I had the great pleasure of staying in Castlemartyr for one-week of self-catering. The party comprised me, my wife, our three-year-old son, Darragh, and our Golden Cocker Spaniel, Dexter.
We had options when considering where to holiday. We could fly somewhere and enjoy some sun but honestly, the trials and tribulations of managing an active and strong-willed little guy through a flight were not appealing. We have done this before and it is hard work, usually ending up with him running out of energy and finally falling asleep as we land.
There were plenty of other self-catering establishments available, but having spent some time in Castlemartyr a number of years ago, and enjoyed the family-friendly atmosphere as well as the fantastic amenities, it really stood out. I can happily say now that it did not disappoint, and we will revisit again in 2018.
We knew Castlemartyr would do a great job of matching our needs as a family without having to travel very far. Additionally, if we wanted to do day trips, places like Fota Island Wildlife Park were only a short distance away. We also knew the hotel to be contained, safe and a good destination to ensure our son had a great time, and his parents could enjoy some downtime!
However, in saying that, there were a number of surprises in store – all of them good!
The Walled Garden Lodges
I had stayed in self-catering houses before, and my experience was of basic accommodation that is functional. This does not apply to Castlemartyr, where the layout and quality of the houses are fantastic. I can only speak about the Walled Garden Lodges, but almost everything I am going to say is positive – the beds were not the most comfortable in the world, but they were above the level I expected.
The layout of the house is perfect for a self catering holiday. We rented a three-bedroom house and had various other family members visit during our time. In addition, as the name suggests, the whole development was surrounded by a spectacular walled garden, with plenty of room to explore.
The Swimming Pool
We knew Castlemartyr had a swimming pool, but what I like about it is the organisation of time slots for adults only and other times when everybody is welcome. This means we could go swimming with Darragh during child-friendly times and enjoy ourselves. Additionally, I enjoyed a swim during adult times and loved the time out!
The pool is very nice, looking out on the garden and rear of the house. It is surrounded by glass on two sides, making it a great place to enjoy a swim. There are saunas and steam rooms on offer. The staff at the pool were always friendly and the facilities clean. This is a huge plus for us as a family.
One of the great things about Castlemartyr Resort as a holiday destination is that the hotel offers a wide range of food offerings. Obviously, we could cook in our house, but we were on holidays and at various times wanted to enjoy a quality dining experience.
The Italian restaurant is very nice, and the bar food is decent. There is a fine dining experience which is very nice and is set in a stunning restaurant overlooking the rear gardens. The proximity and the variety of the offerings made this both practical and satisfying.
Additionally, there are a number of pub grub options in the nearby village. The Hunted Hog is well worth a visit, although it is popular and it is recommended to get there early for a table. The food was really nice, with a relaxed and local pub atmosphere providing a nice alternative to the hotel. The staff we met were friendly and we enjoyed two meals there. The pub is within walking distance of the hotel, although probably 10/15 minutes from the front door.
There’s a children’s playroom and a nice selection of 3D animal artwork installations which my son always enjoyed.
It is worth mentioning the walks around the hotel and the golf course which I did not get a chance to test but looks stunning. There are some lovely trails through the surrounding woodland and I would describe the entire area as safe.
Personally, I will revisit Castlemartyr Resort again in 2018 for another self-catering break. The benefits of being able to hop into the car, bring our dog and know there is a hotel with good food selections and excellent amenities to keep our three-year-old entertained is very appealing.
There are a number of different self-catering options within the hotel. We stayed in the Walled Garden Lodges and booked through the hotel so could use the hotel amenities free of charge. I will certainly book this way again.
The houses are large, well laid out and very comfortable. The food is good and the facilities and amenities are excellent. There really is a very compelling offering here for parties like ourselves.