One of the real pleasures of being off at the moment is being able to take the lovely Eithne from Hotel Westport up on an offer of a couple of nights away last minute. It’s nice to be able to break up the weeks from time to time especially when the big lady is just in playschool. Easy to find close to the heart of the town, we landed in Hotel Westport and upon the big lady’s incessant request hit straight for the pool. She absolutely adores swimming and I haven’t managed to fit that more regularly into our routine just yet. The small lady tends to whinge a bit in the pool and said ‘out’ like a broken record the whole time we were there but the pool in Hotel Westport is great for keeping kids entertained – there’s a kids splash pool and another area with lots of bubbles which is great fun for small hands. The pool itself is lovely and warm as the changing rooms, something that is always duly noted as a mother who is usually left until last in a cold, wet swimming togs when it comes to getting changed.Hotel Westport is situated really close to the centre of Westport which itself is a really, really lovely town. You catch some beautiful glimpses of Croagh Patrick as you wander the streets. There’s a lovely riverside walk that takes you from the Hotel into the town and if you retrace your steps on the other side of the river there’s a lovely outdoor playground.After some time in the playground we were well ready for some grub. We ate in Maples Bar on the first night and if myself and himself had been there on our own I would have tried out one of the cocktails – the bar is home to the All-Ireland Cocktail Making Champion! I spotted some people trying them out and they looked impressive. I have to say when it came to the kid’s food I was most impressed. The big lady wanted a burger and chips which I don’t mind for a treat but I ordered the small lady the salmon with potato and veg and it was so nice – two lovely big pieces of healthy steamed salmon, no bread crumbs, no batter just wholesome goodness which she devoured. I’m not great at cooking salmon at home so they both had the same the next night as it’s one of their favourites. The second night we were there they launched a new Family Friendly menu which means that families can dine together in Islands Restaurant so everyone gets the benefits of the beautiful food on offer there. The food was delicious – the restaurant has won several awards and has an AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence so you seriously will not be disappointed.Fair to say I made a big error when putting the two to bed the first night, I should have put them down separately and used the baby listening service (genius service where you basically leave the phone off the hook beside sleeping child and usea dedicated phone in the lobby to listen in). Having me in the room caused too much excitement so nobody slept until after 9!!! I used this the second night and it worked an absolute treat – the rooms are locked and safe and you’re not far either way if anyone should cry. The phone itself is right beside the bar so I checked it about every 10 minutes and the big lady was also able to run in and out and check it for me until it was her turn for bed. We had a family room which had a double bed, a single bed, a cot and seats and a tableso plenty of room. You can get an interconnecting family room if you need more space.The second day it rained out of the heavens which is such a shame in a place like Westport where the outdoors are so celebrated, so many lovely walks and cycling routes, beaches and forests and of course Westport House. But alas not much we can do about weather so we hit for a play area. It turned out to be perfect, a lovely new spot called The Wild West which was new and clean and quiet so the two ladies had the run of the place and wore themselves right out! After that we went back to the hotel and the small lady slept and myself and big lady relaxed and read in the lovely bright reading area. Then we hit the pool again and spent ages in there with both ladies more relaxed and comfortable there the second day and the addition of Nana made it all the more entertaining!Two things really stood out to me about this hotel aside from all the things I’ve already mentioned. Firstly, the staff were so, so nice and genuine and helpful. Every single person working in the hotel was so friendly, it made us feel so welcome and the girls loved getting so much attention. There was always someone close by to help with things, to offer balloons and to help with highchairs, all these things may seem trivial but they mean a lot when you’ve got two energetic redheads with you. Secondly, the diversity of the people staying there was refreshing – from a small corporate team building group to families to older couples. And despite the fact it was a Monday and Tuesday night we were there the atmosphere was great and the bar was busy, a great sign.The only thing I haven’t really mentioned is the Panda Club – Hotel Westport’s award winning kids club. My two ladies were too small for it but I saw the agenda both days in the lobby and it was so diverse, everything from arts and crafts to treasure hunts. Kids aged 4-12 can participate in the club from 9.30am – 12.30pm and 4.30pm – 10pm and they take the kids for dinner together so parents can seriously get their relax on and perhaps even enjoy some time in the hotels Spa.
So if you’re planning a trip away over Easter or over the summer Hotel Westport comes highly recommended, it is the ONLY hotel in Ireland to offer a kids club 7 days a week for the months of June, July and August. We really enjoyed our time there and we’ll be back when the weather brightens up and perhaps we’ll let Daddy join us the next time! You can check out all their family special offers here and they are currently running a special offer of additional free kids places from 27th March to 1st April inclusive and you can call the hotel for details – what’s not to love about that!