Blarney Golf Resort, Blarney
Set amongst 164 acres of the beautiful wooded Shournagh valley, this world-class Resort, one of the finest in the country, has a lot to boast about. I...
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Review of "Blarney Golf Resort, Blarney"
Woohooooo! Got my first Diamond Review :-D
Blarney is a village in the south of Ireland, 5 miles from Cork City, and is most famously known for its castle - and the legendary "kissing the Blarney Stone". The stone, high up on the castle battlements, holds the tradition that whoever should kiss it will be endowed with the gift of eloquence. The castle is set in around a thousand acres of woodland, which is typical of this area. The village of Blarney itself has plenty to offer the visitor. There are lots of independent shops, gift shops and cafes around a beautiful, grassy, village square, although the main focal point, other than the castle, seems to be The Blarney Woollen Mills. This is an old converted mill which now houses a mill shopping village, restaurant, bar and hotel. The main car park for the village is within the mill complex and where most coach trips stop - and this is all a short walk from the centre of the village and the other amenities.The 4 Star Blarney Golf and Spa Resort is approximately 4 miles away from the village of Blarney - a drive out into 170 acres of the beautiful wooded Shournagh valley.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Last month, myself and my two daughters went to a friend's wedding in Blarney. Well, the couple are actually my husband's friends but my husband was at a conference abroad so couldn't make it. So we went along to represent him and made it into a little holiday. The wedding was at The Blarney Woollen Mills Hotel, which I have mentioned above, and it was there that we stayed for the night before and the night of the wedding. There was no room available for the following night so we moved to The Blarney Golf and Spa Resort for one more night in the area.
I was drawn to this hotel as my seven year old always likes to go swimming on holiday and the hotel has an indoor pool. It seemed very child friendly in general - also having a playground, games room and go-karts.So, we checked-out of our prior hotel on the Saturday morning and went out for the day before heading back to Blarney later that day. I'd seen signs to the Blarney Golf Resort in the village earlier so on arrival back in Blarney I proceeded to follow them. The second sign took us up a long road out of the village and I thought it seemed a long way and we'd gone too far so I turned around to go back and see if I'd missed a sign. I couldn't see one though so I decided to put the hotel in sat-nav instead! It took us back up the long road and out of the village and out into the countryside, before turning off into a residential area. We drove right to the other side of the residential area where we reached some fields and the hotel was up a driveway on the right-hand side. It was certainly further out of Blarney than I expected it to be. And by which time, both girls were asleep. So I sat in the carpark while they slept for about half an hour.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *The modern and purpose-built hotel has a large car park at the front, outside the reception area and the outside space of the restaurant, plus additional car parking at the rear for the lodge accommodation.
We were staying in one of the hotel rooms so unloaded our cases and proceeded to reception. On the way into the lobby area there was a sign on the wall saying "Please don't unload your cases until a room has been allocated." (or similar). I thought it was a bit late to mention it then and that there probably ought to be signs in the car park so you knew this before leaving your car! But it was fine. We checked-in with no problems and went to our room.Our room was a superior family room and had one king-size bed and two single beds. For the one night, it cost €119 which was £102 with the exchange rate at the time. The room was quite spacious, also having a small table and two armchairs, as well as the usual desk area where the TV and tea/coffee making facilities are. There was a large open shelving area and there was a small safe at the bottom of this and there were three large cupboards with doors on. In the desk there were three drawers, one of which contained a hairdryer. There was a large window that went down to the floor, creating the effect of French doors. This had net curtains and thicker curtains and looked out onto a lawned area with the gym opposite. There was a floor lamp in the corner of the room.
The bathroom was modern and well-equipped, having a bath, shower, toilet and washbasin. The washbasin was a free-standing bowl type. There was a large mirror on the back wall. There were drinking glasses provided and the obligatory toiletries. There was a small pedal bin. There were towels in the bathroom and spares on the large shelving unit in the room.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *After we had familiarised ourselves with our room we went for a walk to find the play area. It was to be found by going past reception, past the entrance to the "spa" (Gym and pool, plus a couple of rooms for treatments such as manicures and facials) and through a door into a games room. There were external doors out into a large enclosed space containing a climbing frame with slide, swings, play tent and rocker. Both my girls, aged 7 and 2, enjoyed playing out here. It had an astroturf floor so was also nice and clean to play on. The one fault I could find was on the climbing frame where a fabric panel had torn on the upper part of it and a child could fall through if they didn't realise and leant on it - or thought it was somewhere to crawl through, like my two year old did but I noticed in time to tell her it shouldn't be like that and to stay away from it.
It was getting quite chilly by this time so we moved into the indoor games room. It was here that my two year old had her first game of pool. She didn't really get it though so might wait a while until next time! There was also a table football and two video games. These were all free to play. The rest of the room was full of toys and colouring things. I also noticed a karaoke area. Again, both girls enjoyed the games room and would have stayed there all night.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We retired to our room after this and the girls put the TV on, organised their toys on their beds, ate crisps and messed about in the bathroom. Like they do! I laid on the king-size bed and played with my phone. I was trying to find some wi-fi. I had been given no information about wi-fi on checking-in, as one normally is. I looked through all the literature in the room but there was only information about the restaurant menu, gym facilities and local church services. There were no open networks showing on my phone and I couldn't connect to anything so I gave it up as a bad job and we all went to sleep.We all slept well. The beds were very comfortable and the curtains were thick enough to keep the room dark after dawn. There was also minimal noise disturbance from other guests. When I woke up I tried finding wi-fi again and suddenly a webpage appeared and asked me to sign in. So I typed my email address in and I was connected. Why it didn't do that the night before, I don't know! I later looked at all the little notices, signs, bits of paper, etc, around reception and there was definitely nothing there advising about internet connection or wi-fi passwords, like you usually get. It surprised me that a hotel/resort of this quality didn't have wi-fi information to hand and available. It was a lot of trial and error to get connected.
We hadn't arrived early enough the day before to use the swimming pool so this was our plan for this morning. Check-out time was 12pm so we were going to go swimming and then go on the go-karts if we had time.
Both girls had been looking forward to going swimming - especially as the hotel required use of swimming caps and they both had snazzy new ones for this purpose. I wasn't really looking forward to this because I look a plonker in a swimming cap! But everyone had to wear one so I could look a plonker with everyone else! I had bought myself a new swimming cap too but it didn't fit. It was rubber and kept working its way up my head and popping off. Fortunately, the hotel sold swimming caps so I bought one of theirs (€2.50) which fit better. We were also offered the use of towels and shown through into the changing area.
So then we made our way through to the swimming pool. It was a very pleasant area, having a large pool, a children's pool and a jacuzzi with some sun loungers in one corner. I placed a small towel on one of the sun loungers and we went into the children's pool first. The children's pool was only small. It was just right for my two year old to play in but not deep enough for my seven year old to swim in. It was more of a paddling pool really than a "learning pool". We alternated our time between the large pool and the children's pool, mostly just following the two year old around. There were some steps down into the large pool at the side of the children's pool. There were some floats and "pool noodles" in the large pool so we played with those and my seven year old practised her swimming. There were two lanes roped off for adult lane swimming but we stayed in the other part of the pool. The jacuzzi was for over 16s so we didn't go in that. Sometimes I do, at these places, to warm up but the temperature of the pools wasn't too bad so I just stayed with the children on this occasion.
We'd have probably stayed in the swimming pool for longer but I wanted to allow time to go find the go-karts so we went to get dried and changed and then went to the room to finish packing and take our cases back to the car.
After we'd got organised and everything was packed back into the car, we went for a walk around the back of the hotel to find the go-karts. There were signposts for them but I couldn't see them so we went back to reception to ask for directions. The receptionist circled an area on a map for me but that's where I'd looked and they weren't there. I told her this and she looked confused! Fortunately, a young boy guest heard our conversation and directed me to them. He said they were down a track, through some trees, behind the basketball court. It was 11.40am by this time so we wouldn't have had time to go back there and play before checking-out, so I told the girls we'd go play in the play area for one last time and then we'd check-out and go for a quick go on the go-karts before we left.Shortly before 12pm we checked-out and then got in the car and drove around the back to the lodge car park next to the basketball court. We followed the boy's directions and did indeed find the go-karts. They were in a wooded area. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. It could have been really nice but the track was rocky and on a slope so you couldn't really pedal the go-karts on it at all. There were three go-karts and only one was in full working order. One of them was completely missing pedals and the other one had an insecure seat, plus also something wrong with its pedals. So in the end, I just pushed (with difficulty) my two year around one lap, while my seven year old sat on another go-kart and watched. If they got new go-karts and laid a tarmac track it would be really good. I think I'll email them and suggest this.
Despite the go-karts and wi-fi I am awarding the Blarney Hotel and Golf Resort five stars. There is so much to cancel out the negatives of those two little things! There are a few criteria I haven't been able to evaluate though, such as the food as we didn't eat there and the actual golf facilities. Although I expect these things to be very good. But based on a family hotel stay, this hotel is excellent.Highly recommended.
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Product Information : Blarney Golf Resort, Blarney
Manufacturer's product descriptionSet amongst 164 acres of the beautiful wooded Shournagh valley, this world-class Resort, one of the finest in the country, has a lot to boast about. Its stunning location close to the historic town of Blarney in County Cork, steeped in history, legend and rugged natural beauty, would almost be reason enough to visit were it not for its many other attributes.The Resort has an extremely well-equipped Health Spa & Club with a 20 metres swimming pool, tanning facilities, Jacuzzi and steam rooms, not to mention an assortment of treatment rooms, for pampering and relaxation after a long day.Together with our first class conference and banqueting facilities, this makes the Blarney Golf Resort an ideal venue for corporate retreats and meetings.Why not check out our Special Offer Packages on stays of 2 nights or more.
Long Name: Blarney Golf Resort
Type: Golf Resort
Address: Tower, Blarney, Ireland
Avg Price: 33.17
Listed on Ciao since: 31/03/2009