Advantages Elegant, beautiful food, great leisure, beauty, relaxing, staff, free parking
Disadvantages disabled restricted, no grab handles in rooms, well out of galway
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
My english wheelchair partner and myself fancied a short break to galway. After much hunting we decided on the Ardilaun. This hotel is located in salthill just outside Galway. It is a classic mix of grand old house and modern wings located in a walled garden setting which in good weather would be wonderful. The free parking is quite good but a little uphill for the wheelchair or mobility restricted though the wide doors open quickly.Reception is located in a large open grand entrance area and the staff are very pleasant and efficient. We were advised of all the access issues at all times and offered any assistance required. Like many hotels the disabled accessible rooms are not ground floor but the lift is small but adequate to the room level. the corridors are narrow as per an old house but negotiable with occasional help from housekeeping to clear aisles.
The rooms are spacious though not luxurious are good, though wheelchair users would need helpers we thought as there arent many hand rails and the floor tiles are quite slick for trying to stand up from a chair in but we always carry beach shoes for this purpose. the showers are proper disabled showers which were good. Our room also doubled up as a through room if we needed the extra space for companions. It consisted of a double and a single bed, table, chair etc. Of course the normal tea making and tv channels were all there and of the usual standard, nothing exceptional though. However if you needed grips to get in and out of bed there were no grab handles anywhere in the room unfortunately.After check in we went for dinner having gone on a package deal. The restaurant is below ground level and there is a chair lift down which is a little temperamental but always worked though mostly for the staff rather than us. The staff made sure to reserve us a table every evening that was convenient which was great.
We opted for the set menu with 5 or 6 choices per section. I can honestly say the food was superb. It was obviously fresh and locally sourced and the attention to detail/presentation would challenge gordon ramsey. The tastes were so well complemented we were spoilt every evening with a totally different menu which was a pleasure to eat. It was difficult to eat through the 5 courses. There were vegetarian options on the menu too, and i believe any special requirements would be well catered for.We ventured to the bar area to investigate, this involved another chair lift even more temperamental but it worked or two steps. It was a comfortable bar with pleasant chatty staff and also drew in locals for the guinness by the looks of it. Drinks, coffees and pub grub was all going well here. It is reasonably priced for hotels. During our stay we did visit it for afternoon tea and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful in house cooked scones, highly recommended to all.
The hotel has a mix of clientele from business meetings, holidaymakers to locals alike, so the atmosphere was better than the average hotel. There are a number of side rooms all stately elegant open to sit in and read or relax which were beautiful and in keeping with the building.The leisure centre was one of the reasons for choosing the hotel. The only problem is there is no access for disabled as it is reached by a long winding stately staircase. the pool is large and has a dedicated swimming lane and a great though small toddler pool. The jacuzzi is large and for a change at a good constant temperature. I also found both the sauna and steam room good and of the usual standard. I think it would be good for families but the pool depth does start at around 4ft so you need to be aware of that for children. I am not sure that it would be a suitable hotel for boisterous kids though due to the unforgiving nature of antique furnishings and the clientele, but i read they do have kids clubs at times during school hols.
Equally popular is the onsite beauty salon with a wide range of treatments for both male and female. It was so busy that during my visit i couldnt get booked in. It does seem small but had a nice environment and lovely exotic aroma.Another aspect of the hotel that I really found different and impressive was the commitment of all the staff. Even the managers pitched in helping people and even cleaning tables when they had time on their hands. I dont think i have seen that before in a 4 star hotel.
Breakfast was the typical buffet arrangement, in the restaurant, but had ample choice with juices, fruit, cereals, cooked breakfast or fish options It was well stocked and the staff brought drinks and toast quickly and were at hand for any queries. I found the food the normal fare no better no worse.Due to the weather conditions, being winter, we didnt get the chance to visit the gardens, which others had told us were beautiful. It is true to say that some of the guests are obviously return custom so the hotel must maintain their standards.
Not having a laptop I appreciated having free internet access allowing me to keep track or book a few other things whilst away. This seemed very popular with all the residents. However whilst in the ground reception area we did negotiate some difficulty using the disabled toilet as it is a little compact and of course requires negotiating the lifts from both the bar and restaurant for wheelchair access.In conclusion if you want a restful break in Galway area I believe the Ardilaun would provide admirably for your needs in a graceful and pleasant way. I would have no hesitation in returning and have recommended it to friends. I would also recommend it to those with restricted mobility who can work with the quirkiness of the old tyme hotel parts of it. It is essentially a down to earth yet quality hotel. Not the place to go if you are on a diet however, as I found my waistline expanded.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment