“ Address: Dublin Rd. / Tivoli / Cork / Ireland „
I stayed at the Silver springs hotel during at the end of April 2009 during a work trip - the hotel is a 4* property that is located in Cork and is literally on the outskirts of the city centre as you come of the main road leading into Cork. It is a fairly large hotel for it's location with plenty of facilities and I was looking forward to experiencing his hotel.
As you come down the main road from Cork airport the hotel is located on the right hand side. However to get to it you must take the exit to the left hand side which takes you over the bridge and across to the hotel. This is because the hotel is built on a slight hill. So as you first spot the hotel it actually looks quite impressive and also quite modern looking with the building of a grey colour which sounds drab but, it isn't! The car park is spread around the building and once we had found two spaces as we had two cars with our group, we headed inside with our luggage. First impression of the lobby was good - bright, clean and a lovely tiled floor. There were a variety of seating areas and the reception desk was manned by two members of staff who greeted us and had our room keys ready for us within minutes! A very good first impression indeed.
The hotel has a variety of rooms including standard and suites along with some of the standard rooms being slightly bigger to fit families in. I stayed in a standard room which I was impressed with on some levels and also disappointed with on another! I will explain more as generally I would not hesitate to stay here again and yet by that comment you might think I wouldn't!
Upon entering the room of which I had to myself I noticed the first thing was the size of the bed - it was easily a king sized rather than double and I was really chuffed by this as it meant I could really stretch out! When I did use the bed I loved the thick duvet and big pillows as I was able to really snuggle into it and relax - especially after being out all day on my feet. There were also two reading lamps located above the bed which for me was another nice feature as sometimes I like to wind down by reading a couple of chapters in whatever book I have with me. The second thing I noticed was the décor as I love a modern style of room and this was ideal for me with a white and red colour scheme on the bed, dark wood furniture and a nice thick carpet. The room had a desk with a lamp which was perfect as a business traveller as in the two evenings I was here, I sat making notes. Normally a desk is a nice feature of a room but, for me never used on a leisure trip so when needed it comes in a useful feature indeed! There was also the tea and coffee making facilities you would expect in a 4* star hotel and again these were gladly used as I had an early wake up both mornings and appreciated that first cup of coffee before getting down to breakfast. The room had plenty of wardrobe space for me and would have also been adequate enough if there had been two people in the room. A safe, that was laptop sized, was inside one of the wardrobes, as was the hairdryer. The room had a phone next to the bed and another on the desk and also a small table next to the window with two complimentary bottles of water. I have to mention the windows which are a strange thing to mention but, what I liked was that they were huge! Right across the front of the room they were perfect as after returning in the late afternoon on the second day when there was still some light I was able to have the curtains fully open along with the window and enjoy natural light and fresh air.
Now the downside to the room for me - the bathroom didn't look as though it had been refurbished even though the rest of the room did. In no way was the bathroom that bad that I couldn't use it but, it was a little disappointing to have such a nice room and then the bathroom be a little dated and worn looking. I always feel the bathroom should look sparkly and nice because that's where you go to get clean and it makes me feel better if that makes sense! The bathroom was though a good size with a sink and toilet and a large tub with shower over it. The bath was actually a good size as I was able to really stretch out but the lighting was a bit dismal so I didn't stay in the tub long and enjoy the bath as much as I should have done! Overall the room is definitely a nice hotel room and for me it just would have been even better had the bathroom matched the rest of it! I believe though that they are in the process of refurbishing and this should be rectified soon!
Food and drink:
I had breakfast included in my stay and I enjoyed the breakfast I have to say! I am a big breakfast person in the sense that a hotel can totally sway me if the breakfast is good - of course I already liked the room I was staying in and was pleased the breakfast was good but, I'll just run through my opinion on the hotel breakfast. First of all, it is a choice of hot and cold food which I personally love as I like to have something warm to fill my belly especially as it was cold outside first thing in the morning when we getting up! The breakfast is served in the room located below the lobby and can be reached by the stairs or lift. The room isn't huge but, it is connected onto the other dining room used for evening meals and I believe that if the hotel is running at high occupancy they will open up the extra room so no need to worry about waiting for a table!
When you come down to breakfast we were free to choose our own table and soon afterwards a waitress would come over to take our drinks order. Coffee and tea were both served by the pot which again for me was a good plus point and then once the drinks were brought over they would take any orders for hot food. Cold items such as pastries, muffins and cereals were available to help yourself to on the table at one end of the room. Service was good and we never had to wait long for our food. I had a hot item each morning and it was always very nicely cooked - sausages, eggs, bacon, mushroom, tomatoes, black pudding and beans were all available as was plenty of toast! The staff were extremely nice to talk to and our group had a lovely chat to one of the waitresses one morning when we were asking her about the local area. Overall breakfast was very good and certainly a hotel I would want to have my breakfast included in!
The bar unfortunately I didn't use as when we were there the football was on and after a long day out on my feet I just wanted a nice long bath and watching football was not my idea of fun! A couple of my colleagues went to the bar for a drink and they told us the next morning that they had paid 5 euros for a pint and 4 for a glass of wine which I personally think for a hotel bar is reasonable especially when you consider that the prices were just the same out in the city centre. Of course it is by all means not cheap but, if the Euros ever gets better, then you would see more value for money on these prices! The bar can be seen from the lobby and is quite stylish with a fire feature in the centre of the room and lots of comfy chairs along with a modern looking bar.
The hotel has a few other features that you would expect to find in a 4* property and this includes a couple of meeting rooms which I never saw or used so I cannot comment on them and also a gym which although I saw, I didn't use. My colleague however did use this every morning as she was in training for a sponsored walk and relished having access to the gym free of charge! The only downside to the gym was it's location - it was not connected to the hotel so the only way to reach it was to leave the hotel building and walk up to it, which was quite a workout in itself being on a hill! However, the gym had a good range of equipment and also had a swimming pool. Of course not having used it myself I cannot comment on how good the equipment was although my colleague reported back that it was adequate enough and she also even took a spinning class one morning so overall it seems an ideal place considering it is free for all hotel guests.
The hotel can aslo cater for wedding receptions by using one of the meeting rooms so I would presume these are of an adequate size. Again I am not sure of exactly what they can offer but, if that was something you were interested in I am sure they could provide details if you contacted them.
The hotel is located right off the main road going into the city centre - drive time is less than 5 minutes to the main street in Cork centre but, walking would obviously take longer and so for this reason I wouldn't recommend the hotel if you like to be right on the doorstep of everything as soon as you walk out of the hotel. I would really say that ideally the hotel is suited to business guests who want a hotel in a position that makes it easy to get on the main road out of the centre quite easily and want to have a good range of facilities to hand. However if you have a car with you then as an overall choice of hotel it isn't bad at all as at least you can easily get to and from the hotel. The car park is free for guests so this is a plus and of course just having a car park is a plus point in what is classed as a city hotel.
I stayed with work so I am not sure what my room cost the company but, checking on their website you can get a room from around 100 Euros per room per night - I think this rate is actually quite good for the standard of the hotel and this does include their delicious breakfast!! Of course their may be offers all the time so it is best to keep checking and also some tour operators will have deals for 3 nights for the price of 2 which can save you a fair bit if you are staying longer than 2 nights. It is worth checking around before booking to see if this would be applicable.
I really quite liked the hotel and I found I appreciated it more once I left to stay elsewhere on the trip! I especially liked how comfortable the beds were and this being obviously one of the main features of a hotel then I am happy to say this is what made my stay! The reading lamps were a good little extra for me to have in my room and generally the whole hotel was a nice place to ''come home'' to at the end of the day. I would definitely recommend this hotel but, make sure you are aware of the location before you book as it is not ideal if you want to walk straight out of the doors into the main city centre.