Taking a Vacation Day at the Montenotte in Cork

It’s funny how the world seems to look after you when you travel.  I’ll be the first to admit that after arriving in Ireland, spending a liquid night watching hurling, all the while still fighting jet lag, I needed a day off.  But the truth is that when you’re travelling, days off seem unproductive.  Moreover, days off can often make you feel like you’re doing a massive disservice to the people that would kill to be in your position: travelling the world.  You constantly feel the need to explore, photograph, and experience.  Sometimes, you need the weather to intervene and allow you to properly enjoy a vacation within a travel lifestyle.

Montenotte cork

Irish Breakfast

I couldn’t have been better set up for a day off.  The Montenotte Hotel in Cork is stood atop the city looking down on the center of town.  It has an elegant yet unpretentious feel to it, and the staff is welcoming and sure to set you in good spirits.  The rooms are cozy and well-sized for European standards.  And with the rain tumbling down on the city, the bed was plenty comfortable enough for me to sleep-in my first morning without feeling guilty about it.

mussels, ireland

Instead of hiking, wandering, or visiting local tourist attractions like Blarney Castle, I instead found refuge in the Montenotte.  I wandered down for a late breakfast and filled myself to the neck with a full Irish breakfast, accompanied by stunning, albeit wet, views over the city.  Then, I headed over to the leisure center.  I opted out of the gym and swimming pool, and instead told myself the sauna and jacuzzi were sufficiently soaking away the fat absorbed at breakfast.

In the evening, I was shuttled down to the beautiful Boardwalk restaurant in downtown Cork.  The food at Boardwalk hit the spot to say the least.  The menu has a good mix of Italian, seafood, and some typical dishes as well.  I started with some mussels bathed in garlic sauce and finished with a strip of sirloin steak.  The service was incredible, and the server went out of his way to ensure that I was looked after.

Montenotte Cork

As the night shut it, I again curled up in bed, plugged a movie into my laptop and fell asleep before the clock struck 10pm.  For an adventure traveller like me, this might seem like a day completely out of character, but it was exactly what I needed, and without a splattering of rain, there is no way I would have had it.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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1 Comment

  1. This blog made me smile. I know the sense of “guilt” when one is traveling and one wants a lazy day. I have found, however, that sometimes a day off is the best way to meet some of the locals and to get a true sense of a place.

    Great piece!

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