From the moment you enter the bright reception area of this family-run, eco-friendly hotel you can tell there's someone who cares at the helm.
Built in the late 1960s, the hotel was taken over by Michael Lennon and family: an affable, hands-on owner manager who seems to be everywhere, Michael is equally happy enthusing guests about the area's historical sights as fixing the hotel's wood pellet burner or leading toddler guests round on ponies at his nearby riding stables.
Décor isn't especially impressive, with rather uninspired carpeting and furnishings in most of the hotel, but don't let this put you off. Rooms are of a generous size with comfortable beds and are personalised with local artwork and contemporary prints. Facilities include trouser press, kettle, phone and TV (no safe), and housekeeping is excellent.
Breakfast is served in a pleasantly large and airy dining room and, although a fairly standard buffet, the experience is lifted by small details - linen napkins, crusts removed from the toast, a single flower on each table.
But the real draw at all times is the attentive and friendly staff, who address you by name and seem genuinely interested in looking after your needs.
The hotel is very convenient for the amenities of the quays and Westport House and its location with Croagh Patrick as a backdrop, only a mile or so from the buzzing heritage town of Westport, makes it a great gateway to exploring the islands of Clew Bay or the stark elemental landscape of Connemara.
Nonetheless you could easily spend a day or two doing little other than alternating a swim with a dip in the outdoor hot tub, having an aromatherapy massage or soaking in an Atlantic seaweed bath at the hotel's spa.
It is as a family-friendly destination though, that Westport Woods wins hands down: the simple bonus of providing a complimentary “go!kids!” Club to entertain all ages from little ones to teens at arts and crafts, pony riding and disco-dancing while parents enjoy adult time makes Westport Woods Hotel an effortless and extremely reasonable getaway for families.
The hotel is also well known for its special interest breaks, including the adventure camps that are held in the seven acres of woodland around the hotel each summer.