Post-Christmas blues sparked a group of former colleagues to book a weekend away in Ireland with our families. I’ve never seen so many people jump on board a great idea so quick. Twelve adults and nine children packed swimsuits, rain gear and life time supplies of nappies and changes of clothes for the little ones, and hit the road to the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny.
We had searched all family-friendly hotels with pools for the best value and for 2 nights B&B and one evening meal for €110 per adult with under 3’s going free and over 3’s having a small fee per night Newpark won out. It’s proximity to everyone travelling also played a factor with people travelling from all over Dublin, Wicklow and Tullamore. Having been to Newpark for a wedding earlier in the year I knew how much the hotel had to offer for families, although the pool and petting zoo were the biggest draw. But there was so much more I hadn’t even noticed when we were last here.
On the second floor is a family room with a fully equipped kitchen including a bottle sterilizer, fridge, microwave and coffee station. Also in the room are couches, a tv, playpen and changing table. This room is ideal for families, especially if one parent has kindly offered to take the toddler for a few hours in the morning when they rise before breakfast starts 🙂 Thanks Conor.
Located beside the family room is the games room. Another handy hangout for the early risers. The room is a toddlers play heaven with plenty to keep them entertained. The back room is more suited for older children with game consoles, air hockey and more.
A must for any Gahan trip away is a swim when at all possible. Saturday morning is obviously family swim time as the pool was jammers. No tri training going on anyway, thankfully 😉 The pool area has plenty of relaxing areas such as an outdoor infinity pool, steam room, plunge pool, etc. All the lovely things a preggers person can’t enjoy. But thankfully the pool and kids pool were warm enough to enjoy a soak.
Missy loved being able to go a for a swim with all her new friends, which was great for encouraging her to be more adventurous. She was jumping from the side into our arms in no time.
Probably topping the swimming pool for Missy was the playground. She loved the toddler area and cried every time we had to leave ‘her slide’. We’ve had to print a picture of her on the slide for her bedroom to keep her happy.
For the older, or just more adventurous 2 year olds amongst us, there is this fantastic climbing/slide/tree house with a zip-line at the back.
Construction workers in training, here’s hoping they’ll team up soon to build our much-dreamed-of extension on the house.
Wow, what a hotel to have a petting zoo out the back. Last time my sister had the misfortune of having her bedroom backing on to these noisy animals. This time round it was Missy and her friends enjoying all the sounds and smells!!!!
The ourdoor area just kept getting better with a fairy trail running along the side of the play area. You have to look all around to take in all of the detail, up in the trees, down at the roots. So much fun and some really cute photos.
The NewPark is a large hotel. They’ve a great big function room which can cater for large weddings and conferences. Having been a bridesmaid for a wedding here I know how great the venue is for such events. But on the flipside when you are a guest for a weekend and there is a wedding with 300+ guests enjoying Perseco in the foyer (lobby!!) or hanging out in the bar it makes it harder to find a spot to enjoy lunch.
A conference held on the Sunday led to HUGE queues at the carvery just at check out time. We had planned to end our weekend with everyone having lunch before hitting the road but unfortunately this didn’t go to plan and was a little bit of a let down after such a great weekend.
It was a fantastic weekend away with friends. We checked in Friday afternoon and didn’t leave again until Sunday. We had plenty of time for catching up with friends over numerous cups of tea in the lobby and moving onto stronger drinks in the evening. All of the kids got to know each other and it was all fairly stress free.
We’re looking forward to the next weekend away with the group, hopefully will get to check out as many hotels around Ireland as possible.