More about BrookLodge & Wells Spa
What a View
I would have no problem recommending this hotel to anybody!!!
As an Irish person living abroad, a couple of times a year myself and my partner return to visit the family. Although most of the family live in Dublin, we prefer to stay in this fantastic country getaway (ask for a Mezzanine Suite - their amazing). Its ideally located less than an hour from Dublin and yet we feel as though we are in the middle of nowhere in an oasis of calm.
As we have no children we are very grateful for the limited child friendly hours in The Wells Spa....And oh what a place that is!!!! I think my partner dreads us arriving in the BrookLodge Hotel as immediately he loses me to a world of treatments, pampering and relaxation!! (the therapists are all so friendly and efficient, and they always welcome me back as though I was only there last week). At the same time, he's secretly delighted as it means he can wander off to The Waterside Lounge for a sneaky pint.
The Strawberry Tree restaurant is out of this world. The food is all organic, free range or wild. Generally I starve myself for a couple of days prior to arrival so that I can really enjoy this fantastic food. The best thing is that its all very reasonably priced.
All in all, although we are supposed to be home to visit our families in Dublin, we generally end up spending our time relaxing in Wicklow trying to get everyone to come and visit us. Once you get there you won't want to leave......
Stunning Lodge away from it all
I cannot understand the bad reviews!! It is the most fabulous lodge in Ireland surely. The staff are wonderful, the food is delicious wherever you eat and the rooms and facilities are wonderful.
If you are treating youself book the Mezz suite... It is pure luxury.
A perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Beautiful and Relaxing
I cannot say enough good things about this place. My partner and I have just returned from a 3 night stay here. The hotel/Macreddin Village is set in beautiful scenery and has outdoor active and sightseeing close at hand. The Wells spa is very relaxing, and all the Hotel staff are friendly and could not do enough for us. Macreddin Village itself is just a few buildings attached to the hotel, Which are a pub, café, and a shop. The home brew in the pub is really nice.
We did not stay in the main part of the hotel but instead stayed in the River mews a couple of meters from the hotel. This is a separate building of bedrooms which from the outside look like village houses. This room was lovely, but maybe not to the standard of rooms in the main hotel. The view from our window was beautiful, a small stream with the mountains in the background. The only noise we could hear was from the stream which was very relaxing. One point to note is that the bed has a little short with a foot board so anyone over 6ft might find it a bit uncomfortable. There was building work going on and we were staying closest to it, but were never disturbed.
The breakfast was served in the Strawberry Tree restaurant, and I can easily say it was the nicest breakfast I’ve ever had and fills you for the day. We had one evening meal in The Strawberry Tree (which is an organic restaurant) and the food was lovely.
This is not the kind of hotel you would bring kids to, it more for couples or people who want to relax. I will definitely be returning here.
Beautiful spa and food - Don't go if there is a wedding though
I had looked forward to going to Brooklodge for some time - the place is very well known and loved and it's pretty expensive so was a real treat to go. I specifically asked for a quiet room upon booking (because of reviews on this site) and had been promised (by phone) I would get one. On arriving on Saturday there was a wedding taking place so we shouted over the guests to check in - as the champagne reception was taking place in the residents bar it meant we didn't feel welcome to go in and have a cosy welcome drink. We were placed in a room above that same bar, it was near to the Billiards room so we listened to the wedding party children running in and out of that room. Then until quite late we could hear the piano playing in the bar downstairs - this wasn't very disturbing though but what was disturbing were the wedding guests smoking under our window until 4.30am.
The next day I told the reception desk that we had heard a lot of noise and had been woken numerous times. I have to say the staff were very nice and said they would do what they could. 3 hours later we were told we could change rooms to a room which was above the function room (I won't mention any numbers) but it meant we would hear noise until 1am, at which time the guests from the wedding THAT day would go in to the residents bar, that being the same noise as the night before at a different wedding. We decided to take our chances and stay where we were. I asked the girl if there were no rooms at all in the hotel that could be considered quiet for people who were not at the wedding - she said there were 'none really'.
As it happened there was a cancellation and we got a suite later that same evening, this was fabulous and was a real treat. The room was much quieter and at nearly double the price of the double room we had originally booked was a fantastic treat for us and really made our stay memorable.
The Strawberry Tree restaurant is wonderful, delicious food. The spa is great, very relaxing and spotlessly clean. I would go to Brooklodge again but I would not pay for a double room, I would definitely pay for a suite next time - the double rooms were nothing special, there wasn't even a robe and slippers for using the spa in our room and the double bed was not big enough for 2 adults (luckily there was a single bed too) - HOWEVER I think the Brooklodge need to devise a plan to segregate hotel guests from wedding guests because at the prices they are charging to stay in a relaxing retreat, being surrounded by weddings guests drinking and partying is not ideal and makes people miserable. I understand that they cannot afford to not host weddings but wouldn't it be a fabulous marketing approach to advertise being kept away from weddings. I would not return if there was a wedding on the weekend I intented to go. There are similar reviews on this site so a note to the management - do something about it. Note it is very difficult to find a weekend in the year that there is no wedding taking place at Brooklodge, the weekend we stayed there there were two. Monart Destination Spa, though it's more expensive, is hot on your heels and they don't allow weddings or children! I will take my business there next time.
Brook Lodge Wells & Spa
Spent a night recently in the Brook Lodge & Spa - set in a beautiful part of Wicklow near Aughrim. Very posh place indeed -we were delighted to be able to use the spa facilities (which included an outdoor hot tub!!!). We both had booked treatments each - they were only ok & wouldn't bother with them again as they were very expensive. We ate in the Strawberry Tree that night (Ireland's only organic restaurant) - the restaurant was amazing, all mirrors, candlelight and heavy drapes. The food too was good but some of the choices did not sound appealing & thought it was very cheeky that they charged an extra 6-euro for the steak - the meal was expensive enough. In saying all in all it was a very different and pleasant experience & we had a really lovely Organic Pinot Gringo. Big Sleigh Beds guaranteed very restful nights sleep & we then got our breakfast in bed, which finished the weekend off perfectly.
Beautiful, Peaceful Hotel in the snow
I stayed in Brookelodge for one night on Business recently. It was so beautiful. It was snowing and the hotel is set in the middle of the mountains. The Spa is impressive and has a great pool and outdoor hotub. Unfortunately I did not bring swimming gear but people were out in the hotub in the snow it looked absolutely amazing. The staff could not have been more helpful. There were fires lighting around the hotel and it was just idyllic. We were having a two day business conference and the facilities for this were good too- though I just kept wishing I was there in my own time!
Highly recommend this hotel
Relaxing stay at the BrookLodge
I don't trust reviews that say a place was perfect. I don't believe there is such a place, so I will get my gripes out of the way. The bed in our River Mews room was a bit on the small side. Also, I think that at the moment, there would be no harm in warning guests that there is a big construction job going on right besides the River Mews rooms. We were told this is going to be a new Functions area. As it turned out, it didn't bother us all that much, but it doesn't do much for your arrival when you are greeted with the sight of a huge crane overhanging your destination!
That out of the way, I have to say that the service at BrookLodge was first class. Every person we dealt with was friendly and efficient.
We were not happy with our table in the Strawberry Tree, so they offered us a number of alternatives with a minimum of fuss. The food was lovely, although I would prefer to have the option of a la carte as opposed to the set five course dinner.
The breakfast was exceptionally good. I asked for something that was not on the menu and my request did not raise an eyebrow. The fresh treakle bread was so good we enquired about it and the manageress of the restaurant came up with a loaf for us to take away!
All in all, the folks in BrookLodge are doing a great job in providing a real getaway in the countryside only an hours drive from Dublin. They deserve to be commended for this.
This Hotel is in a tacky fake village ("Macreddin" - think bunratty folk park on a bad day) near Aughrim in county Wicklow.
The hotel prides itself on good organic food and being environmentally friendly. Neither claims are exactly vindicated.
The Hotel was fairly recently built on an unspoilt greenfield site many miles from the nearest municipal services - hardly environmentally friendly. The style is tacky faux old country hotel. They have put a lot of effort into disguising the fact that the buildings are just a few years old. Would say that the nearby Lawless Hotel in Aughrim, is a better bet if in the area. Or Woodenbridge Hotel a few miles away - a hotel with the kind of atmosphere to which brooklodge aspires but will never acheive.
Great, but losing its soul
Having first discovered the Brooklodge in 2002, my wife and I have seen the Brooklodge evolve from a quaint "country house" style hotel to what it has become today: a very commercial exercise.
In the five years since our first visit, when we decided on the spot to book it for our wedding reception, it has undergone several facelifts and building programs to add extra rooms, a conference suite, a health spa, extended dining facilities and now a new, purpose-built function room, in the form of a gothic style church-type building.
In response to its popularity, managment are cashing in on what the guests and visitors of old enjoyed most and in the process are missing the point entirely of the Brooklodge's attraction.
For starters: Reception/Check-in. Gone is the tiny desk in the corner of the lobby. In it's place there are now two huge desks which completely dominate the lobby area and also take over what was the snooker/games room as its back-office. Gone too are the days when you could check in whenever you arrived. We arrived at 14:30 and were told we'd have to come back at 15:00 to check in and the receptionist told us to have some lunch and then come back.
We did come back at the appointed hour and checked in with minimal fuss.
Having stayed in suites (including the Bridal Suite) in the past, we'd opted for one of the riverside rooms instead and this was to our liking. These rooms are in a newly built block which was added a little over two years ago and is suffering a little from settling cracks. The bed was very comfortable, the room spotless and well equipped. Especially nice was the sound of the river flowing by our window, accompanied by birdsong.
My wife was disappointed to learn that the Wells Spa was fully booked for any or all treatments and the staff were pretty unhelpful in accommodating her in any shape or form. I did avail of the pool and adjoining facilites of sauna, steam room and jacuzzis all of which were very good, although the steam room is very small, seating only two guests.
Food: We'd eaten here many times before and the food never fails to impress although the service in Acton's (the bar in the purpose built "Macreddin Village") is slow. Lunch for two, with two soft drinks worked out at about €25 and was amazing. One of the great novelties of eating at Acton's (or at least outside when the weather permits), is that you're surrounded by chickens, all awaiting whatever scraps you might throw to them.
The Strawberry Tree, the main restaurant of the hotel is one of the best restaurants in terms of the quality and value to be had. They serve a fixed price menu which costs €60 for four courses. The service and attention to detail is great. The wine list boasts many organic wines and is one of the more reasonably priced wine-lists in or near Dublin. Here, as with all the food in the Brooklodge, the menu is made up of organic and wild foods, all cooked with imagination and flare and perfectly presented.
Breakfast is also served in the Strawberry Tree and I was relieved to see that they've changed the recipe/supplier of their sausages! The old ones were terrible!
Odd thing in the residents' lounge was after dinner on Saturday night, we decided to take our after-dinner drinks there rather than in the restaurant. The bar staff seemed to be very disorganised and while I was waiting to be served, I heard the staff apologise to several customers with the excuse that they had just started their shift, whatever that might mean.
In spite of all this, I'd heartily recommend the Brooklodge. It's a beautiful location, with lovely grounds and facilities and food to die for. Even the drive there from Dublin is lovely and scenic, especially from Glenealy on.
A great getaway
My wife surprised me with an overnight stay here for my birthday, complete with treatments at the Spa. On arrival we found that we had been upgraded from a River Mews to the main house. The room was a delight. Contrary to what other people have said about the beds being too small; at 6'2" I often have problems with hotel beds but this was the right length and the mattress was neither too soft or hard.
The spa is very clean and the staff there are very friendly and highly efficient. I enjoyed my treatment there so much on the day we arrived that my wife booked me for another treatment the next morning and the staff bent over backwards to accommodate her even though it was a last minute booking.
The food in The Strawberry Fields was of exceptional quality, though a little under-seasoned to my taste but this could just be a decision by the chef to allow people to taste what organic produce actually tastes like (something I already know). The extensive wine list is quite excellent and the prices very reasonable.
The Residents Lounge. Again waited on by capable staff. Thankfully they've got over the pretense of having their own brewery though they did have "local" brews- both on a much better scale than "Brew #1" which was what used to be passed off as their beer.
The breakfast the next day was again above standard and I'm quite a hard person to please in this area as I do source organic sausages, bacon and eggs myself (I also see that I and The Strawberry Tree use the same fruit and veg supplier, one Mr Denis Healy).
However, I should make the following points:
1. Yes there is still a lot of building going on- new apartments, leisure centre and 18 hole golf course. Though this did not impinge on our stay.
2. It is not a destination for children. On top of this children will be banned from using the spa facilities from May- though the leisure centre should be able to cater for them then.
3. There was no function or wedding on the night we stayed. In fact when I go back it will be for a Sunday night stay before a regular (not bank holiday or school holiday) Monday.
4. I have been to Brook Lodge many times in the past (for the food fair before farmers markets became quite widespread in Dublin) but this was the first time I've stayed.
All in all a very relaxing time tempered with good food, wine and beer. The staff were great, the room above the standard I would expect from a place like this and the spa facilities were fantastic. I'm looking forward to going back.