Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: July 28, 2005

BACK INN BUSINESS: Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts will manage a new five-star hotel to open in Dublin in December 2006. Le Meridien has not had a presence in the Irish capital since January 2004, when the Shelbourne Hotel on St. Stephens Green, which it had managed, was sold. Built by Heritage Properties, the Le Meridien Dublin -- in the Grand Canal Dock area of the new south docklands development -- will have 179 rooms, a destination spa and meeting facilities. The hotel will form part of a large mixed-use complex; a second phase of development will add 84 luxury residential apartments, a 2,000-seat theater and entertainment center, offices, an indoor mall and parking for 500 cars. See

AGENT SAVINGS: and Sceptre Tours partnered to offer agents a $100 per person discount on Sceptres land-only, seven-night Ireland Treasures Tour. Agents can pass the savings on to clients or add it to their self-determined commission on Sceptres net pricing. Accommodations include one night each at the Fitzpatrick Bunratty Hotel near Shannon and the Faithlegg Manor House in Waterford, as well as one night at either Dromoland or Ashford castles, and two nights at both the Killarney Towers Hotel and Jurys Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. Rates also include daily breakfast, five hotel dinners, guided motorcoach sightseeing, hotel transfers and more. Discounted pricing for members starts at $889 per person, net, with departures Sept. 15 and 29, Oct. 20 and Nov. 10. agents should call (800) 495-1642; other agents must visit or call (800) 221-0924.


DUBLIN YOUR FUN: The Merrion hotel in Dublin is offering a Family Fun package this summer, priced at 490 euros (or about $597) per family, per night. Rates including accommodations for 2 adults and 2 children in interconnecting rooms; full Irish breakfast; and welcome cocktails (for adults) and mocktails, for children. Kids under the age of 16 can share a room with their parents for free. Younger guests enjoy tailored room-service menus with Pooh Bear or Barbie dinnerware; mini-robes at the Tethra Spa; and child-monitoring and babysitting services.  The offer is valid through Aug. 31. To book, contact The Merrion at (011) 353-1-603-0600 or The Leading Hotels of the World at (800) 223-6800, or send an e-mail to [email protected].   For more information, visit or


OFF-SEASON DEALS: CIE Tours International, just named one of the top 15 tour operators in the world by Travel + Leisure magazines annual Worlds Best Awards, launched a fall/spring line-up of tours to Ireland and Britain, with air/land prices starting at $798 per person for an escorted 5-night trip and from $570 for self-drive vacations -- some 35% off high-season rates. For travel September to April, CIE offers 11 value-priced escorted tours in Ireland, plus self-drive tours and city stays in Dublin. All escorted vacation prices include round-trip airfare on Aer Lingus from New York (Kennedy) or Boston; motorcoach sightseeing program; admission charges; all local taxes, hotel service charges; and more. To contact CIE -- which pays agents 10% on land and varying commissions on air -- call (800) CIE-TOUR, send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit


WINDOW SEAT: Count Kerry tour operator Slatterys Travel ( is paying travel agents 5% commission on ticket sales for the new, twice-weekly nonstop service it will launch with charter carrier Ryan International Airlines between New York (Kennedy) and Cork as of Oct. 26. The service may go to three or four times a week by next summer & And speaking of Cork, regional carrier Aer Arann ( launched Saturday morning roundtrip flights from the city to Lorient, Brittany, in France, on July 23.


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