Just over 30 km south of Dublin city this luxurious golf resort and leisure hotel enjoys a stunning setting between the mountains and sea in the Garden of Ireland. Though only minutes from Greystones it benefits from a tranquil rural setting and wonderful feeling of calm as you arrive.
The marbled lobby with its dramatic fireplace is surprisingly large, and this spaciousness is a general feature of the hotel, from the extensive grounds to the roomy suites and guest rooms, many of them “double/doubles” (with two queen sized beds). It is well known as a business hotel (and a former winner of our Business Hotel of the Year Award) and the décor may feel a little corporate but it’s undeniably comfortable with all manner of luxury, including individual ‘climate control’ (heating and air conditioning), and separate bath and walk-in showers.
Alongside two championship golf courses the hotel also boasts a lovely heated pool and Jacuzzi that enjoy natural light from a huge floor-to-ceiling window. The small gym and award-winning spa get much use from golfers, holidaymakers and business travellers. The hotel has marked out walking and jogging paths around its grounds and there are bikes to borrow should you wish to explore the lush green estate.
While UK and American golf visitors may be down in recent years, it’s a plus for families who have become a big priority for the resort. Much investment has been made to deliver an excellent secluded and gated playground, a new indoor playroom with toddlers’ zone and an older kids playroom where complementary movies, console games and popcorn are available.
Family packages at Druids Glen are surprisingly keenly priced for a hotel of this calibre and there are numerous items built in which ease the pain for parents. Alongside welcome packs and seasonal holiday activities there’s a special kids’ menu, for example, and children under 12 eat free. The restaurant also features a special kids buffet during school holidays, making a family break here relaxing and good value.
The aim is to provide opportunities for families to enjoy quality time together, so a kids' club is not offered; while this may seem to be a disadvantage to parents researching the options for a family break, it is more than offset by the quality of the amenities and activities offered, and it's an ideal base for forest walks and visits to Glendalough, Brittas Bay, Powerscourt and Glenroe Pet Farm. Older kids will love the equestrian and fishing opportunities or a day at Clara Lara Adventure Park, as well as the games and movie rooms.
Druids Brasserie (see below) is the main restaurant for all guests, for breakfast and dinner, with lunch and bar meals also available in the 400-year old clubhouse and ‘The Thirteenth’ or, in fine weather, on a sheltered deck outside the brasserie.
Impeccably trained staff throughout the resort are noteworthy for their friendly and helpful manner, and are a real asset.
Conference/banqueting 250/220; business centre, secretarial services, free broadband wi/fi. Golf (2x18); leisure centre, swimming pool; spa, beauty/treatment rooms, walking, garden.
Rooms 148 (11 suites, 137 executive, 6 disabled). Lift. Children welcome (under 12s free in parents' room, cots available without charge; baby sitting arranged, play room, kids club). 24 hr. room service, turndown service, laundry/valet service. B&B €90 pps, single €90.
What were once two restaurants is now one bright, spacious brasserie with lovely leafy vistas over the golf course (though there’s more atmosphere in the end room with the fireplace).
Food is both ambitious and contemporary, with a pleasing emphasis on local produce, and separate vegetarian and gluten free menus are offered.
Commendably, the hotel has partnered with local cookery school owner and TV chef Catherine Fulvio to create signature dishes using many of the excellent local suppliers she champions.
At its best the food can be memorable, in delicious starters like Druids Beetroot Cured Salmon (48hrs cured Connemara salmon, roasted beetroot, chilled salmon cream, dill dressing) or Heirloom tomato salad, or perhaps a main course of slow braised cannon of Wicklow lamb with Dunlavin black pudding, truffle mash, buttered carrots, spinach and shallots. Dishes are well executed and a meal here can be a real highlight.