We were recently invited to try out the family accommodation at the Carrickdale Hotel in County Louth as guests of the hotel and to share our experiences. We love to check out family friendly hotels and to see what they offer families like ours.
The hotel is between Dundalk and Newry, very close to Slieve Gullion Forest Park and a short drive to Carlingford. It’s a perfect place to stay on the way farther North too, we used this stay as a stopover on the way to Belfast.
The room we stayed in was the “Interconnecting Family Room – Bernish Side”. These rooms are in the building across the road from the hotel reception in the Leisure Centre complex, linked by an (indoor!) underground tunnel. There are bedrooms on the other side too.
The room was HUGE. We entered through one room (although both had their own doors and keys) and this room led into the other. The first room had a king-sized bed and the second had two doubles and plenty of room for a travel cot, and had two large windows that looked out onto the secret garden below. Each room had a bathroom and TV, tea-making facilities and its own separate door to the corridor. The king room had a large skylight rather than a window and it was controlled with a panel on the wall that allowed it, and the blind covering it to open and close. The rooms both had good sized bathrooms which were in very good condition.
The Hotel is located just off the M1 motorway as you leave the Republic of Ireland for Northern Ireland. This is 14km from Dundalk, 12km from Newry and 17km from Carlingford.
We ate dinner in the bar which offered the usual pub grub options of burgers, lasagne, curry, fish and chips etc. Portions were huge and service was fast. The younger two kids were happy with the kids’ menu and the colouring and wordsearch it was on. Food is also served in the hotel restaurant and in the Secret Garden outdoor dining area.
Breakfast was served in the dining room and we didn’t need to book a time in advance. The cold offering was a buffet of juice, pieces of fruit, fruit pots and yogurt (no Coco Pops but Frosties were a good substitute). Hot food was ordered to the table
Outdoors there is a magnificent ornamental garden, which has a mini golf course throughout. There’s also a playground and basketball court.
The Leisure Centre has Serenity Spa, a gym, a pool, with toddler pool and sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. You can pre-book slots of 90 minutes. We used the pool but not the spa, residents are asked to come down to the pool in robes and slippers to minimise people in the changing rooms. I stole a few minutes in the outdoor jacuzzi which was very pleasant, as were the sauna and steam room.
There’s a lovely atmosphere at the hotel, the staff are very helpful and cheerful and it has a real family feel. All service we received was excellent, staff were accommodating and friendly.
What’s to do nearby?
- Slieve Gullion Forest Park is minutes’ drive away and has a great playground and The Giants’ Lair walking trail.
- Skypark Adventure Park is 20 minutes away and offers aerial and land adventures including aerial courses, quasar, archery and footgolf
- Carlingford village is less than 20 minutes away
- Hire Bikes and cycle the 7km Carlingford Lough Greenway
- Get the ferry from Greenore to Greencastle and discover the Mourne Coast
- Hillwalking in the Cooley Mountains
- Go Kayaking or Stand Up Paddleboarding with Carlingford Adventures
On the way out the kids asked when can we come back, and we all agreed that we will, what more do you need to know? The hotel room worked really well for us, there’s lots more for us to explore in the area and the kids loved the pool.
Our stay at The Carrickdale Hotel was provided to us in exchange for sharing coverage while we stayed. We paid for our evening meal, drinks and extras