Newest Review: ... but they also had this problem. At the reception when reported early on it never got sorted throughout my stay. They have a peacefu... more
Dear to my heart The Deer Park Hotel. Howth. County Dublin.
Deer Park Hotel Golf & Spa (Howth, Ireland)
Member Name: GillMN
Deer Park Hotel Golf & Spa (Howth, Ireland)
Advantages: Fabulous location and views, friendly staff, peace and quiet.
Disadvantages: Golfers getting up too early and waking me up.
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.
Summary: A welcoming and comfortable place to stay.
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