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