Sometimes in life you’re lucky enough to spend a weekend with your family that reinvigorates you and leaves you all smiling, tired yet refreshed. We just had one of those weekends in Galway where we spent two relaxing and enjoyable nights in the Connacht Hotel. Galway is a place close to my heart having spent five and a half years there studying. Chapters in life come and go and you close some without reopening them for years. I hadn’t been back to Galway since I graduated from my PhD and I have to say I had forgotten how wonderful, energetic, vibrant and buzzing a city it is.We got up from Cork late Friday evening with one very excited curly haired three year old and an ‘excited because her older sister was excited’ 15 month old. We settled into our family suite with the two ladies overjoyed at all the space for exploring and hiding. Thankfully they quickly crashed out in their bedroom where the big lady had a big double bed to herself and the small lady a cot. And Mummy and Daddy had some well-earned relaxing time in our own comfy king-sized bed in front of the TV with no phones in hand only wine.The next day we had a plan for the day knowing how much there is to see and do in Galway and not wanting to miss a thing. After a hearty breakfast we hit for the beaches of Connemara. We played in the park in Salthill, we dipped our feet in the Atlantic in Silver Strand, we drew pictures in the sand in Spiddal and we had races on the beach in Furbo. The small lady fell asleep on the way back from lunch in Padraicins so I took the opportunity to visit the new Engineering Building in NUI, Galway with the big lady, a FAR cry from the old laboratory I so fondly remember from my days as a student. Then we hit for Shop Street and we simply walked from one end to the other, which took over an hour as the big lady stopped every few steps enthralled by the singers and the musicians young, old and quirky. We had juices by the Spanish Arch before heading back to the hotel to check out the pool.The pool at the hotel is gorgeous, it’s an unusual shape and there are fountains, and bubbles and steps to make it more fun than just a regular pool. The Jacuzzi looks out over the pool so it’s very handy for a Mummy who wants 5 minutes to herself but you can still keep an eye on the rest of the family in case your husband needs a hand. The changing rooms are really well kitted out for families with a travel cot to keep wriggly baby’s safe and plenty of wall mounted seats and changing tables for babies.On Saturday evening we ate in Rueban’s Restaurant onsite at the hotel which was absolutely fabulous, honestly the presentation of the food was so elegant and the food itself was so tasty. I had the pork to start and it was massive and just fell to pieces it was so tender. The duck was recommended to us on Twitter and my husband agrees it was delicious, not fatty like duck sometimes can be.We booked a babysitter for 8.30 so we escaped into the city for a few hours to explore the bars of my ‘youth’!! From The Front Door to Busker Browns, An Tobar to The Kings Head everywhere was full of atmosphere as you would expect in Galway. The hotel is quite close to the centre of town – it cost us €8 in a taxi and there are plenty outside the front door which is handy.The next morning after breakfast we went to the Kids Club and I have to say we were all highly impressed. It’s a purpose built kids club and it was so clean and so tidy. There was a fantastic selection of toys for all ages, a wendy house and a kitchen, dolls and dressing up gear, lego, books, musical instruments, arts and crafts, bowling and there were plenty of air hockey tables, snooker tables and a Wii for the older kids. They also run movies for kids in the evening times. Check with the hotel before you go to make sure the kids club is running during your stay.The other thing I really liked about this hotel was the atmosphere; there were people of all different shapes and sizes, from buses of retired French people to families like us, couples and hens (the girls not the animals!). So for anyone looking for a break away, whether its romance, crack, relaxation or just some downtime with your family I can honestly highly recommend the Connacht Hotel. Now, where is my calendar so I can start planning my next trip….
*We were extremely lucky to be given this 2 night stay and dinner in the Connacht Hotel, Galway for free in return for a review. As always, all opinions my own and 100% honest!
This opportunity was facilitated by the wonderful ladies Sinead and Saibh behind Into the west blogger network. If you are a blogger or a company looking to work with bloggers get in touch with them via their website here or find them on Facebook.