“ Address: Castlebar / County Mayo / Ireland „
I recently won a competition to Ireland from a Manchester Airport Competition. Included in the prize was flights, transfers, food and accommodation. I soon learnt upon winning that the accommodation chosen for us was Breaffy House Hotel, which is located just outside the town of Castlebar in Western Ireland.
I did have a look for some reviews on the property prior to going, and was slightly concerned by several bad reviews which I had read. However, I needn't have been as our weekend break was fantastic and the hotel was brilliant.
On arrival at the hotel, you go up a long tree lined sweeping driveway which leads you to the entrance of the property. It is a beautifully large hotel which is very well presented. There is some seating located outside and a large helipad which can be used for a private helicopter transfer which would only be a ten minute trip from West Ireland Knock Airport as opposed to an hours drive. I would imagine that this would be fairly costly, but it is a great idea for a special weekend away or a honeymoon for example. The grounds looked fantastic and very well kept and we also noticed a small crazy golf course at the far side of the front garden.
We entered the hotel and walked into the large foyer which was very grand and had a large sweeping staircase to the left hand side which looked lovely. There was also plenty of seating for guests and free wifi access was also available in the foyer area. The receptionist welcomed us to the hotel and was very friendly, providing us with plenty of information on the facilities in the hotel and where we could find everything. She gave us clear directions to our room and provided us with two keys. We were advised that our allocated room was number 335 and we were provided with dinner vouchers for our evening meals for the two nights which were staying. With everything in order we set off to our room.
The hotel is extremely large, and ill be honest it is quite a maze to get around. Our room was located the furthest away from reception, but we soon found out that this was for good reason and were pleasantly surprised when we actually got to our room. On arrival outside we noticed that the gap between the rooms was much larger than all the other rooms we had past and my husband joked that perhaps they had given us a suite. Luckily for us, he wasn't wrong and it turned out that we had been given the Presidential Suite which was obviously located quite far away for privacy.
The room was huge and had an Eastern Meditteranean theme to it. There was a large seating area with a dining table and huge plasma screen tv and entertainment system. Four bottles of 25cl wine had also been left for us along with a welcome note and some glasses. The seating area then led into the bedroom which had a king sized bed, a further television, two dressing tables, and two bedside cabinets. Leading off from the bedroom was an ensuite bathroom with a bath and a separate walk in shower and a large walk in wardrobe come dressing room. It was all beautifully decorated and the Mediterranean theme continued throughout all aspects of the room. In total there were four extremely large windows which overlooked the grounds and from our room we could see the whole property. It was very clean and tidy, and in addition, the cleaners had also left us some bathrobes and slippers. I noticed that there was a rate chart on the rear of the door at that the room usually cost Euro299 a night. Expensive but definitely worth it!
We decided to start our stay by exploring the hotel, having a look at the facilities and checking out the grounds. Our first stop was the spa and leisure centre. The spa looked lovely and smelt fantastic, however I didn't actually use any of the facilities here so apart from a quick peek inside to pick up a price list I didn't really see any more so cant really comment on it. The leisure centre features both a gym and a swimming pool. The pool is well designed and has one side sectioned off for swimmers who wish to do lengths and then the remainder of the pool is left for those just wanting to have fun or for persons learning to swim. There is also a shallow area for toddlers to have a paddle. Alongside the pool and up some steps there is also a Jacuzzi, and Sauna. These facilities are free to use for hotel guests and you just show them your hotel key card. Towels are not provided so you must bring them down from your hotel room or just bring your own from home. One big thing here is that you have to wear a swimming hat in the pool. We were not made aware of this prior to arrival so had to spend Euro3 each purchasing a hat which I know we could have bought for much cheaper back home. We didn't really mind on this occasion but had I been travelling with my children this would have cost us Euro15 which is quite high to purchase some hats which will probably only be used on that trip. Another thing to note is that the changing rooms are communal. There are no cubicles, however it was empty when I was in there so it didn't bother me.
We then went to the Games room. This was slightly disappointing as we had been looking forward to having a game of Pool or Table Hockey but both of these were out of order so we were unable to use them during our trip. There were also some driving games and arcade machines which mainly seemed to be used by children in the evening and were charged at Euro1 each. It was clean and tidy though and had the equipment been working we would have been more than happy in there for an hour or so.
We then asked at Reception about the crazy golf and enquired as to how much this was. I was surprised to be informed that it is free of charge for hotel guests so we grabbed a couple of golf clubs and balls and set off outside. Some of the holes were very hard but we got all the way around and we actually used this several times over our weekend stay. It was good fun and it was also nice to have a bit of banter with other hotel guests also playing on the course.
The Bar area, was very clean and had plenty of seating. The prices were reasonable and we noticed that they also had entertainment on in the evenings. There was also a bar menu which had a small selection of snacks and meals, all of which sounded very tasty. Again the prices seemed very fair for hotel food and having seen some of the lunchtime snacks that other residents had, I can tell you it looked delicious. Seeing all this lovely food made us look forward to our evening meal and a couple of hours later we headed for the restaurant for dinner.
As we entered the restaurant we were greeted on arrival and taken to some seating by a waitress. She remained our waitress for the entire evening and made sure that we were happy with our meals and that we had enough drinks, water, and bread at the table. We were provided with menus and she came back to take our order a few moments later. The menu itself is a set three course meal with three options for each course. I chose Vegetable Soup for my starter which was the nicest soup I have ever had, Roasted Ham with Chefs Gravy and Potatoes for my main and Black Forest Gateux for dessert. This was a lovely meal which I very much enjoyed and I heard numerous guests saying the same.
Overall, this was a fantastic weekend break for my husband and I in a fantastic hotel. I cannot commend the staff or the accommodation enough and we are already planning on going back here with the kids at the end of August. I would highly recommend this hotel.
Aside from it's 125 bedrooms, there are additional 2 bedroom self-catering lodges available to let.