After crossing the glorious south of Ireland during our family vacation with IrishTourism.com, I knew that I could expect the hotels on our itinerary to be family friendly with a full service of amenities and spacious rooms. But even knowing that didn't prepare me for the room I walked in to in Adare. If you are planning a vacation in Ireland that you will remember forever, you'll want to include Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel in Adare in your itinerary.
Staying at Woodlands Hotel in Adare
Located just outside Adare, the Woodlands House Hotel has the feel of an very large bed and breakfast. Albeit, a B&B with a spa and two restaurants, but the feel of the place is missing the sterility you often feel in hotels. The rural setting has much to do with that, as does the small petting zoo on the property.
Stepping in the front entry you immediately notice couches, chairs and tables, spread comfortably around, perfect for relaxing with a book, chatting with with guests or just quietly enjoying a cuppa. It takes a moment before you see the single desk at the intersection of the hallways that serves as check in. Leather chairs invite you to sit as your check in is handled with efficient friendliness and your room key- an actual key, not a card- is procured.
Rooms at Woodlands Hotel
Woodlands House Hotel has only 94 rooms, all of them spacious. The deluxe rooms are a minimum of 247 sq. feet. The executive suite my family experienced was nearly twice that size and included an adjoining room with twin beds. A wall of bay windows made the room feel even larger.
While I eyed the king size bed with a bit of longing, my youngest squealed over the scarlet couch, pronouncing it ‘heavenly'. A dining table sat near the windows, while a desk was nestled against the wall near the adjoining room. Tall armoires flanked each side of the bed, with another in the twin room. The bathroom was also quite spacious, with dual sinks and a whirlpool bath.
In your room you'll also find a daily recommendation of activities – both in the hotel and at surrounding attractions.
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Exceptional Customer Service
While the rooms and grounds are fabulous, it is the staff that makes this hotel truly spectacular.
Hoping to have a bit of laundry done before we left, we made a trip into Adare only to find the laundrette closed. Inquiring at the hotel, I learned that was the only full service laundry in town. “Do you have any special laundry?” I was asked. When I replied that it was mainly jeans that needed washed, I was told that they could be sent to the hotel laundry “without a worry”. Later that day the clothes were done, complimentary.
What my girls looked forward to was the plate of treats that would be waiting when we returned from our exploring. They were so sure the faeries brought them. It was the faerie comment, excitedly made to one of the staff members by my youngest, which inspired this surprise:
The girls were beyond delighted!
Before we left Woodlands House I asked about this ‘special treatment'. According to Sales Director Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, being a family owned and run establishment is what makes their hotel different. The staff, she says, “listens for those subtle hints” that guests share. Whether it is a belief in faeries, the birthday of a wedding guest, or simply a need for clean jeans, Woodlands House strives to make everyone's visit memorable.
Leisure Club, Revas Spa and Woody's Kids Club
All hotel guests have complimentary access to the pool and leisure club at Woodland's House. The pool is large, with a lap pool as well as a kiddie pool and jacuzzi area. The leisure club, adjacent to the pool, has plenty of equipment and personal trainers available.
Woody's Kids Club is free for guests. Activities change daily and you'll want to consult the flier in your room and contact the leisure director to get your kids registered. During our visit the girls took part in Kids Gym and were able to try out various gym equipment under adult supervision.
While the girls wore themselves out in the gym, I took the opportunity to enjoy a bit of pampering in the Revas Spa. Following a long corridor out from the leisure club, the spa is located in a separate building just across a covered drive at the rear of the property. European elegance and modern lines meet here, in a combination that is both plush and relaxing. With time enough for a pedicure, I settled into the massaging chair and relaxed as Sharon massaged away the past 5 days of touring. Ahh, bliss.
Dining at Woodlands House
Our stay included breakfast. Served buffet style at the rear of Timmy Mac's Bistro, you have your choice of fruits, cereals, breads and pastries, as well as everything you need for a Full Irish breakfast. You definitely shouldn't leave hungry.
While it's likely you'll eat off property during your stay, you would be missing a fine meal if you didn't dine at Timmy Mac's Bistro at least one night. A gorgeous mix of traditional Irish food and continental cuisine, the menu is creative and delicious. The kids menu is just as grand as the adult menu, and both offer ala carte ordering or a prix fixe selection.
If the kids club happens to be offering movie night, take the opportunity to dine, sans kids, at Fielding's Restaurant. Enjoy the intimate setting and adult conversation over a delightful 2 or 3 course meal.
If your vacation in Ireland takes you to the scenic west coast, a stay at Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel should definitely be part of the magic.
Disclosure: While our stay at Woodlands House Hotel was included in our IrishTourism.com package, my visit to the spa and our meal at Timmy Mac's Bistro were paid for by me.