: B&B from €142 for two sharing; marriott.com
5. Hodson Bay Hotel, Co Roscommon
A lakeside resort, Hodson Bay Hotel’s 20-metre pool is a toasty 31.2C and enjoys ample natural light, with huge windows serving up views of Lough Ree. It’s well-designed with a hydrotherapy pool, bubble pool, air lounger and kiddies’ pool, and guests can also make use of the thermal suite and outdoor hot tub. The fun doesn’t stop indoors, with Baysports — Ireland’s largest inflatable water park — minutes away by foot (baysports.ie). And with Yew Point, the hotel’s 140-acre nature reserve, and a new outdoor dining venue, return guests will find much to entertain them.
If you like this, try: The Maritime Hotel, Bantry, Co Cork
Details: B&B from €130 for two sharing a classic double room; hodsonbayhotel.com
6. Fitzgeralds’ Woodlands House Hotel, Co Limerick
A popular, good-value, family-run hotel set on the edge of Adare village, Fitzgeralds’ Woodlands House Hotel has a substantial leisure centre with 20-metre pool. A large kids’ pool, lounger pool and geyser pool keep swimming time interesting for children, while adults can enjoy the thermal suite with sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, Turkish mud rasul chamber and outdoor hot tub.
If you like this, try: Hotel Minella, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Details: B&B with one dinner from €185 per double room; woodlands-hotel.ie
7. Castlemartyr Resort, Co Cork
Overlooking formal gardens in East Cork, Castlemartyr Resort’s 20-metre pool is a beautiful spot for swimming. Enjoying bright, natural light and averaging 30C, it’s a constant 1.2 metres deep, making it ideal for family pool time. A Jacuzzi at one end benefits from the lovely views, too, and regular visitors can look forward to sampling Canopy, the new restaurant, and The Hunted Hog pub, which the hotel has just purchased in the village.
If you like this, try: Parknasilla Resort, Sneem, Co Kerry
Details: B&B starts from €309 per room per night; castlemartyrresort.ie
Spa pools and lap pools
8. The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens, Co Kerry
Offering one of the best pool experiences around, the five-star Dunloe Hotel & Gardens delivers luxury on all fronts. Enclosed by walls of glass on two sides, the 25-metre heated indoor swimming pool enjoys beautiful leafy views of the listed gardens, part of the hotel’s lush 64-acre estate. It’s a sophisticated, light-flooded pool that’s ideal for serious swimmers, and you can clock up those laps before reclining on a poolside lounger, or in the sauna or steam room.
If you like this, try: The Marker Hotel, Dublin
Details: Two nights’ B&B with one dinner from €325 per person sharing; thedunloe.com
9. Galgorm Resort & Spa, Co Antrim
For a standout spa experience with multiple pool options, Galgorm is difficult to top. A four-star hotel and thermal spa village, it’s spread across three themed gardens within 380 acres of Antrim parkland. There’s a heated 20-metre indoor pool, vitality pool, hydrotherapy pool and Jacuzzi, with most accessible to wheelchair users. Factor in saunas, cabanas, a salt cave, snow cabin, Celtic sauna, relaxation space, experience showers and eco-friendly riverside bathing tubs, and this is a dream resort for grown-up water babies.
If you like this, try: Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Co Cork
Details: B&B in a Shepherd’s Hut starts from €275 based on two sharing; galgorm.com
10. The Cliff House Hotel, Co Waterford
What it lacks in length, Cliff House Hotel’s 15-metre swimming pool more than makes up for in views. Dramatically perched on a clifftop overlooking Ardmore Bay, the boutique five-star hotel is a grown-up hideaway where Michelin-starred dining, spa treatments and water sports are all on the menu. Outside, a natural outdoor rock pool can be enjoyed at full tide, and should you stay on a chilly day, the pool’s 30C temperature will feel even more indulgent as you gaze down on the chilly ocean below.
If you like this, try: Mount Falcon, Co Mayo
Details: B&B from €329; cliffhousehotel.ie
11. Monart, Co Wexford
An adults-only destination spa, Monart’s tranquil and stylish pool is a 12-metre hydrotherapy pool with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking the gardens. There’s an in-pool water-jet bed and water-jet stations designed to massage and manipulate your muscles to ease tension and stress. With four thermal beds at the foot of the pool, this restorative space can be enjoyed in tandem with Monart’s extensive thermal suite.
If you like this, try: Ashford Castle, Co Mayo
Details: Two-night Monart Wellness Retreats start from €600 per person sharing, Day Spa Wellness Retreats from €200 per person; monart.ie
12. Adare Manor, Co Limerick
With an infinity edge looking out to the north, Adare Manor’s 17-metre swimming pool offers pristine views of the five-star Limerick estate and surrounding woodlands. Luxurious and light-filled, its water is delightfully warm and there’s an expansive vitality pool with eight built-in massage beds in 36C water. Wheelchair users can avail of accessible changing rooms, with staff assistance offered for accessing the water. There’s a steam room, sauna and tropical rain showers, with drinks and refreshments served poolside.
If you like this, try: The K Club, Co Kildare
Details: B&B from €495 per room; adaremanor.com
13. Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry
The Park has created this striking 25-metre indoor lap pool especially for serious swimmers. Providing a leisure element to the Sámas spa, its slick design features a stainless-steel pool and glass-walled sauna. Outdoors, guests will find a vitality pool, which is reserved for guests having treatments, though it can be booked by the hour for a fee, should it be available. Lounge here in the warm waters and you’ll spot peaceful Kenmare Bay just beyond the trees.
If you like this, try: The Johnstown Estate, Co Meath
Details: B&B from €525 per room, with a minimum two-night stay in summer; parkkenmare.com
14. The Garryvoe, Co Cork
Constantly delighting guests with its character, food and hospitality, The Garryvoe overlooks Garryvoe Beach on Ballycotton Bay in beautiful East Cork. The small four-star hotel’s health and leisure club is a real surprise, featuring a sleek 25-metre lap pool (East Cork’s only one), alongside an aqua-jogging ring, splash pool, water-jet massage area, sauna and outdoor hot tub. With dark tiles and stone-clad pillars, it’s a stylish space that’s perfect for serious swimmers enjoying a coastal holiday.
If you like this, try: Mount Juliet Estate, Co Kilkenny
Details: B&B from €188 for two adults and two children sharing; garryvoehotel.com
15. The Europe, Co Kerry
Overlooking Loch Léin (Lough Leane), Killarney’s largest lake, The Europe hotel’s impressive 20-metre pool with infinity edge offers some of the most beautiful views in Ireland. Take in Killarney’s world-famous lakes and mountains as you swim in the heated waters indoors, or chill out in the indoor-outdoor vitality pool that heats up to 38C. Part of the Active Level at the 50,000sq ft ESPA at The Europe, it has comfy poolside loungers and a full thermal suite complete with a sauna, steam room, lifestyle showers and a saltwater pool. The hotel’s newest addition, Riva at The Europe, brings a restaurant with a Mediterranean-inspired menu to hotel guests.
If you like this, try: Druids Glen, Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow
Details: Two nights’ B&B with one dinner from €445 per person sharing; theeurope.com
16. The Gleneagle Hotel & Apartments, Co Kerry
A hotel and holiday-apartment complex in Killarney, the recently refurbished (and now four-star) Gleneagle has a superb swimming pool at its heart. Its Aquila Leisure Club offers a 25-metre pool with two dedicated swim lanes, ideal for swimming laps. A generous 10-metre kids’ pool is perfect for children and learners, ranging in depth from 0.4-0.6 metres. An adults-only suite includes a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, and there are accessible changing rooms and a whole selection of other activities on offer, including pitch-and-putt and tennis.
If you like this, try: Salthill Hotel, Co Galway
Details: B&B from €185 for two sharing; gleneaglehotel.com
Cool views and outdoor dips
17. Farnham Estate, Co Cavan
At the adults-only Farnham Estate Health Spa, the heated indoor-outdoor 20-metre infinity hydrotherapy pool allows you to soak in the country estate and fresh air as you swim. Indoors, massage jets will soothe tired bodies, while a raised platform in the outside pool invites you to lounge and enjoy leg and back massage jets beneath the surface. The Water Mint Thermal Suite offers up a collection of experiences including an aroma steam bath, laconium, Kneipp walk and Finnish sauna. Try out the new sun loungers, inside and out — or, post-swim, settle into one of the cosy relaxation rooms.
If you like this, try: BrookLodge & Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow
Details: B&B from €179 per room; farnhamestate.ie
18. Cashel Palace Hotel, Co Tipperary
Ireland’s newest swimming pool is a beauty — all gleaming glass and sensational views. Part of Cashel Palace’s spa, the 17-metre swim-out pool features five metres outdoors, overlooking the newly landscaped gardens of this immaculately restored five-star property, and with a view towards the ancient Rock of Cashel. Prepare to feel instantly relaxed and calm. At 27.5-28.9C, the water is a little cooler than most heated pools, but the Jacuzzi, eucalyptus-infused steam room, Himalayan salt-wall sauna and three experience showers offer plenty of pampering relaxation.
If you like this, try: Kelly’s Resort, Co Wexford
Details: B&B from €359; cashelpalacehotel.ie
19. Glasson Lakehouse, Co Westmeath
A dog-friendly hotel and golf resort, Glasson Lakehouse has the added attraction of a 15-metre outdoor pool with lovely views of the surrounding countryside. The water is heated, so on warm days, nab one of the sun loungers and enjoy poolside bar service overlooking Lough Ree, where stand-up paddle boarding and boating are also on offer. Part of the glossy Press Up Hospitality Group, Glasson Lakehouse has just launched a new Brooks & Co Spa, offering treatments onsite, too.
If you like this, try: Renvyle House, Connemara, Co Galway
Details: B&B from €229 per room per night in a King Room sleeping three; glassonlakehouse.ie
20. The Kingsley Hotel, Co Cork
Now a dog-friendly hotel, with new branded bicycles for guests to use around Cork city, The Kingsley is a great choice for a city break. Its 18-metre heated pool has a separate spa pool, small kids’ pool, sauna and steam room. The jewel, however, is the outdoor hydro pool, heated to 37.5C and overlooking the River Lee, with wonderful views of Cork’s historical terraces. Extended kids’ pool times are available from 9am-7pm, and the main swimming pool and changing areas are accessible to wheelchair users.
If you like this, try: Newpark Hotel, Co Kilkenny
Details: Weekend B&B from €429 based on two people sharing; thekingsley.ie
21. Slieve Donard Hotel, Co Down
There’s something extra-special about swimming in a pool alongside a beach. Not everyone loves the sand or salt or waves, and the pool in the Slieve Donard delivers the beauty of a beach with the tranquillity of a spa. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up swimmers to magical views of the Mourne Mountains and the rolling sand dunes of Co Down. Just 30 minutes from Belfast, this old Victorian hotel has been given a thoroughly modern — and truly stylish — makeover.
If you like this, try: Lyrath Estate, Co Kilkenny
Details: Rooms from £188 per night for two adults; slievedonardhotel.com
NB: All prices subject to change and availability.
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