Staying in Wicklow

Travelling to Ireland frequently, we tend to take the ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin then drive north to spend time with our friends and family. This visit we decided to shake it up a bit and do things differently. Why not spend a couple of days exploring a part of Southern Ireland we wouldn’t be able to visit on a daytrip and head south before heading north. Husband agreed with this logic, we opted for Wicklow and planning went full steam ahead.

Wicklow is just south of Dublin so that made sense. It took us just over an hour to drive to our hotel from the ferry terminal in the city, an easy drive and no problems with traffic. It is often referred to as the Garden of Ireland – lots of coastline, woodland, a mountain range as well as monastic ruins, handsome gardens and magnificent mansions.

We used Tripadvisor to check out what hotels might be suitable in the area. A bit of luxury was called for, we decided and the Druid’s Glen Hotel seemed to be offering that up in spades. It was ranked number one on Tripadvisor, we loved the look of the rooms on its website and booked straightaway.

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The hotel is the middle of the countryside, a lovely setting in Wicklow’s gorgeous landscape but still within very easy driving distance of Dublin city centre. I wasn’t overly impressed at first glance – a bit of a modern and not very beautiful building from the outside, from the moment we stepped inside my opinion changed. The reception area was light and airy and the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Service was first class, from the reception staff to the cleaners to the bar staff, without exception everyone we encountered there was wonderful – always smiling and they couldn’t do enough to help.

The hotel is a 5 star property but the luxury is understated – I loved that. The facilities were excellent and they have not one but two championship golf courses. Time pressures meant we couldn’t check these out, Husband was disappointed.

Our room was gorgeous. It was air-conditioned, large and bright with so much space and the decor was lovely. The bed was super comfy, Son had a proper camp bed and the two squishy armchairs were just the place to curl up with a good book. We had double doors leading out to a garden area. The weather wasn’t so great but warmer and sunnier times would have made this perfect.

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We had everything you could possibly need – fridge, ironing board etc. and a huge bathroom with lovely big bath and separate shower.

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We went for a walk on our first evening. There is a marked trail which takes you around the extensive grounds, just the thing to tire Son out before bed.

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Relaxing in the reception area was perfect, plenty of nooks and cosy corners with big sofas and log fires, superb for chilling with a nightcap.

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Son discovered the DVD library at reception and made use of that. You could take as many DVD’s as you wanted back to the room to watch in comfort.

Breakfast was a treat, so much choice in a lovely bright room with a glass roof. Son feasted on cereal and fruit and was delighted to discover they made pancakes while you waited. I was delighted to discover the fresh honeycomb.

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Husband and Son tried out the pool – I napped – and gave it a thumbs up. Son was also a fan of the Druid’s Den playroom with games for children of all ages and teens. There was an outdoor playground too but more suited to younger children. We met a family who raved about the Kids’ Club each evening and the activities laid on there. Son was a bit too old for that.

On our last evening we took advantage of the (chilly) sunshine and views by going to the outdoor decking and enjoying a BBQ. For 25 Euro there were three courses and as much as you could eat. We never seem to get great value at these sorts of things, I never want to stuff as much food down as I can but it was good and a nice change. We enjoyed a variety of salads, different types of meat and some yummy desserts. The brasserie and bar also served meals, both places looked great but timing meant we didn’t try either.

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A wonderful hotel, this was just the thing for a little bit of a luxury family break. We enjoyed every minute of our stay – a real gem.

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23 thoughts on “Staying in Wicklow

  1. What a peaceful looking place, Joy. We loooved Co. Wicklow – Glendalough, Devil’s Glen, Sally Gap … happy, happy memories. 😀 Looking forward to reading more about your travels around Ireland!

    • Thanks Reggie – just sorting through all the pictures right now. We loved it there too, I couldn’t believe having lived in Ireland and visiting all the time how we’d never made it to Wicklow before – such a special place!

    • This was such a great location for us – not too far from Dublin but right in the countryside with so much to see and do, we loved Wicklow. We loved this hotel too, full of home comforts and the perfect place to stay. Hopefully you do get to visit more of Southern Ireland – that’s part of my goal now too!!

      • Thanks Joy, we would certainly like to. My husband used to go to Bantry Bay with his parents as a child as his father liked fly fishing. His Mum tells me she used to take her knitting! Sounds so boring to me as I’m more of a fast paced person but the scenery must be lovely.

      • That paints a bit of an idyllic picture – fly fishing and knitting!! I think we’d last 5 minutes though, none of us have the patience for even sitting on a beach. We all like to be more fast paced too!!

    • That’s spot on Laura – home from home was exactly what it was and the luxury element was there but understated. We did lots of exploring in the surrounding area but you could easily just have stayed in the hotel, there was so much to do there.

  2. Looks a wonderful place to stay Joy! I love the decor – so tasteful and luxurious and yet so homely at the same time (not that my home looks like that!). We’ve never been to Ireland despite knowing so many folk from this part of the world – in fact our close friends have just come back from visiting family in Dublin. Must make amends one day! Am looking forward to your future Irish posts too! Hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂

    • It was such a great find Rosemary – a really lovely place with so many facilities (not that we used most of them) but so comfortable and yet luxurious at the same time. The staff were so friendly too – all just perfect. We really enjoyed exploring the area too, just sorting through stacks of pictures at the moment to put some posts together. I definitely recommend if you ever get to Ireland. We’re hunkering down now with much colder weather and very dark evenings… brrr… hope your weekend is lovely too.

      • Yes will definitely remember this place Joy – we do plan to get to Ireland at some point! Sounds a perfect place to stay. Sorry to hear it’s gone colder – those dark days don’t help either once the clocks go back 😦 We have gone in the opposite direction and it’s going to be hot today – maybe as high as mid 30s but we are lucky as we live near the sea and once the sea breeze comes in the temperature really drops down (unlike the inland suburbs). From tomorrow onwards it’s going to be cooler again. Babysitting both granddaughters from this afternoon until tomorrow as our daughter and son in law have a wedding to go to. Will be needing a stiff drink by tomorrow evening!! Hope you have a relaxing weekend and rug up well! 🙂

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