The summer break is one of the most highly anticipated times for the year for the little ones. A time to explore nature, pick up a new hobby and of course, spend quality time together as a family. If you’re looking to go local this summer, choosing the right hotel is key to ensure everyone feels catered to.
The selection below features some of Ireland’s best family-friendly hotels and resorts, ideal for a memorable holiday with plenty of activities that are exciting, age-appropriate and the most important, fun.
Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, adventurers or quiet, these places have you covered. And worry not, they also thought about the parents so expect great food, spa pampering and top notch facilities.
The Wicklow Escape – Donard – Wicklow
The Wicklow Escape opens its doors to children for the first time this year. The family-friendly B&B stays are ideal for those seeking a last-minute staycation in one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland.
With lots to do in the surrounding area for families, including hikes, forest walks, bike hire and an on-site wood-fired outdoor hot tub, there’s plenty to keep the children and adults entertained. Nearby attractions include ancient megalithic sites, swimming in the Slaney River, Russborough house and its Birds of Prey Centre, Glendalough, and the recently opened Beyond the Trees experience at Avondale House.
The Wicklow Escape is located at Ballinclea, Donard, Co. Wicklow, approx. 1 hour from Dublin. Visit www.thewicklowescape.com for more information
Galway Bay Hotel – Galway
Located along Galway’s Salthill Promenade, Galway Bay Hotel is the ideal spot to stay when exploring Connemara or the Wild Atlantic Way. It is also a five minutes drive away from Galway City’s centre.
Let the family relax in the leisure centre (there’s a kid’s pool area for the little ones) or share a meal at Bay Brasserie. Fancy a walk by the nearby beach? Treat yourselves to a coffee or a hot choc at the hotel’s Beachfront Barista.
Galway Bay Hotel is located close to numerous family friendly attractions such as Ireland’s largest native species aquarium Galway Atlantaquaria, Wildlands Adventure Park or Loughwell Pet Farm. Their knowledgeable team will be happy to suggest even more things to see and do during your stay.
This four-star hotel was recently awarded ‘The Best Irish Hotel’ by Ireland’s Travel Trade Network.
More information: https://www.galwaybayhotel.net/
Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel & Spa – Adare, Limerick
This four-star, family-run hotel and spa offers a refined yet family-friendly atmosphere with a high level of service. Parents or older siblings can relax in their state-of-the-art spa, while the kids enjoy multiple activities designed with their fun in mind.
Some of the must-tries for the young guests include the popular Woody’s Kid’s Club and Woodlands Fairy Trail, a mini pet farm, and a playing field. When it comes to dinner time, the chefs at Timmy Macs Bistro have created a menu with everyone in mind (even the fussiest eaters in the house). For a relaxed and fun outdoors dining experience, you can also head to The Treehouse, or treat yourselves to ice cream at SCOOPS. The Treehouse is also pet friendly.
There is also paintballing, roller jam, go-karting and a cinema within easy reach of the hotel.
More information: https://www.woodlands-hotel.ie/
The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens – Beaufort, Killarney, Co. Kerry
This stunning five-star hotel offers a luxurious family break to remember. Located a short drive from Killarney and overlooking the Gap of Dunloe, The Dunloe’s estate features 64 acres of parkland with a gorgeous sub-tropical garden and plenty of spaces for recreation.
Kids can enjoy complimentary trekking, or have some fun in the extensive outdoor adventure playground. Looking for a magical experience? The hotel has Kerry’s largest children’s fairy trail. Older children can visit the Teen Zone, equipped with two PlayStations and an X Box, or head to the children’s cinema club.
Parents are not forgotten, and they’ll be able to enjoy themselves in the spa, go for a swim in the indoors heated swimming pool, or of course, treat themselves to delicious food and drink at The Bar and Grill Restaurant. The Dunloe’s kid’s menu is also worth a nod, created with children’s healthy eating in mind and offering plenty children-friendly choices.
More information: https://www.thedunloe.com/
Amber Springs Hotel and Health Spa – Gorey, Wexford
For families looking for a coastal holiday, Amber Springs is an ideal destination. This four-star hotel is located a few minutes away from Wexford’s idyllic shore, and it’s a great place to stay when exploring Ireland’s Sunny South East.
And besides the scenic beauty surrounding it, there are also multiple fun activities for kids of all ages to have a great time. Examples include the Amber Express Train, Amber Kids Club and the Amber Park, with go-karting, archery, mini-golf and more. Indoors weather? Let them swim in the pool, watch a movie in the cinema, or chill at the Gamers Zone.
And for the parents? Enjoy enticing dining options including Farina Italian Garden Restaurant, BBG Bar & Bistro,and the adult-only Vino Tapas, or relax at the award-winning Cocoon Spa.
More information: https://www.ambersprings.ie/
Hillgrove Hotel & Spa – Monaghan
This modern and inviting four-star hotel is located a five minute walk away from the friendly town centre of Monaghan. The hotel was voted ‘Number One Family Hotel in Ireland’ on two consecutive occasions at The Family-First Awards,
Hillgrove Hotel & Spa features a wide range of kid-friendly facilities and activities including a cinema, kid’s pool, a children’s activity pack on arrival, a play park, the Explorer’s Kids club and children-friendly restaurant menus.
There are also numerous nearby local attractions ideal for a day of family fun. From horse riding to an alpaca farm, from bowling to a planetarium, there’s an option for everyone.
More information: https://www.hillgrovehotel.com/
Dingle Skellig Hotel – Dingle, Co. Kerry
Dingle is one of Ireland’s most family-friendly holiday destinations and the Dingle Skellig Hotel a brilliant place to experience this beautiful town. With classic, family and interconnecting rooms, this four-star hotel adapts to the different needs of each family offering convenient services like a crèche and a kid’s club with fully supervised activities for children aged 0 to 3 and 4 to 12 respectively.
Food-loving families will be delighted by the hotel’s children’s programme and the Junior Evening Meal, with a three course menu filled with nutritious and delicious dishes created with the little ones in mind.
Nearby attractions include the Dingle Oceanworld & Penguin Enclosure, various pet farms, surfing classes and water sports, and the Dingle Dolphin Boat Tours, to name a few.
More information: https://www.dingleskellig.com/
Center Parcs – Co. Longford
This family-friendly resort is surrounded by forest packed with fun and amazing experiences for kids of all ages and their parents.
Stay for three, four or seven nights in their stylish and comfortable lodges and choose from up to 200 activities, from aerial tree trekking to their subtropical swimming paradise, from family-friendly golf to rock climbing and even bowling.
Looking for a little bit of pampering? Aqua Sana Spa offers award-winning treatments and facilities. Time for a bite? Cara’s Kitchen and Bar offers family-friendly meals made with local produce.
More information: https://www.centerparcs.ie/
Fota Island Resort – Fota Island, Cork
If you’re looking for something extra special, how about enjoying a five-star stay on a private island? Fota Island Resort has you covered. Escape to a beautiful destination in the East Cork countryside with activities for all ages and luxury all around.
For those looking forward to an exciting day outdoors, Fota Island Adventure features activities such as obstacle courses, bushcraft, watersports and treasure hunts. For a more relaxed outdoors experience, you can enjoy the stunning walking trails and the magical fairy trail. Fany staying indoors? Don’t’ miss the spa, or their artful and delectable afternoon tea.
The resort is near the hugely popular Fota Island Wildlife Park and other interesting attractions such as the Titanic Experience in Cobh and the CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory.
More information: https://www.fotaisland.ie/
ARTICLE BY GABY GUEDEZ