Last week, The Him and I took Mini-Me and Princess to Castleknock Hotel and Country Club for a 3 night Staycation. Situated on Porterstown Road, Castleknock, this hotel is perfectly located for exploring Dublin.
We booked the Family Fun Package, which included a family room, Breakfast, tickets to Tayto Park and the Zoo, a dinner and a packed lunch.
When we arrived, we were checked in by a truly lovely young man. Stephen was his name as far as I remember. He was friendly and efficient. When we arrived in the room allocated to us however, we weren’t overly impressed. It was at the far end of the hotel, looking out at the hotel bins. My 4 year old’s first words about the room were “Look at the man working at the bins Mammy.” There was a single bed and a double bed, but no cot and there wasn’t enough room to fit one in.
I rang reception and asked for a different room. Again, he was very friendly and said he would look into it. I went back to reception after ten minutes where Stephen was working on trying to find us alternative room for the three nights. He eventually moved us to a new room, which was a bit bigger and so the cot fit in and we still had room to move about. This room was overlooking the carpark and above a flat roof, but was much better than the first.
The hotel is clean and the public lobby, bar and reception are spacious and comfortable. (Gorgeous air freshener in the huge lobby!) The outside patio area is beautiful and a playpark was very well received by Mini-Me each evening. One lovely touch was the table of blankets, suncream and sunglasses at the door to the outside area. Very simple, but very thoughtful.
The gym is basic but functional and the pool area is beautiful. There are two pools suitable for young children. They were a perfect temperature and open to children from 9am until 6pm each day. (I should say that this suited us with very young children, but had our kids been a bit older, or teenagers indeed, we would not have been impressed that they couldn’t avail of the pool after 6pm.)
A family changing room would be helpful in the leisure area also. Yes, there is a baby changing room and changing tables near the entrance to the pool, but for a young family, a communal room where both parents can help the children dress would have been wonderful. (A suggestion rather than a criticism.)
Breakfast each morning was perfect. Porridge, fruit, pastries, cheeses, smoked salmon and a hot buffet. The toasting machine needs replaced asap however…infuriatingly slow and took three attempts to warm the bread before eventually burning it! The staff were very accommodating each morning. On the third morning, Trish had seen us coming down the stairs and by the time we got to the restaurant, had reset the table closest to the buffet, set up the highchair and had even left extra teaspoons on the table for feeding the baby. This was a simple act, but again, made us feel welcome and looked after.
We had barfood on the first 2 nights. It was tasty, with a varied menu and satisfying portions. Again, staff were efficient and friendly, taking time to talk to Mini-Me. On our final night, we used the included dinner in the very elegant restaurant. Decor in this area is stunning; elegant, tasteful and classy. Our server Christina was superb from beginning to end and the food was exellent.
Had the Him and I been in this beautiful restaurant on our own, we would have enjoyed it much more to be honest. It was difficult to enjoy this meal to its full potential with a tired baby and a 4 year old who thought we were at a ball in her honour! We were terrified she would break or spill something. We both agreed that a barfood voucher included in the package would have been much more beneficial in the family package.
The hotel is very close to the zoo; it’s only a 5 minute drive to Phoenix Park. It’s also close to Tayto Park and the City Centre so it is ideal for a family adventure in the Capital.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our break. We have stayed in Family rooms in other hotels which had a small hall or reception area which allowed for us to watch a movie or even have a drink after the girls went to bed, but the fact that they go to bed early isn’t really the hotel’s fault is it!? It is however something that we would consider if booking again. Perhaps adjoining rooms or a suite would be worth paying the extra for.
The Castleknock Hotel was very pleasant and perfectly located, the grounds and golf course were lovely, the food was excellent and the staff were friendly. We left with a tasty packed lunch to spend the day at the zoo and they even put down the red carpet for Mini-Me! (Obviously it was for her and not for the beautiful Bride that day. 😂)
We will be back, (but maybe we’ll try one of the couple’s packages next time!)
I am Summertime-Family-Fun Mum
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(Please note: S-Mum received No Renumeration for reviewing this hotel. I do so simply to help other parents to decide if such a family break would suit them. These simply are our experiences.)