Travel News: NY Christmas shopping, Lough Neagh cottage, continental camping and Dublin hotel revamp

The ice rink and Christmas tree at New York's Rockefeller Center

Christmas shopping breaks, US style

'Tis the season to start shopping. Yes, though Halloween may not have even arrived yet, now is the time to start booking that Stateside shopping trip. Nothing beats New York at Christmas, with the lights of Times Square and ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre. This December, American Holidays have four nights at the three-star Beacon Hotel from €609pp, with return direct flights from Dublin. Based on four adults sharing. If you want to add a bit of culture to your trip, then combine your shopping break with a trip to Washington DC. Spend four nights in three-star Fairfax at Embassy Row from only €671pp, with return flights from Dublin. Based on two adults sharing.

Dublin hotel to undergo revamp

The Irish-owned and family-run O’Callaghan Collection have announced that one of Dublin’s best-known hotels, The Mont Clare, in Merrion Street, has temporarily closed its doors to allow for a major transformation of the hotel. Reopening in Spring 2019, the work will include a complete redesign of the interiors, with a new bar and winter garden, and extensive remodelling of the restaurant. The number of rooms will also increase from 74 to 96 with technology upgrades "to cater for a new generation of guest". To keep up to date with progress and check out the other group hotels visit

Escape to the Co Tyrone countryside

This autumn, the four-star Rose Cottage, outside Cookstown has a special offer of £70 for the first night and £35 for a second night. Situated next to Lough Neagh the cottage sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms and is perfect for friends and family to enjoy the local area. Springhill, Lissan House, Cluntoe Second World War Airfield, Ardboe cross and the Seamus Heaney Centre are all nearby. Offer, available until November 30; to book call 0774 5465 251.

Camping and kids clubs on continent

If you are looking ahead to booking next year's family camping holiday, Al Fresco Holidays have put together a list of their top European parks. These include Le Clarys Plage in the west of France, with kids club for children from one to 17 and activities from body zorbing to mini-chef workshops. One of the largest parks in Brittany, Domaine des Ormes, offers everything from fencing and talent shows to hover carts, land zorbing and movie making. Early booking offers currently include up to 30 per cent off and up to €180 off if you have travelled with Alfresco Holidays before. Al

:: All prices and availability correct at time of publication.

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