18 August 2017
The 40-year-old Irish singer loves the golf courses of Ireland and Scotland, but also enjoys a South African safari
My first holiday… was to Killarney in County Kerry. We’d spend pretty much every summer holiday there as a family. I’ve got great memories and it seemed that the summers were longer and brighter then. I have three brothers and a sister, so the energy during the drive down there was brilliant.
My most memorable holiday… was my honeymoon with my wife Storm in 2015. We spent a week in Ulusaba, which is Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve in South Africa. We woke up at 6am every morning to see the sunrise over the bush, then would be driven out to see the wildlife. We saw elephants, lions, rhinos, wild dogs, zebra – everything you could imagine. The food was amazing and the people so friendly. We then flew on to Fregate Island in the Seychelles, where we had our own villa, a pool, and a private beach. There were giant tortoises roaming around, and you drive around in golf buggies.
My worst holiday was…a package holiday to Lanzarote with some of the lads from Boyzone. We were teenagers at the time and really hadn’t thought it through. We had all been spoilt staying in five-star hotels, and an economy holiday was a bit of a shock. Plus we forgot that fans would still want autographs, even though we thought we were on a break. We had to leave after a couple of days because of all the attention.
My favourite destination in the British Isles is… the west coast of Ireland. It’s a wonderful place to hide away. I love Scotland, too – visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh and playing golf in places like St Andrews and Loch Lomond. I love wintry weather as much as the sun, so Ireland and Scotland are perfect for that.
My favourite hotel is… Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, for the location and the décor – there’s a fireplace and big sofas in the lobby and the rooms are just beautiful. I go to the K Club in Ireland with my family quite regularly, and Gleneagles in Scotland is great, too. I’m a big fan of Hotel du Vin, particularly the ones in Bath, Bristol and Glasgow. They’ve got great wine lists.
My favourite city is… New York. I have a lot of friends there ,and I like to walk the streets and hang out there. It’s somewhere I like to go and wind down.
My favourite golf courses are… I’m fortunate to have played on many of the best courses in the world, but several stick in my mind, including Loch Lomond, which is always a privilege to play. I’ve played in the Dunhill Links a few times, and Kingsbarns and St Andrews are very special. I never tire of playing the Old Course – following in the footsteps of champions. I’m also a big fan of Stoke Park, where I had my stag do game of golf, and Archerfield Links in Scotland, where my wife Storm and I got married. It’s a magical place.
My holiday fourball would be… me, Keith Duffy, Brian McFadden and Lee Westwood. At least one of us would know what we were doing.
My best meal abroad… was at Nobu in Melbourne. I also went to a wonderful Hakkasan in Abu Dhabi. I also love a good steak and a bottle of red wine, and Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in Dublin is great for that.
My ideal holiday would involve… being active. With my complexion, I’m not one for lying in the sun. I like to swim, hike, or spend time on a boat. I have trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro once and across Ireland twice – that was 260 miles – and I’ve swum in the Irish Sea, all for charitable causes.
For my next trip… I’d love to go to Cuba and do some travelling while I write my next solo album.
For donations to the Marie Keating Foundation, which raises money for cancer awareness and support, visit www.mariekeating.ie.