Tuesday 18 September 2018

Ireland's Top 10 family-friendly hotels - as chosen by you!

Reader Travel Awards 2018

Amber Springs Hotel: Winner of Ireland's favourite family-friendly stay in our 2018 Reader Travel Awards
Amber Springs Hotel: Winner of Ireland's favourite family-friendly stay in our 2018 Reader Travel Awards
Eibhear Coyle, GM of Amber Springs, in one of the hotel's new family suites.
Reader Travel Awards 2018, as revealed in Weekend Magazine and Independent.ie.
Amber Springs
The pool at Amber Springs
FARM Steakhouse at Amber Springs
Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co. Wexford
A family room at Amber Springs

What is Ireland's favourite family-friendly stay? The place you think goes the extra mile for its family visitors? Our readers have spoken!

Ireland's favourite family-friendly stay

Winner: Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Gorey’s Amber Springs Hotel is “a clean, caring hotel with great food and entertainment for the family,” readers told us.

It’s a “top-notch” and “very kid-friendly” hotel, “a great place to relax and let the kids go mad,” you added. “It really looks after customers. Nothing was too much for them.”

Ireland’s Top 10 family-friendly hotels 2018

  1. Amber Springs, Gorey, Co Wexford
  2. Kelly’s Hotel, Rosslare, Co Wexford
  3. Fota Island Resort, Co Cork
  4. Fitzgerald’s Woodlands, Adare, Co Limerick
  5. Quality Hotel, Clonakilty, Co Cork
  6. Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny
  7. Parknasilla, Sneem, Co Kerry
  8. Kenmare Bay Hotel, Kenmare, Co Kerry
  9. Hodson Bay Hotel, Co Roscommon
  10. Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Co Cork 

You raved about Amber Springs' facilities, too.

Eibhear Coyle, GM of Amber Springs, in one of the hotel's new family suites.
Eibhear Coyle, GM of Amber Springs, in one of the hotel's new family suites.

The Co. Wexford hotel boasts “a big playground and a little petting zoo, a playroom with great staff and a pool area not to be missed.”

Out back, its Amber Park includes go-karts and mini-golf (at an extra charge) and a small football pitch.

There are kids’ clubs during weekends and school holidays, extras like movies with popcorn and seasonal flourishes like a ‘Seriously Scary’ Halloween train.

You praised its “clean, bright rooms”, said it felt like it was “designed for families” and “has it all”, both for adults and kids.

Go-Karting at Amber Park
Go-Karting at Amber Park

Whilst not pitched at the same level of luxury as fellow Wexford wonder, Kelly’s — the gold standard for Irish family-friendly hotels (and winner of Ireland’s favourite stay) — our judges said Paddy and Tommy Redmond’s four-star richly deserves its win.

The Amber Springs has zeroed in on Ireland’s family market, and invested both thought and money in a way that goes far beyond the tokenistic.

Pop along to its age-appropriate playrooms, try on the Virtual Reality headsets in its VR Games Room (charged, age 10+), or read the ‘Family Friendly Statement’ on its website and you’ll see what we mean.

It continues to evolve. A new wing, including 48 spanking family suites opened just this Christmas.

With family rates from €150 per night, it’s affordable, too. “It delivers in bucket- (and spade-) sized quantities,” as our reviewer Jillian Bolger wrote last year.

Details: 1800 505 901; amberspringshotel.ie.

TRAVEL TRENDS 2018: Hotels splash the cash

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Adare Manor

Irish hotels have been spending big time in recent years, ranging from long overdue soft refurbs to multi-million euro blow-outs like the revamps of Ashford Castle (above), Adare Manor and Conrad Dublin.

Whilst upgrades and maintenance are essential, however, these are rarely highlighted by readers in their reviews.

Instead, you consistently give brownie points for personal service, people who go “the extra mile” and staff that remember names and welcome visitors with a smile.

You can spend millions on an upgrade, it seems, but good customer service is priceless.  

Read more:

12 Irish hotels to visit before you die

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