We have spent time as a couple in Dungarvan in the past and I had been keen to bring the kids as I knew there was loads to do in the area.
We booked a 2BB & 1 Dinner Easter Deal online on The Park Hotel Dungarvan website, there’s an additional charge for extra beds in the room which we were reminded about when they phoned to confirm the reservation the week before we went. This was not a gifted stay and the hotel did not know at any stage that I would be writing a review on it.
Here’s how we got on.
The hotel is just off one of the many the roundabouts that bring you through Dungarvan on your way from Waterford to Cork. It’s a short stroll to the town centre where the restaurants and pubs are. You can’t miss the hotel, it’s painted a bright yellow colour. There’s parking to the front and side, and a view of the resident seal.
The large reception area has been newly renovated and is very welcoming. Check in was painless and the staff were particularly friendly towards the kids, giving them each a goodie bag and making sure they heard all about the kids’ club activities.
We booked a family room for five, which comprised of a ground floor room with two double beds and an additional fold out single bed which was rammed up against the door that would be to interconnect to the next room. The Easter Deal cost €320 for 2BB and 1 D and an additional €30 for the fold out bed. It worked fine for two nights but you couldn’t call it spacious. Had we wanted space we’d have paid the extra for the additional interconnecting room.
The room was in fine decorative state, if a little dated. There were tea and coffee facilities and a TV. The bathrooms in the room need updating. The sink area is fine but the enamel was peeling off our bath and the grout was stained. The bathroom was clean and the bath didn’t concern us as we were only using it for showers but if you had small kids who would be using the bath you’d probably ask to change room. The corridors leading to the hotel rooms are quite narrow in places and you might struggle with a buggy.
The newly decorated foyer is very spacious and comfortable to sit and have a drink with the family after a meal.
Breakfast was very busy, so come early. If there’s no table available you may need to wait in the lobby, not ideal when there are Coco Pops within sniffing distance. We got there around 9.30am and didn’t need to wait.
There’s a cold buffet. There are two table areas, the first containing “kids’ items” including plastic bowls and cups, petits filous yogurts and mini boxes of cereal at the front part. Hot food is ordered from a menu and cooked to order.
We take our hotel breakfasts very seriously and judge them based the following: Coco Pops (check), Pain au chocolat (check but get them fast, they run out), prunes (JOKE, who ever eats the prunes yet they are always there), availability of soya milk (one of my kids doesn’t drink cows’ milk, and we had forgotten to bring it, but the hotel had it and didn’t look at is cluelessly when we asked), and finally pancakes (check). So while it wasn’t the most amazing breakfast buffet in the world it passed all our tests.
There was one dinner included in the package that we booked and it could be taken in the bar or dining room, and kids have the option of eating theirs in kids’ club. We were late having spent the evening on the Waterford Greenway so we missed the kids’ club dinner. When we landed into the dining room at 7.45pm it was all couples and very quiet and calm, so for everyone’s sake we opted for the bar. The bar was busy but the helpful staff said they’d collect us from the foyer in about ten minutes when they had a table free, and in less than 5 minutes they were out, and asked me to check if the table was OK for us before we marched the whole family in.
The inclusive menu allowed us to choose three courses from the bar menu, and they had a dedicated kids’ menu. The choices were standard bar food and we went for reliable options of burgers, pizza and the less usual fajitas. To start we had soups and chowder which were delicious (much better than we expected to be honest) and a meal in themselves. Portion size was very generous and it says a lot that only three out of the five of us had room to even contemplate ordering the dessert that came free with our meal (and this was a day we had cycled 20km too!)
The hotel has a pool and leisure centre which are open to guests and the hours are not as restrictive as they often are in hotels.
There’s a kids’ club which is a building off the corridor for children who are toilet trained. The kids’ club leaders seemed lovely. Our smaller kids (aged 5 and 8) went to watch part of a movie one of the nights and enjoyed it. There’s a full programme of events for the summer months.
There’s no playground on site but a great public one three minutes’ walk away.
What’s to do nearby?
Dungarvan is a great family holiday destination with plenty of family friendly restaurants and bars. We ate at The Moorings and 360 Cookhouse and both meals were excellent. For older children you could bring them to my favourite restaurant, Tannery, for an early sitting. The newly opened “& Chips” is getting great reviews.
There are two playgrounds in the town, both walking distance from the hotel. You can visit the many beaches on the Copper Coast or take a walk at Mahon Falls waterfall. Lismore Castle with its gardens and playground is also nearby.
Would we go back?
Absolutely. The location is fantastic and the hotel was far superior to the two other hotels that we have stayed in Dungarvan. While some parts of the hotel could do with a little TLC we enjoyed our time there so much that we would definitely return.
Nothing to declare here, we weren’t gifted this stay or given any discount. The hotel did not know that I would be writing this review, or that I even had a blog where I could do it.