“ Address: Howth / County Dublin / Ireland „
The Deer Park (3star) Hotel, in Howth, just outside Dublin Centre(10km) is a hotel that has stunning views that overlook Dublin Bay, and Howth. The hotel was not as grand to look at from the outside as I was expecting, inside the decor is nice, simple and clean. There is free carparking, with good transport links into Dublin centre and a short walk to Howth town. It is advertised as being in the grounds of Howth Castle which it is, but the castle is not open to visitors.
I stayed in earyly August 2011, for just under a week.
The rooms themselves are nice, neat, tidy and clean with ensuite bathrooms, woth great views looking out over the golf course, bays and castle. there are a variety of rooms available for singles, couples and families. I stayed in a double which came with a sofa, table, large tv, tea/coffee facilities large bathroom, bedside cabinets and fair sized wardrobe. The rooms also have free wifi, which did not work for the whole duration of my stay which was a bit annoying as I had work that I had planned to do. I other guest thinking prehaps it was just my laptop connection but they also had this problem. At the reception when reported early on it never got sorted throughout my stay.
They have a peaceful lounge area upstairs with many sofas with views out, and a guest computer which is 1euro for 10 minutes which was incredibly slow, I just managed to check my emails and that is it, a 1minute task normally.
Breakfast was priced at 12.50euro each, I had this for just one day out of my night stay, I was a bit dissapointed with this, I found the cost to be quite expensive for what you got, marketed as a full Irish breakfast, it was a buffet style that could have really done with a few more options. In the breakfast room its self the tables and chairs are all very close to other guests tables the waiters brought us a rack of toast which wasnt particularly warm and it was overcooked, they also offer you a choice of warm drinks- the choice was either tea or coffee- no variety or hot chocolate which is a main hot beverage I feel they should have offered, it is a buffet style breakfast, and for the cooked breakfast there was only 5 products on offer- Sausages, Scrambled eggs, Bacon, Mushrooms, Beans, which when I went in the were running short on. They had continental foods, but the variety there too was lacking. After this I never used the dining facilities they had on offer, because I really did not find this to be fantastic. There was a bar area too, that seemed reasonably priced for lightbites- I did not have anything, but I did have a drink ;)
The gym was free to use, which has a wide variety of cardio equipment and weights, and they also offered classes which guests staying at the hotel could attend for a small cost for about 6euro. I found the gym to be the most useful facility for myself, they also had a small pool- 17m in length, which was visable from the gym, which was quiet so very nice for being able to swim and relax. The steam room worked fine but was very small, and the sauna was completely broken for the majority of my stay and I never had the opportunity to use it. Their are tennis courts around the back- I am not sure on the costs, but I should imagine less than 10euro, the area around the back wasn't too nice to look at it needed a bit of tidying up. They have a wide range of golfing activities on offer starting from just a few euro each.
I was a bit disapointed with the spa, although I never had any treatments I found it again to be overpriced, because it is in a hotel I am not expecting things to be super cheap, and value that people pamper and treat themselves on holiday but just to get gel nails done it was advertised at a cost of 54euro when I was there, this is a simple nail treatment that I could get done at a salon with a very good reputation for about 25euro back home.
Although my stay there was pleasant there were quite a few things that could have been improved on which are all easy enoughto do, such as a few more breakfast options, such as croissants, more cereals, better fruits, jams, more cooked food, juices, all cheap and easy to do, fix the wifi- its a job that would have taken no more than 15 minutes to do. tidy up around the back, even though there is not much happening around there its not pretty compaired to the rest of it. Speed up the slow computer, get someone in to fix the sauna, do some market research into spa pricing etc etc. If they fixed those issues I should imagine it would be somewhere where I would return if I was in the area again, but until then I have no desire too.
Room prices are from 45euro for a single without breakfast. They also offer spa and golf packages.
I am fortunate to spend a fair bit of time working in Ireland. When we have our staff meetings we often stay at the Deer Park Hotel in Howth.
I have never stayed in an Hotel which offers such stunning views! Many of the bedrooms overlook the Howth harbour and lighthouse. The views over Dublin Bay and the little island called Irelands' Eye are quite magnificient. The changing colours and moods of the sea are endlessly fascinating to me. I find it very restful to be greeted by the sight every morning when I wake up. If you get up before the golfers start their rounds it is possible to see many different kinds of birds pottering about the greens. You can also see some of the fattest bunnies outside of cartoons here! Unfortunately there are no longer any deer at the Deer Park.
The hotel is situated at the top of a mile long tree lined drive. As you come up the drive there is a marvellous old castle on the left that houses a museum of transport. Then further on the vista opens up to include the hotel and its golf course. It is a sixties, chalet looking hotel with well tended plants and greenery around the main entrance.
To the left of the main entrance is the golf club and all the usual paraphenalia that goes with golfing. A golf shop, a bar, a very good restaurant and a large outdoor seating area for the good weather. I have never played golf, but I am informed by those that do that it is a good golf course and reasonably priced. (Unlike some of the links in the Dublin area.)
The reception area is right inside the main entrance. The reception staff are cheerful and efficient. They really go out of their way to get you what you need to facilitate your work or holiday. I could not fault them. There is someone available 24 hours. On the one occasion I had to complain about fellow guests, (about a dozen women from Belfast decided to hold a hooly in the next room to me at 2 am!) the porter came down and dealt with them promptly and politely. (It didn't stop them but he did try!)
The hotel itself has 75 rooms. They are spacious and extremely comfortable. All the rooms are en-suite and the bathrooms are a good size. Because of the length of the hotel you sometimes have to wait a while for the showers to run hot but they always do eventually.
The rooms I have stayed in have all been furnished with a desk, easy chairs, adequate storage space for my clothes, a television in a cabinet, phone, bedside tables and bedside lamps. They are furnished to a high standard and are in good repair. The beds are very comfortable and the bedroom areas are generally quiet and peaceful. They are situated away from the bars and dining areas. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided. Don't be put off by the peaty looking brown water, it tastes fine.
The hotel is built on two levels and there is good wheelchair access.
There is a swimming pool and very well equipped gym and a sauna (I seem to remember seeing a jacuzzi but I'm not sure.) The changing rooms are a fair size and kept spotlessly clean. These facilities are free to hotel guests. The pool is lovely and warm and a real tonic after a hard day of staff meetings.
If you want even more luxury there is a new health and beauty spa. All sorts of treatments are offered. I have not used the beauty spa yet but there are always delicious scents wafting up the corridors from it. One day I shall treat myself to a facial or massage! (I wonder if I could wangle one as part of staff developement?)
There are tennis courts in the grounds somewhere but they must be well hidden because I can't remember seeing them. (I must ask where they are next time I stay!) They too are free to guests.
The restaurant is well used by guests, locals and golfers. They offer a wide range of dishes. The meals are satisfying and served promptly.
I don't know how any resident golfers can do anything after eating the full traditional Irish breakfast provided as part of their package.
The portions for breakfast are huge and cooked and presented well. There is a large choice of cereals and fruits to start with, a few different fruit juices, a choice of herbal or traditional tea and of course, fresh coffee. The waiting staff are helpful yet unobtrusive.
There is a lovely fishpond in a little square between the two halves of the dining rooms. I have enjoyed watching the goldfish growing over the times I have stayed at the Deer Park. They are obviously well cared for.
There is a nice little lunch and coffee bar a little way away from the restaurant. It serves lighter meals, snacks and drinks. The home made soup is always good in here.
The bar is quite large with comfortable seating, the bar staff are very pleasant and full of information about the local area. You can order bar snacks if you don't want to go to the restaurant or have left it too late.
The Deer Park also has a number of conference rooms. The facilities for conferences are good, the rooms are light and airy and the seats are comfortable. It is absolute purgatory to sit through a conference in uncomfortable chairs (I can vouch for that!) and the ones provided at the Deer Park have obviously been thought about.
The car park is quite large but some days gets full because of the large amount of golfers coming in to play a round. There is no charge for parking.
If you fancy a wander, Howth vilage is about a fifteen minute walk from the Deer Park and has lots of little shops, some great seafood restaurants and fabulous walks up Howth Head (the hill Howth is built on). My favourite pastime when I am down in the village is watching the fishing boats coming in to the sheltered harbour and seeing the catches unloaded. The humans are not the only ones showing an interest! There are always a few seals lolling about to see what might be thrown their way. The seals never fail to delight me!
The grounds of the Deer Park are very large. It is built in the grounds of Howth castle. The woodlands and shrubbery are wonderful, especially in May and June when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom.
If you want to visit Dublin City it is about nine or ten miles from the Deer Park, it takes about 15 minutes by the Dart (local train service) or about half an hour by bus or car. The Dart is the best bet because the traffic congestion in Dublin city centre is the worst I have seen in any European city.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone. It is small enough to feel charming and homely and large enough to provide almost any facility you might need. It is only abou twenty minutes from the airport so it is ideal for starting or finishing a tour of Ireland.
If you would like more information, this is their website.
Their current prices are available here but is probably best to ring them to negotiate discounts or party rates.
If you need to stay in the Dublin area this is a great place to be.