I had been wanting to stay in Howth, and was pleasantly surprised, when I came across this hotel on Venere.com and it was within my budget- 44GBP for single occupancy of twin room, en-suite and breakfast included - plus free use of the indoor pool, gym, sauna, steam room and classes- Spa treatments available at extra cost. Well I'm afraid that I didn't get to use the pool etc, but Next time!!!!
I'd arrived a few hours early (Check in is from 15.00), but the friendly and helpful receptionist soon found a room that I could have straight away (I don't think the hotel was too busy) Well, I was very impressed - I had a view straight over the golf course to Irelands Eye!
It was from Deer Park, that HG Wells was inspired to comment on " the finest views west of Naples."
My room was comfortable - twin beds, wardrobe space, bedside tables with lamps, dressing table/writing desk, armchair, TV, with Irish and BBC channels, teamaking equipment, free WIFI, helpful guide to the hotel and history of the Castle and things to do in Howth.
Bathroom-Shower, WC, twin basins, heated towel rail, hairdryer. Loo rolls, towels, tissues
Complimentary shower gel/shampoo/soap/shower cap.
I didn't have long to enjoy the view, or explore the hotel, as VTer annemariebyrne had kindly offered to take me out for the day, and we were heading to Carlingford.
Returning later, I was too late to eat in the bar-it closed at 21.00 for food (Food is served throughout the day). I had a 1/2 pint of bitter and a packet of crisps, which was fine as I'd eaten earlier. The Hotel restaurant is The Four Earls, which has an extensive menu - see the website.
My initial plan to go into Howth, and find a bar with live music was thwarted, when I realised how long the walk was up and down the driveway, which was unlit, and was lined with trees and shrubs - plus the castle looked quite forbidding in the dark. I'd seen that there was a courtesy shuttle bus, but I wasn't sure if this was available at this time of year. It wasn't too difficult a choice, as I was tired from my early start, and an afternoon hunting leprechauns in Carlingford !!
I enjoyed a relatively good nights sleep here (I don't sleep well, especially in hotels), which I was pleased about.
Breakfast was served from 07.30 - 09.30 - Initially I was told that breakfast wasn't included in my booking, however I queried this - my booking form stated B&B - The waiter returned and confirmed that I didn't need to pay. I think it was 12 Euros for the Irish breakfast, less for the continental option.
Self service for juices, cereals etc - choice of yogurt, grapefruit too.
Waiter service for cooked breakfast- I had the full Irish - Bacon, sausages, black pudding, white pudding, hash brown, grilled tomato, mushrooms and baked beans plus egg (choice of fried/poached or scrambled) toast, tea or coffee.
I enjoyed my breakfast-I was hungry, and I had a busy day planned.
It did appear that most of the ingredients had been pre-cooked and kept warm, but the egg was freshly cooked I think. This was a bit of a shame, but I'm guessing that as there were only a few guests, staffing was reduced accordingly. Anyway, I ate everything on my plate - it was edible, just a pity that the locally sourced ingredients didn't get the treatment they deserved.
The breakfast room has views over the golf course. There was a steady stream of golfers and 'gym bunnies' sweeping into the car park. Apparently this is a popular golf course as it's open to the public -ie no membership required.
Sadly, I had to check out - I would have like to have stayed and relaxed a bit longer, but I wanted to see the castle and Howth harbour, before heading back by DART to Dublin.
Prior to my stay here, I'd read very mixed reviews of this hotel- Reviewers either stated it was the Best, or Worst place they'd stopped at. Some mentioned dirty rooms and peeling wallpaper-well I didn't see anything like this - The corridor to my room, and my room itself was clean and nicely decorated. I'm guessing that there is a different wing?
Well I'd certainly stay here again, and would recommend it.
Probably not suitable for anyone that wants to be 'in the thick of the nightlife etc', but it's a Spa hotel at a reasonable price. (Although the treatments aren't that cheap)
Unique Quality: Great Views over to Dublin and Irelands Eye. Friendly helpful staff. Great location - 20 minutes from Dublin Airport, 9 miles from Dublin Centre, 15 minute walk from Howth DART station - though the hotel will arrange pick-up.
Apparently the Rhododendron gardens are worth seeing.
Although Howth Castle is closed, you can view from the outside.
Also in the grounds is The Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School and the Transport museum (closed at my visit)
The walk down the drive was quite pleasant, with lots of attractive established trees and shrubs, with plants growing through the undergrowth. The brightly coloured daffodils were in full bloom too.
Directions: From the train station, turn Right and continue along the road, until you see the sign for Deer Park Hotel. Continue up the driveway past Howth Castle and it's in front of you.