Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: July 7, 2005

GALWAY SAVINGS: The four-star, 89-room Ardilaun House Hotel in Galway, a Select Hotels of Ireland property, is offering special rates this summer. For example, two nights bed and breakfast plus one dinner starts at $200 per person, double, with three nights plus an additional dinner priced at $260, Sundays to Thursdays in July. Come August, the two-night deal is $242 per person, with three nights at $338, until Aug. 14. Limerick-based Select Hotels pays negotiated commissions, starting at a base rate of 10%. Visit www.ardilaunhousehotel.ie or www.selecthotelsireland.com; e-mail to [email protected]; or call (011) 353-6 144-0440.

NEW HEIGHTS: Aer Lingus was named Airline of the Year 2005 by the Chambers of Commerce of Irelands Air Transport Users Council (ATUC), an accolade it last won in 2003; the Irish flag carrier now billing itself a low-cost, low-fare airline also was named best airline to the U.K./Europe and on transatlantic routes. More good news: Aer Lingus officials said bookings are up 18% over last year. For more, visit www.aerlingus.com.

US, TOO: Meanwhile, the low-fare folks over at Dublin-based Ryanair announced a 31% increase in passengers, to nearly 3 million, for the month of June. The monthly load factor the proportion of available seats filled by passengers was 87%, same as it was in June 2004. In the past 12 months, Ryanair has carried 29.6 million passengers, with an overall load factor of 84%. From Ireland, Ryanair serves more than 40 airports in Europe and the U.K., with flights from Irish cities Cork, Derry, Dublin, Kerry, Knock and Shannon. For more, see www.ryanair.com.

NEW FOR GOLFERS: An18-hole, par 72 golf course will open in August at Tower Hotel Groups new four-star Castleknock Hotel and Country Club just outside Castleknock in County Dublin. The $30 million, 144-room resort which opened in February just five miles from Dublin and eight miles from Dublin Airport also offers conference, dining and leisure/spa facilities. For more, visit www.castleknockhotel.com or www.towerhotelgroup.com.

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