The unexceptional exterior of this pleasant four star near the university belies its stylish, modern lobby - and the well-maintained gardens and welcoming staff create a good first impression.
Originally opened in 1991, a new owner, Pat MacDonagh, took over in November 2012 and is breathing new life into the hotel.
The public areas have all been revamped in muted tones of black and grey with pops of colour, including bright pink walls in reception, giving the hotel a fresh, modern feel and bringing it right up to date.
The bedrooms are being given a makeover as well – by autumn 2013, 25 rooms had been redecorated in keeping with the style in the foyer. The remaining 78 ‘classic rooms’ are more traditional but are gradually being upgraded to match.
One of the leading Limerick Hotels, it’s an appealing destination for short breaks, with outstanding amenities nearby, such as the adjacent University Concert Hall and the University Sports Arena. Excellent on-site leisure facilities include a beauty salon, pool, gym, aerobics studio, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
Public areas are spacious and snazzy. The Conservatory, an open space overlooking the well-maintained courtyard and Clare Hills, serves light meals all day and is ideal for casual meetings and snacks.
The Merry Pedlar Bar & Bistro, in the style of a traditional Irish pub, has more character than the usual hotel bar. Food is served from noon to 9.30pm, with a bistro menu available in the evenings.
Limerick is well located for all visitors to the region; the city and surrounding area have a lot to offer, including golf, river cruising, fishing, golf and horse racing as well as many cultural activities.
Castletroy Park is ideally situated for exploring Limerick on foot and could be a good choice if you like lots of room and a quiet location.
Conferences / Banqueting (450/260); free broadband wi/fi; secretarial services; video conferencing. Underground parking (€5). C Spa & Leisure centre (pool, fitness room, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room); beauty salon. Children welcome (under 6s free in parents room, cot available without charge, baby sitting arranged). Conservatory. Garden.
Comfortable and well-appointed, with semi circular banquette seating on one side and a striking collection of photographs depicting Limerick scenes decorating the walls, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant is in a large, high ceilinged room with a pleasant outlook over the courtyard.
Tables are smartly dressed with crisp linen, and welcoming, well trained staff give a good impression from the moment of arrival.
Imaginative menus offer half a dozen interesting choices on each of the three courses, promising an enjoyable meal at a reasonable price.
And diners expecting a typical hotel meal here will be pleasantly surprised; there’s a commitment to quality ingredients and they are used with flair – the cooking has finesse and presentation, on modern white plates, is excellent.
A small but well-chosen wine list leans towards France and matches the food well, offering a good choice by the glass and, in addition to a moderately priced main list, some upmarket wines are offered at reduced price.
Add good service, and you have the makings of a very enjoyable experience – and the hot dishes cooked to order at breakfast are also well above the standard normally expected in hotels.