If you’re interested in getting away from it all and exploring part of Ireland’s Ancient East with your teenagers, then Co. Louth is the perfect base. When iNUA Collection invited us to spend a few days in their 4-star Fairways Hotel, we jumped at the chance as we hadn’t spent any real time in this part of Ireland before. We’ve paid ourselves in the past to stay in other hotels in the iNUA Collection and were impressed with the hotels so we had high expectations for our stay at Fairways Hotel.
This popular family-friendly hotel is located in Dundalk, halfway between Dublin and Belfast. It’s just off a busy road however the hotel has been recently renovated so when you’re inside, you’d never know it.
There’s free outdoor parking for 250 cars and there’s even a Supervalu and chemist next door if you run out of any essential toiletries during your stay.
The hotel has 113 bedrooms and suites and can cater for families with children of all ages. Families with younger children can book rooms with bunk beds if they’re available. We have three teenagers so we were lucky enough to have two bedrooms which meant that everyone had their own space.
Our bedroom had a double bed and the kids had a double bed and two single beds. Our eldest naturally claimed the bigger bed as she walked into the room first!
As I mentioned, the hotel has recently been renovated and the bedrooms and bathrooms feel ultra modern inside. From rainfall showers to thick luxurious towels, it feels more like a five star hotel. I loved the decor, in fact it reminded me a hotel we’d stayed in America a few years ago.
The bedroom doors were heavy and did make a loud slam when left to close. There were a couple of kids in a nearby room who discovered this fact and found it very entertaining! Luckily it was during the day and not at night or that would’ve become frustrating.
We woke up well rested after our first (and second) night’s stay, helped by the heavy blackout curtains. It was quite warm in the room overnight as there was no air-conditioning however we opened the window and took the duvet out of the cover and that helped keep us cool during the night. Our room had plenty of space to move around and the table and two comfy chairs were handy for relaxing with a coffee while writing blog posts!
Things to do nearby
When we checked in, Elena at reception was so lovely and immediately suggested lots of teen-friendly activities nearby from a stroll around nearby Blackrock village to an activity filled visit to Tayto Park.
There is a really useful section on the ‘Discover Dundalk’ page on the hotel’s website outlining things to do. There are itineraries outlining what couples and families can do if they are staying in the area for 48 or 72 hours.
Only 30 minutes down the road from Fairways Hotel is the popular town of Carlingford. After breakfast, we headed there for the day. You can read all about our Carlingford Adventures here.
Food at Fairways Hotel
That evening, after a long (and fun) day exploring the area, we headed back to the Fairways Hotel for dinner. You can dine in The Brasserie restaurant if you’re a resident or you can dine in one of their ten outdoor pods. They’re incredibly clever as they comes with their own lighting and heating system and can comfortably sit six people. We sat in a pod on both evenings and found them ideal even in the rain.
The food at Fairways was really excellent. The chicken wings starter was delicious, the best I’d ever had. The burgers were tasty and our youngest daughter recommended the rare sirloin steak. There was a large dessert menu so we shared a couple of dishes. I found the macrons a bit heavy but loved the pavloa.
I like the fact that the hotel states on the menu ‘We are proudly supporting the Boyne Valley Food Producers’. There are some incredible food producers in the area and I was pleased to see that the hotel was supporting them.
It was pretty busy in the hotel but the service was faultless. I actually got the impression that the staff were happy and enjoyed working there.
When we finished dinner we would like to have sat down in the bar playing cards with the kids however there was no dedicated bar area. There were high tables and stools in one corner however people were eating there. There were plenty of tables free in the lobby so we settled on relaxing there for an hour or so.
For breakfast, a selection of fruit, toast, pastries and yogurts are brought out on a stand to every table. I understand that is necessary with Covid however I feel it encourages food waste as no-one at our table had any toast or pastries. There is a wide choice of hot dishes available to order too, like full traditional and pancakes which were all very tasty.
The hotel have implemented a new #CaringForYou guest programme to ensure that all guests are kept safe and happy during their stay. In fact it’s so safe, the hotel is being used as a vaccination centre for the local area.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay at Fairways Hotel. I would definitely recommend it as a base to families who are interested in exploring the area. To book your own family adventure at the Fairways Hotel Dundalk, head to their website https://www.fairwayshotel.ie
Our stay, and activities, at Fairways Hotel Dundalk were organised by iNUA collection in exchange for our honest review.
All photos are ours (unless otherwise stated) and our opinions are 100% our own.