When most people in Ireland think about getting away for a couple of days, they usually head towards coastal areas like Kerry, Galway or Waterford.
However, this week's dream hotel break is pretty much slap bang in the middle of Ireland, just outside Athlone in West Meath.
Wineport Lodge is set beside Ballykeeran and Glasson on the lakeshore road and if you arrive during daylight hours, you'll be blown away by the stunning views out across the water.
If the setting looks familiar, it is because the hotel was previously the setting of popular TV show The Restaurant, which was shot here for six years with celebs and well-known faces cooking for critics and the public.
A Place To Switch Off 100%
The thing about Wineport Hotel is that it is so accessible from all parts of the country. Leaving Dublin on a quiet Sunday night, we arrived in less than 90 minutes - which means you could easily come for one night.
While some hotels are made for active breaks or activities (and there are plenty available here), Wineport Lodge is the sort of place where you'd be happy to do absolutely nothing.
Eat, drink, use the hot tub, read a book or indulge yourself in the gorgeous spa.
Something For The Wine Lovers
I didn't think much about the name before arriving but as soon as you step foot into the hotel, it becomes clear where the 'wine' part of it comes from. From the names of the rooms to the huge bottles in the public areas, through to an extensive wine menu, this is the place to enjoy a few glasses as you unwind.
The chefs here produce some top-notch food, with the day very much set up around the feast at dinner time. While you can eat in the bar, it would be a waste not to kick back with a glass of wine and enjoy the comfortable booths and world-class culinary offering in the restaurant.
One Thing To Do When Here
The hotel has some wonderful high-end BMW mountain bikes that it'll lend you to cycle around the water or indeed along a number of routes in the area. On a nice day, the bikes are the perfect way to unwind and do the work that will make you feel you have earned your dinner and drinks by the time you get back.
Cocktails To Die For
While the focus is very much on wine in the hotel, there is a wonderful cocktail menu for those preferring something a little stronger. A large selections of gins make for hard choices but you'd be foolish to look past the signature 'Jacuzzi' cocktail.
For many, this is the main barometer of a good hotel and Wineport Lodge doesn't disappoint. The buffet is stocked with fresh fruit, juices, preserves and amazing fresh mini scones with pots of perfect jam.
The buffet on its own would be enough for many but a second course of wonderfully buttery scrambled eggs served with smoked salmon makes this a joyous experience.
Sitting there, reading the paper, looking out over the water and lingering over a large pot of coffee is what life is all about.
The Hotel Itself
With the rooms, restaurant and bar all facing the water, you are immediately able to switch off and start daydreaming. The surroundings really lend themselves to escaping the madness of our connected world, whether it's sipping a glass of nice wine or reading a book on the pier.
The rooms all have stunning views and when you throw in some of the friendliest staff going, this really is the ultimate place to come and unwind.
Wineport Lodge is the perfect getaway hotel located just outside Athlone town. With a world class restaurant, spa and stunning views across the water you'll feel perfectly relaxed in no time.