No matter what your budget may be, this family-welcoming hotel guide suggests the perfect place to stay in Dublin or the luscious green fields of the Irish countryside.
Dublin, Ireland Hotels
The Westbury Hotel
Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Located right in the midst of Dublin’s shopping district, this recently refurbished five star hotel offers all the modern technological amenities a family could need. All 162 classic rooms, 25 executive rooms, and 18 suites feature flat screen televisions, Ipod docking stations, Blackberry phone chargers, and US and European electrical sockets. Arrangements for babysitting can be made in advance at the concierge station. Children stay free in their parents’ room, provided they use the existing bedding.
Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
With a babysitting service, cribs and highchairs upon request, and a kid’s menu in the hotel restaurant, children are definitely made to feel welcome at this five star luxury hotel. Located just opposite the National Concert Hall and around the corner from the St. Stephen Green, once you’re ready to leave your room it won’t be difficult to get around the Irish capital city or check out the fashionable shopping on Grafton Street.
Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4
This enormous four-star luxury hotel houses over 500 rooms including six suites. While the classic rooms afford plenty of amenities for a vacationing family, upgrade to the executive rooms to enjoy complimentary wireless access, continental breakfast and refreshments, access to the gym/fitness room, and express checkout upon your departure. And, with rooms designed specifically with families in mind, you can choose from a room with a double and single bed, 3 singles, or an interconnected room that provides a double and a twin bed. Babysitting is available for an additional charge plus taxi fare for the nanny after 11pm.
Park Inn Hotel
Smithfield Village, Dublin 7
Formerly known as Chief O’Neill’s, the Park Inn maintains the contemporary design and brightly furnished rooms that make this hotel a unique family experience. Situated in what has been dubbed “Dublin’s New Cultural Quarter,” Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery is right next-door and the Guinness Storehouse is just a brief jaunt away. Take the kids up the 185-foot Chimney Viewing Tower, which used to belong to the Distillery, to get a beautiful view of the city. Babysitting is available upon request.
Irish Estates, Manor Houses & Mansions
The hotels, resorts and historic castles mentioned below offer luxury, hospitality and a wide variety of facilities and activities including: 18 hole golf courses, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, saunas, gyms, tennis and squash courts, gardens, horse riding or pony trekking, cycling, boating, fishing and angling.
Most of the following properties also offer price reductions and special meals for children. Although there are no formal children’s programs, all provide babysitting services to care for your child and staff to supervise their activities.
The K Club
Straffan, County Kildare
Just 22 miles or about 40 minutes from Dublin, the country setting of this five star hotel and country club allows families to enjoy horse back riding, clay pigeon shooting, and fly fishing on the River Liffey among many other activities. Since babysitting is available upon request, parents can relish a break from the kids and take advantage of one of the two championship golf courses or The K Spa.
Park Hotel Kenmare
Kenmare, County Kerry
$$$-$$$$ (per person sharing)
If you’re looking for an accommodation with a truly historic ambience, this five star Victorian hotel circa 1897 is definitely a good start. Overlooking the Kenmare estuary and situated on the Ring of Kerry, you are just a short walk from the Heritage Town of Kenmare. While there are many beautiful sites to see in the surrounding area, if you’d prefer to stay on the hotel grounds during your stay there are plenty of amenities and activities to keep you occupied. Play a round of golf, rejuvenate yourself with a trip to SÃMAS luxury spa, catch an evening movie at the REEL 12-seat cinema, or take a walk through the gardens to enjoy the picturesque Kenmare Bay. Children can stay for a reduced price.
Town Centre, Killarney, County Kerry
Another a historic icon, this four star hotel was built in 1854 and combines old world charm with modern amenities. With packages available for families, this hotel will be as much fun for the kids and it is easy on your budget. Take advantage of the classic Irish hospitality, a trademark of the old Victorian establishment, and take afternoon tea with your family or sample the freshly baked breads and pastries at the in-house bakery. The family will love walking through seas of green at Killarney National Park or taking a stroll through the town of Killarney. Having hosted celebrities and royalty including former first ladies Pat Nixon and Jackie Kennedy, along with royalty and other prominent celebrities the Malton will surely meet all of your needs.
Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort
Adare, County Limerick
Formerly the family seat of the Earls of Dunraven, this 18th century manor sits on 840 acres of artfully manicured gardens, sprawling parklands, and a Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed championship golf course. While walking the grounds, take the time to count the chimneys sprouting from the roof of the manor. There are 52 – one to honor each week of the year. Order one of the picnic lunches and you will be presented with a basket full of goodies to take along as you wander through the gardens or fish for trout on the River Maigue. Babysitting services are available for 10 euros an hour (about $14) with a maximum of two children per sitter and they request that you arrange for this at least four hours in advance.
Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare
This five star hotel is a restored castle that was once the home of the O’Brien’s, Barons of Inchiquin, descendents of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland in the 11th century. In addition to the traditional Irish amenities available, such as Mrs. White’s Afternoon Tea from 3pm-5pm, the hotel takes special care of its younger guests. Rooms come with junior-sized bathrobes, just like mom and dad’s, and a selection of board games. Kid’s TV channel’s and movies are available upon request and they offer a kids menu as well.
The following two hotels, while not as convenient to many of the sites mentioned above, offer an abundance of activities and also come very highly recommended:
Mt. Juliet Estate & Hotel
Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Offering a choice between the 18th century Mount Juliet House or the more casual Hunters Yard or Rose Garden lodges, you can pick the accommodation best suited to your needs while touring the Irish countryside and exploring this lavish estate. Known as the “finest sporting estate in Ireland,” there are outdoor activities for every member of the family. The extensive grounds boast a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course and the Mt. Juliet Conrad Equestrian Centre which is open for horseback riding daily.
353/09 495 46003
This 13th century castle was turned into a five star hotel in 1939. Complete with individually designed guest rooms, four restaurants, two bars, numerous outdoor activities and proximity to Shannon International Airport, this resort meshes Irish history with plenty of modern comforts. In addition, to golf and equestrian facilities, the family can have a blast fishing, learning the ancient arts of falconry and archery, clay shooting, or lake cruising to the island of St. Patrick. Choose a package that includes breakfast because it is actually less expensive than booking a room without a package deal.
Budget Lodging & B&B’s
Those on a budget and those interested in sampling the Irish people’s wonderful hospitality should request a brochure on Irish farmhouse holidays from Tourism Ireland (800/SHAMROCK). Rates are lower than most surrounding hotels and include breakfast.
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