Vienna Woods Hotel
If you're after the charm of countryside living, you'll find it behind the yolk-coloured walls of Vienna Woods Hotel. Surrounded by some 9 hectares (22 acres) of woodland, this 18th century rural retreat is a charismatic and comfortable mid-range choice that mixes vintage furniture with modern facilities. There's free Wi-Fi, beds to lose weekends in and an onsite restaurant that does hearty Emerald Isle grub .
Lower Glanmire Road,
Tel: (021) 455 6800.
Most people come to Hotel Isaacs for its infamous Greenes restaurant, which serves up fine Irish dining and excellent wines on a charming little patio. Its rooms don't quite compete with the foodie flamboyance downstairs, but they're clean, spacious and practical, with a price tag that won't melt the credit card. Pick from 47 rooms, which come with en-suite bathrooms, complementary Wi-Fi, cable TV and one of the best locations in the city.
Tel: (021) 450 0011.
Just a 10 minute walk from the city centre, this smart, modern guesthouse is excellent value for money. Amalgamating three traditional houses, all rooms come with its king-size beds, huge baths and excellent traditional Irish breakfasts, served up in the conservatory. The staff here are lovely too. The quieter rooms are found at the back of the hotel.
Tel: (021) 427 9000.
Fota Island Hotel
It may be a little bit out of town, but it would be hard for you to swing a golf club anywhere near this 5-star retreat if it were any closer to Cork. The greens on its Championship-standard courses are as fine as the sheets in its ample, luxurious rooms. It has a gym, tennis courts and yoga, if you want to keep fit, plus a fine dining restaurant, complete with terrace, if you don't. Stylish, sophisticated and truly welcoming, Fota Island Hotel is worth blowing the budget.
Tel: (021) 488 3700.
It may be 30 minutes out of Cork, but if you book a room at Castlemartyr Resort, you couldn't have truly envisioned leaving its grounds. This vast country manor dates back from the 17th-century and has the formal gardens to prove it. They, though, don't quite do its elegance justice. Its grace is admired from up close: it's found in the ruins of its 800-year-old castle, in the soothing splendours of its spa, around the 18 holes of its challenging golf course and in the unforgettable dining experience of its Bell Tower restaurant. Rooms, as you may have guessed, are worthy of the most magnanimous guest too.
Tel: (021) 421 9000.
Clarion Hotel Cork
Down on the promenade, next to the River Lee, the Clarion Hotel Cork is a stylish accommodation choice that isn't shy of stepping into world of avant-garde design. Its sleek rooms are generous and ultramodern, with clean lines and munificent king-size beds, while its fitness centre (including swimming pool and spa) squeezes in everything from aerobics to yoga. Step into its imaginative atrium though, and it's a world of fake grass, flaky croissants, fluffy sofas and strange, egg-shaped seating coves.
Tel: (021) 422 4900.
One of just a few 5-star hotels in Cork, Hayfield Manor is a veritable oasis of calm, located opposite University College Cork. Just a 15 minute walk from the heart of the city, Hayfield Manor mixes modern comfort with antiquarian panache across all of its rooms. It boasts wonderful marble bathrooms, king-sized beds and that touch of regal class throughout, plus it has its very own spa with trained therapists if you're looking to unwind. Those travelling with children should take advantage of the hotel's offer of cookies and milk at bedtime.
Tel: (021) 484 5900.
The River Lee Hotel
While location isn't everything, The River Lee Hotel certainly makes guests feel as if it is as it stands as patient as a fisherman on Cork's crowning waterway. Rooms have large, floor to ceiling windows, allowing natural light to leak in and offer incredible views out. With neutral tones and mere splashes of colour throughout, it's a stylish boutique bolthole with plenty to tempt visitors. Its spa comes complete with gym, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, while its chefs do wonders with local, seasonal ingredients.
Tel: (021) 425 2700.
Formerly both a military hospital and a nursing home, the 4-star Ambassador is a fine example of Irish Victorian architecture, situated on a hilltop with spectacular views of Cork city and harbour. Large, spacious rooms with balconies are available, but try and get a bed in the superior rooms, which have been recently refurbished. Guests can enjoy pub-style dining at the hotel's beautiful McGettigan's Cookhouse, which really runs with the literary heritage theme.
Tel: (021) 453 9000.