Known as the second-largest city of Ireland, Cork is a charming city located on the banks of River Lee. In fact, its center is positioned exactly between two of the river’s channels, offering spectacular views. Even better, the center is where you can find the majority of luxury hotels in Cork, Ireland. On top of that, the city is home to one of the largest natural harbors not only in Ireland but in the world: Cork Harbour.
Cork offers the laidback feel of a town with the benefits of a city. Established as a monastic settlement in the 6th-century, Cork features several castles and historical sites you can visit. But if heritage tourism isn’t your cup of tea, the city has plenty more to offer. Throughout Cork, you’ll find a wide variety of coffee shops, local restaurants, art galleries, and unique museums. Besides, the city hosts several fun festivities during the year, such as jazz festivals and beer crafting contests. Therefore, it has become one of the top places tourists visit along with Dublin, Galway, and Belfast.
We recommend visiting the city between May and September. During this time, the weather is warmer and it’s when the majority of festivals and events occur. And don’t worry if you can only visit during wintertime, there are great things to do in Cork all year round.
Where to Stay in Cork
The best place to stay when visiting Cork City is, without a doubt, the City Center. Here you’ll find a wide variety of modern hotels along with bars and fancy restaurants. So, if you want to enjoy Cork’s nightlife, City Centre is your best option.
On the other hand, if your priority is to visit the popular attractions, stay in the Victorian Quarter. This area is next to the main rail and bus station, providing you quick transportation to every place in the city.
Now, those who are on a budget should look for a hotel in the St. Luke’s neighborhood. This area is more residential, and it’s where most of the hostels and Airbnbs are. If you’re here just for quick transit, stay at airport hotels in Cork instead. And last but not least, you should also consider the Shandon neighborhood, especially if you’re traveling with family.
Maryborough Hotel & Spa
Located in Maryborough Hotel, Maryborough Hotel & Spa is the perfect hotel for a vacation amidst nature. On the exterior, it features a charming English countryside style. Meanwhile, the interior and rooms offer pure luxury and a mixture of modern and vintage furniture. Each room is equipped with cotton duvets and offers breathtaking views of the garden. Plus, they include saunas in the bathrooms.
Featuring an area of 14 acres of beautiful gardens, this hotel offers plenty of activities you can do. Our favorite activity is the bike and walking tours around the property. A stroll at sunset throughout the gardens is a unique experience you won’t forget. On the other hand, you can also play badminton and tennis on-site. And within 1.86mi (3km), a golf course is available. On-site, you’ll also find Bellini’s restaurant, which offers gourmet cuisine and an amazing wine selection. Meanwhile, The Garden Room serves afternoon teas, light meals, and home-baked pastries.
Lastly, it’s one of the few hotels in Cork, Ireland, that offers a Thermal Suite. At this suite, can enjoy a wide variety of heat and cooling experiences, including a vitality pool.
The Montenotte Hotel
Offering some of the best views of Cork City, The Montenotte Hotel is a modern hotel where you can enjoy a tranquil vacation. Located on a hill, this hotel is perfect for those who want to avoid the hustle of the city. And you don’t need to worry about being too far from it, Cork City’s center is only 0.62mi (1km) away.
Each room has a unique design and style, but all of them feature coffee machines and hairdryers. Different rooms are available, too. Those traveling with family can stay in interconnected rooms. Meanwhile, if you’re visiting for your honeymoon, stay at the bridal suite.
The restaurant itself makes it one of the best hotels in Cork City. At the Panorama Bistro & Terrace, you can enjoy á la carte meals while admiring the beautiful city view. On top of that, it also offers afternoon tea and snacks. On-site, you can also visit a gym, sauna, and hot tub. And upon request, aerobics and swimming lessons can be taken at the indoor pool.
The Metropole Hotel Cork
If you want to stay in the center of Cork City, The Metropole Hotel Cork is a great option. This hotel is located a few steps away from the city’s business district, making it perfect for those who are on business trips. Nearby, you’ll also find several shops, boutiques, art galleries, and museums. Less than a mile away, you can visit the Cork Opera House, Crawford Art Gallery, and Cork Butter Museum.
Several restaurants are near the hotel, too. However, you can find the Riverview Restaurant on-site, where you can enjoy á la carte meals while overlooking the beautiful River Lee. Besides, the restaurant is available for private events, such as birthdays and business meetings.
The hotel offers 98 luxurious rooms equipped with coffee machines, safety deposit boxes, and hairdryers. And at an additional charge, ironing services, shoeshine, laundry, and dry-cleaning facilities are available. Despite being a 4-star hotel, rates are affordable, making it one of the best hotels in Cork, Ireland.
Hayfield Manor is a beautiful countryside style hotel located in the outside of Cork’s center. Out of all the hotels in Cork, Ireland, this one has the most luxurious rooms you can find. They’re equipped with vintage furniture and have marble bathrooms. Plus, they feature orthopedic beds that ensure your comfort.
At the on-site spa, you can enjoy a wide variety of treatments, including massages, body scrubs, and facials. Even better, you’ll also find a solarium, sauna, and Jacuzzi. Now, if you don’t want to miss your workout routine while vacationing, visit the on-site fitness center and request for a personal trainer.
This hotel features not only one but two on-site restaurants. The Perrots Garden Bistro serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine, while the Orchids Restaurant offers Irish food made with local produce. As if that were not enough, the hotel has an on-site bar, too. Hayfield’s Bar is the go-to-place if you want to enjoy the best wines and spirits in town.
Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City
Featuring a convenient location in the heart of Cork City, Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City is a beautiful modern hotel. Nearby, you’ll find several famous attractions, such as the Elizabeth Fort and the Cork Opera House. But for a better tourist experience, join the Full-Day Sightseeing Cork Tour.
Every morning you can enjoy delicious continental breakfasts at the on-site restaurant. And for lunch and dinnertime, international dishes are available. On top of that, the restaurant offers room services and special diet menus upon request. It’s also a super family-friendly hotel. The restaurant serves a kid’s menu, and, at an additional charge, babysitting services are available.
The hotel’s rooms have a modern design and offer supreme comfort. They feature seating areas, and, depending on their location, they provide views of the city and inner courtyard. Lastly, we love the low rates this hotel offers. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable grand hotels in Cork City.
Cork International Hotel
For those who want to stay close to Cork Airport, this is the best option. Located right across Cork Airport, Cork International Hotel is a 4-star hotel perfect for those on business trips. This hotel is part of the Cork Airport Business Park and features a luxurious business center. Even better, it has eight more meeting rooms and a ballroom.
Each luxurious room is soundproof, features black-out blinds, and offers views of the airport, countryside, and the city. Besides, the rooms include seating areas, coffee machines, and safety deposit boxes. Some of them have balconies, too. So, if this is something you enjoy, make sure to book a room that has it.
For your convenience, the hotel features two on-site restaurants. The New Yorker Bar & Bistro serves Irish and European cuisine, while The Atlantic & Pacific Restaurants are perfect for private events, such as birthdays, weddings, and business meetings. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best hotels in Cork, Ireland.
The Kingsley Hotel
Located in the South Bank of the River Lee, The Kingsley Hotel offers beautiful views of both the river and Cork City. This 4-star hotel features not only an on-site spa but a health club and a sauna. And for gym enthusiasts, a fitness center is available. Besides, it features two indoor pools: one for kids and one for adults. And the best part is that they’re open all year round.
The two on-site restaurants serve delicious local cuisine, while the on-site bar offers not only drinks but also traditional teas by the river. Each room has a unique design and offers beautiful views of the river. Besides, they include coffee machines and ensuite bathrooms. And despite being one of the top-class hotels in Cork, Ireland, its rates are average and affordable for everyone.
Nearby attractions include the Cork Public Museum and Old Cork Waterworks, which are less than a mile away. But if you want something more adventurous, join the Castlehaven Bay Kayaking Trip.
Imperial Hotel Cork City
When visiting Cork City, Imperial Hotel Cork City is your best option. This hotel is located only a few steps away from Cork’s main shopping center. And it’s also nearby popular attractions, like the Crawford Art Gallery and the Nano Nagle Place.
On-site, you can enjoy exquisite Irish cuisine at the Pembroke Restaurant. Meanwhile, at Lafayette’s, you can enjoy coffee and light snacks. And for a nighttime cocktail, visit the Seventy Six, which is the hotel’s main bar. As if that were not enough, all of the restaurants use locally sourced ingredients bought at the English Market.
This hotel has the best spa out of all the hotels in Cork City. The Escape Spa offers a unique relaxation experience you can’t miss. From massages and facials to mist showers and rain grottos, this spa offers everything you need to achieve ultimate tranquility.
Different rooms are available, including a Penthouse. All of them feature coffee machines and luxury bathrooms, but only the suites have balconies. So, keep this in mind when booking your room.
Fota Island Hotel and Spa
Fota Island Hotel and Spa is not only the best hotel in Fota Island but one of the best hotels in Cork, Ireland. Featuring a 5-star rank, this hotel offers super luxurious accommodation. Each room features spa baths, minibars, hot tubs, coffee machines, and seating areas. Plus, they’re soundproof and offer breathtaking views of the landscape.
Activity-wise, the hotel features an 18-hole golf course, a tennis court, and a swimming pool you can enjoy. Besides, it has 18 rooms where you can experience a wide variety of spa treatments, such as massages, hydrotherapy, and beauty services.
On-site, you’ll also find not only one but two restaurants. The Fota Restaurant features a beautiful terrace where you can enjoy both local and international cuisine. Meanwhile, the Amber Lounge and The Spike Bar are perfect for afternoon teas and cocktails.
Lastly, we love the hotel’s closeness to the famous Fota Wildlife Park. This park is also one of Ireland’s best attractions.
The River Lee Hotel a member of The Doyle Collection
If you’re looking for a modern hotel in the center of Cork’s City, this is your best option. The River Lee Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection, is a 4-star luxurious hotel located on the banks of River Lee. Its location provides you easy access to famous attractions like the Elizabeth Fort and Beamish & Crawford Brewery, which are less than a mile away.
Both the exterior and interior features a modern style and decor. All of the rooms are spacious and have floor-to-ceiling windows that provide beautiful views of the river. Besides, they include seating areas, safety deposit boxes, and tea/coffee machines.
For your convenience, the hotel has a fitness center where you can work out by yourself or with the help of a personal trainer. On top of that, it also offers a wellness center. From massages to steam sessions, this spa offers everything you need to relax and unwind. Rates are higher compared to other hotels in the area, but it’s worth it. After all, it’s one of the best hotels in Cork City.
Castlemartyr Resort Hotel
Featuring a 220-acre property, Castlemartyr Resort Hotel is the most beautiful hotel in the outside region of Cork City. It features a 17th-century manor house and is adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old castle. Perfect for those who enjoy heritage tourism! Besides, its secluded location makes it ideal for a vacation away from the city.
This hotel is home to the award-winning restaurant, The Bell Tower. There you can enjoy a wide variety of gourmet meals as well as teas and coffee. And we love that all the food is made with locally sourced ingredients. On-site, you can have spa treatments, such as massages and facials. And for gym enthusiasts, fitness and yoga classes are available. On top of that, you can also enjoy the 18-hole golf course and a carriage tour around the estate.
Depending on their location, the rooms provide views of the garden and landscape. Besides, they’re soundproof and spacious, providing a luxurious experience. Rate-wise, it’s one of the priciest hotels in Cork, Ireland. But we assure you it’s worth every penny.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Cork:
- Greenes Restaurant – Offering delicious meals according to the season, Greens Restaurant is one of the best places in Cork City. Even better, all the dishes are made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
- Liberty Grill – A cozy little restaurant that serves delicious Eggs Benedict and French toast for breakfast and the best steaks for lunch and dinner time. It also offers both vegan and vegetarian options.
- Orso Kitchen & Bar – Featuring a convenient location in the heart of Cork City, this restaurant serves seasonal food made with locally sourced products. Barista classes are available, too.
- Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour in Cork – Enjoy some of the finest whiskey in all Ireland. You’ll visit the Jameson Distillery Midleton and see the “Jameson Still Cork”, which is the world’s largest copper pot.
Recommended Activities In Cork:
- Crawford Art Gallery – The go-to-place for art lovers. Delve into a wide variety of exhibitions, including the Harry Clarke Stained Glass collection.
- Cork City Gaol – One of the most popular attractions in Cork you can’t miss. Travel back in time and get a glimpse of prison life during the 19th-century.
- Blarney and Cobh Tour – Explore the most charming towns of the Cork Region. Even better, you’ll get to visit the famous Blarney Castle!